Ministry of Health to Tighten Rules for Holding Mass Indoor Events with Standing Room Only

The Ministry of Health is introducing a new measure in relation to the current epidemiological situation. From 6.00 p.m. on Friday, 18 September, mass indoor events with participation by more than 10 people at any one time will only be permitted if each person attending the event has a designated seat, this being with the exception of exhibitions, trade fairs and other similar events. It will therefore only be possible to sell tickets for mass indoor events for specific seats.

“In view of the rapid increase in the number of new cases of the Covid-19 infection during the past week, we have decided together with the epidemiologists to adopt another measure to reduce social contact in high-risk establishments and at the same time not restrict cultural and sporting life. We will continue to monitor the situation constantly and will assess it again next week. At this moment in time, our priority is to stop the incipient exponential growth in the number of positive cases. I cannot however rule out the need for further measures,” said Health Minister Adam Vojtěch.

The measure relates not only to organised events, but also establishments such as restaurants, bars and clubs. The operator can now not allow more customers into the indoor premises of a catering facility than the number of seats which are available for customers inside. “The point of the measure is to restrict close contact between people standing in bars, clubs or restaurants. The allocation of a seat to every person attending an event means the establishment of a certain distance from others. This does not, however, mean that people cannot for example dance on the premises. People who have been allocated a seat can move around the establishment normally. Thus, it will still, for example, be possible to hold balls, dances and other events. Each person attending such an event must, however, have a designated seat,” saidProfessor Roman Chlíbek, Head of the Epidemiological Group attached to the Ministry of Health, providing further details.

The rules for use of face masks at indoor catering establishments are specified in more detail. The only time customers do not need to wear a face mask is while they are consuming food and meals, including drinks, if they are sitting at a table. This means that the customer can only take off their face mask when sitting on a chair, bench or bar stool at a table or at the bar etc. and consuming food or drinks. This exception cannot for example be used when standing at the bar or moving around the establishment.

The rule still applies that premises where mass indoor events are held must be divided into organisationally partitioned sectors and, other than that, the maximum capacity in one sector is 500 persons. Each sector must have a separate entrance from outdoors or the organisers are obliged to regulate access to and from the sectors in intervals so as to prevent undesirable congregations of people.