Prevention and protective equipment

How can I protect myself from infection by COVID-19?
It is important to proceed in the same way as in the case of a common viral disease, i.e. adhere to the basic rules of hygiene and use protective equipment. Another option is to boost immunity through a healthy lifestyle and vitamin intake.

How should I protect my body and strengthen my immune system?Generally, if you want to strengthen your immune system, always start by adjusting your lifestyle. Change your diet: eat anti-inflammatory foods (generally vegetables and fruits), reduce the intake of inflammatory ones (highly processed foods with excess sugar, salt, saturated fats, an excess of meat products). In addition, try to reduce stress, take time to exercise and get enough sleep. You can then supplement the necessary vitamins and minerals. 

What does protective equipment include?
It is recommended to wear a face mask or respirator, protective goggles and gloves (any textile gloves that can protect individuals from transmitting viruses).

What is the difference between a face mask and a respirator?
Face masks do not primarily protect against viruses and bacteria. The main purpose of wearing masks is to protect the environment, not the person wearing it. It is better to wear a mask than to have no protection at all. FFP3 filter class respirators, and to a certain extent also FFP2, work more effectively to protect against viral diseases. The ideal option are those with an exhalation valve.     

Who are respirators and face masks intended for?
Class 3 respirators are not necessarily needed by all healthcare professionals, only by those exposed to aerosols. These respirators are restricted to acute care, ventilated care, anesthesiology and resuscitation departments, and dentists. Class 2 respirators serve other healthcare professionals, class 1 respirators are to be used by the public, similarly to face masks. 

What is the purpose of face masks?
Face masks are designed primarily to protect the environment, so that a sick person no longer spreads the disease via droplets. Using conventional masks does not protect against COVID-19, but can prevent it from spreading further if one is already infected.

Is it mandatory to wear respiratory protective equipment?
Yes, with some exceptions. Further crisis measures were adopted at the government session on Wednesday, 18 March 2020. An obligation to wear respiratory protective equipment when moving around and staying in all places outside the home was imposed. The mask may be a classic mouthpiece, a home-made textile mask or a scarf or shawl. If we all wear a mask, we can slow down the spread of the new coronavirus infection. Just remember the simple rule: “My mask protects you; your mask protects me.”
From 25 May 2020, the mandatory wearing of face masks will be significantly eased. From this date, a face mask must be worn only in the following locations:

  • all indoor premises of buildings except for the home;
  • means of public transit;
  • all other places where there are at least two people within 2 metres of each other unless these are exclusively members of the same household.

Is it mandatory to wear respiratory protective equipment at work? 
The use of protective respiratory equipment is not mandatory for:

  • public transport drivers who are alone in a closed cabin separated from the area designated for transporting people,
  • people performing copyrighted works (e.g. theatre, dance, or musical performances) and people participating in the creation and production of audio-visual works or programs, if the defined conditions are met,
  • presenters, reporters and similar people presenting radio, television, and other programs, in a studio and without guests, and only if the defined conditions are met,
  • patients and healthcare workers, if required to provide medical care, for the necessary period of time,
  • people performing work classified by decision of the respective public health protection authority in category three or four due to the working conditions risk factor of heat stress, and also people performing work which has not yet been categorized and for which it can be anticipated that after categorisation has been performed, it will be classified in category three or four due to the working conditions risk factor of heat stress,
  • an employee moving around their office or workplace, if working at a distance of at least 2 metres from other people.

Is it mandatory to wear protective respiratory equipment in shops?
All citizens must have their mouth and nose covered in shops. It is also recommended to maintain a safe distance of at least 2 meters between persons.

Is it mandatory to wear respiratory protective equipment in public buildings? 
All citizens must have their mouths and noses covered in public buildings (such as post offices, railway stations, offices of public authorities, etc.). This will continue to fully apply even after 25 May 2020.

Should I wear respiratory protective equipment in a taxi?
Yes, likewise in other means of public transport.

Is it mandatory to wear a protective respiratory device in public transport?
All persons are obliged to cover their mouth and nose with a mask, respirator or a scarf when entering public transport vehicles.

What if I work in an office?
Use of a mask is not required for employees moving around their office or workplace, if working at a distance of at least 2 metres from other people.

What if I work alone in the office?
If you work in a closed office, and you are therefore not in contact with other persons, you can limit mask wearing. However, during any contact with co-workers it is necessary to protect them and yourself by means of protective equipment. It is also advisable to disinfect the work environment regularly.

Is there a penalty for violating the obligation to wear protective equipment in public places?
Yes, the penalty for breaching the obligation to wear protective respiratory equipment when moving around and staying in all places outside the home is up to CZK 20,000. 

Should I disinfect the home environment?
It is definitely advisable to have a clean environment at home. Hygienists recommend disinfecting surfaces such as bedside tables, bed frames, and other furniture in the home. It is also essential to always wash your hands thoroughly upon arrival. Most people, however, wash their hands incorrectly and for too short a time. See the tutorial (https://koronavirus.mzcr.cz/en/downloads/ ) for the ideal way to wash your hands.   

Do I have to disinfect all the baskets in the shops?
The disinfection of baskets, levers, handles, etc.  in retail is recommended.

Can I make my own disinfectants?
Protective equipment and disinfectants are still in short supply, so people are looking for ways to make them at home. The World Health Organization (WHO) has responded to this need and has published a manual on how to make disinfectants. 

How should I behave to reduce the risk of getting infected?
Above all, act responsibly towards yourself and your surroundings:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap or disinfectant gel
  • Also regularly wipe objects (e.g. mobile phones) with disinfectant wipes
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or sleeve
  • Use disposable tissues and then discard them
  • Avoid large groups of people and keep a safe distance (about 2 meters)
  • Eliminate contact with sick people
  • Do not travel to affected areas
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home
  • Follow current information on verified websites
  • Follow the recommendations of the relevant authorities and the Government of the Czech Republic