Six “packages” that should gradually loosen the anti-epidemic restrictions in the Czech Republic have been unveiled on Thursday.
According to the Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (for ANO), the key factor for activating a package will be the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. The next one will need a value of 100 per 100,000 people. Right now, Czechia is at 177.
The government will specify rules for each package on a Monday and on Thursday, it will assess if the epidemic situation is favourable. The Minister of Health Petr Arenberger (for ANO) added that this did not necessarily mean that the measures will be relaxed every week.
The first package has already been activated. That one involved opening kid’s clothing and footwear stores, stationery shops or outdoor parts of zoos. Package number two should follow on Monday, May 3. Services concerning body care – such as hairdressers or pedicures – will be allowed to open, as well as animal care or spa health care. If the nationwide number of infected people drops under 100 per 100,000, all shops and outdoor markets will also start operating. And in regions below this threshold, galleries, museums or monuments will also open – while limiting visitors.
In the third phase, other services could open and there could be 30 people at outdoor wedding and funerals. To implement the fourth package, there should be less than 75 newly infected per 100,000. Then, restaurants could start seating people outside and hotels accommodating people – both with limited capacities. Outdoor theatres and concerts could also start operating. With a negative test, people could start using indoor sports grounds.
The fifth phase needs less than 50 infected per 100,000 inhabitants. Under this condition, swimming pools, saunas and wellness facilities could open, as well as cinemas – all with a negative test and other restrictions. At weddings and funerals, there could be up to 100 people inside and a maximum of 250 outside. When the number of newly infected falls below 25 per 100,000, it will be time for package number six. So far, the cabinet has stated that the use of face masks and other measures will be specified later.
At the same time, however, the Supreme Administrative Court has annulled the entire extraordinary measure of the Ministry of Health that, among other things, currently restricts the operation of shops, services or gatherings of people. The intervention will enter into force on the fourth day after the decision. This gives the Ministry time to meet the requirements of the court – if not, the measures will cease to apply. The Ministry intends to issue an amended version of the restrictions.