Masks will only be mandatory in regions with a worsened epidemiological situation from July
The development of the epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic remains favourable in most regions. The working group for the easing of quarantine measures at the Ministry of Health has therefore recommended their further easing. In addition to selected regions, the general obligation to wear respiratory protection will be abolished, the capacity of mass events will be increased, and the limited opening hours for catering facilities will be abolished. Emergency measures are being shifted to the regional level.
Thanks to the favourable epidemiological situation, the long-awaited repealing of the general obligation to wear a mask or other mouth and nose protection in all outdoor and indoor areas will take place as of 1 July. New measures will only be taken at regional level. Any obligation to wear masks will thus be exclusively related to local outbreaks in order to prevent the further spreading of the disease. “With regard to the current epidemiological situation, we are easing the blanket measures and shifting them to local level. If most regions remain without new cases on 1 July, there will be no need to extend the measure throughout the country. From this date forward, there will only be an obligation to wear masks indoors or when using public transport in regions with a higher incidence of Covid-19. We will continuously evaluate the situation in the regions and, in the event the number of cases increases somewhere, the local hygiene authorities will take the necessary measures in that locality to ensure the situation in the Czech Republic remains under control as before,” said Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch.
In regions with a worsened epidemiological situation, it will be mandatory to wear a mask over the nose and mouth when riding in a taxi, at indoor public events, at outdoor public events when within 1.5 metres of other people, in cinemas, in theatres and at other cultural and sports events, as well as in the premises of health and social facilities. Nose and mouth protection will also be mandatory for employees of body care services, such as hairdressers, as well as employees of catering facilities and other establishments who come within 1.5 metres of clients and do not have other protection, such as plexiglass barriers on the counter.
Other significant changes from the beginning of July are permission to operate catering services between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am, and the possibility of consuming refreshments in auditoriums and halls. These permissions will also not apply in the event of local outbreaks either. “We will maintain the current epidemiological measures in places with an increased incidence of people infected with Covid-19. This currently means Prague and the Karviná district, but we will see what next week will bring. We will continuously evaluate the situation and provide information well in advance about which regions will be affected by the restrictions,” said Chief Public Health Officer of the Czech Republic, Jarmila Rážová.
There will be some significant changes in the coming days. From Monday, 22 June, the capacity of mass events will increase from 500 to 1,000 people, swimming pools, zoos and other gardens may be operated without an attendance limit, and the limit of 10 m2 and mandatory distances between people at museums, galleries, castles, chateaus and similar facilities will also be abolished. This means that they can operate as normal. “However, in places with increased concentrations of people, it will still be necessary to focus on consistent hand hygiene and especially compliance with social distancing – this will however no longer be mandatory, but rather at recommendation level,” stressed Rastislav Maďar, head of the working group for managing the easing of quarantine measures at the Ministry of Health.
Another important change from Monday, 22 June, is the permitting of trade fairs and other mass events with a maximum participation of up to 5,000 people at the same time. “In the case of larger events, it is necessary to divide visitors into sectors with their own facilities (for example toilets, refreshments, entrances, etc.) with a maximum 1,000 people per sector. These sectors can also be mobile, but must be functionally separated, e.g. using portable fencing, be located in another part of the complex, or otherwise. The distance between mobile sectors must be at least four metres, while there may be no more than five sectors in one place,” said Rastislav Maďar, specifying the conditions. Furthermore, for sports stadiums, the current limit of a maximum of a quarter of the total capacity of the sector will be maintained, i.e. every second row and every second seat may be occupied.
There will also be positive changes for the spa sector. As of 22 June, the measure imposing an obligation on spa service providers to provide group treatment procedures with the participation of a maximum of 10 people will be repealed, and the rules for mass catering for spa guests will be eased.
Students can also expect changes. From 19 June, they will be able to sit within 2 metres of each other during entrance exams for universities under the condition they wear masks. There is also good news in the form of an extraordinary measure for all school pupils – they will be able to come to collect their reports at the end of the school year in person.
“Although we are going to significantly ease the blanket anti-epidemic measures, I would like to appeal to everybody to continue to avoid places with increased concentrations of people, to maintain hand hygiene, and to stay at home and seek medical attention or contact the relevant regional hygiene station if you do not feel well,” Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch concluded.