The Government Discussed a Proposal for the Next Phase of Loosening Anti-Epidemic Measures from 10 May

From Monday, 10 May, all the remaining retail segments and most of the services closed so far will be able to open. In other regions, pupils and students will return to schools, and it will be possible to take off the masks and respirators outdoors if only two people are on site. Proposals for changes to the extraordinary measures of the Ministry of Health were discussed by the government of Andrej Babiš at a meeting on Monday, 3 May 2021, and their final form will be approved on Thursday.

From Monday, 10 May, the current system of exemptions allowing the most important retail segments will end. All retailers will be able to open, the reduction of a range of products and markets will also end, the range of services will be significantly expanded, and cable cars will be able to start too. Restaurants will have to continue to do without customers and the same applies, with some exceptions, also to hotels and other accommodation facilities, congresses, casinos and indoor sports grounds, with the exceptions for organised sports, indoor swimming pools and wellness and other epidemiologically very risky operations.

On the same date, other groups of pupils and students will return to schools for full-time classes. Clinical and practical classes and internships in the remaining fields of education will commence at universities, lower level of six-year grammar school students and eight-year grammar school students and students in the first four years of the conservatory’s eight-year educational programme will return to secondary schools in rotary lessons in the remaining regions and, based on the current epidemic development, the government will decide on Thursday whether the return will also apply to pupils in the South Bohemian and Zlín Regions and in the Vysočina Region. The same condition applies to the return of the upper level of primary school pupils or the opening of leisure time centres. The change in the measure will also allow conducting tests, including entrance examinations, under specified conditions.

From 10 May, the government also agreed to adjust the emergency measure ordering the wearing of respiratory protective equipment. It will no longer be mandatory to wear outdoor protection where it will be possible to keep the maximum number of two people on less than two meters. An exception to this rule will then apply to the time strictly necessary for the consumption of food and beverages outside catering establishments.

With the consent of the government, partial changes in the measure restricting the operation of schools and school facilities will take place as of Tuesday, 4 May. It will cover seven regions in which less stringent rules apply to school attendance today than in the rest of the country – the Karlovy Vary, Hradec Králové, Liberec, Pardubice, Plzeň and Central Bohemia Regions and the capital city of Prague. From tomorrow, children in these regions will be able to attend group consultations or classes indoors or outdoors at basic art schools and leisure time centres. These activities will be limited by the number of children in the group and linked to taking the Covid-19 test. From Monday, 10 May, they should be possible in the rest of the republic.

The government also approved a proposal to ensure that the members of diplomatic missions, consular offices and agencies of international organisations and members of their families, accredited in the Czech Republic, are vaccinated against Covid-19. Diplomats, their families or, for example, employees of the European Agency for Global Navigation Satellite Systems who live in the Czech Republic for a long time will be able to apply for vaccinations in the Czech Republic, even though they do not pay for health insurance here or are not entitled to health services under EU regulations. The vaccine will be paid for by the Czech state, but these people will not have priority rights in the vaccination system. It is a reciprocal step, because Czech diplomats and their families are vaccinated abroad in the same way.

As part of the current administration, the government also discussed two proposals to enter proceedings before the Constitutional Court or a parliamentary amendment proposal to the Act on the Prison Service and Judicial Guard of the Czech Republic to embody the Medical Service of the Prison Service as a new organisational unit of the Czech Prison Service to make the prison health system more efficient. The government agreed to this proposal. The Cabinet also approved an Agreement between the Czech and German Governments on Navigation on the Elbe Waterway, which is to ensure and maintain the navigability of the Elbe in certain parameters from Pardubice to Hamburg.