The Czech government introduced some new changes regarding the planned respiratory protection. Originally, the new measure ordering people to wear either two face masks or one respirator was supposed to come into effect at midnight between February 22 and February 23. However, after the government’s Monday meeting it will come into place on Thursday, February 25.
Changes to the Original Measure
From Thursday, February 25, people will be required to wear either one respirator (FFP2 or KN95 type) or two face masks in certain places. This measure was introduced because of the British COVID-19 mutation and the ever-increasing number of new cases. The change was announced after the government’s meeting on Monday, February 22, just hours before it was supposed to come into effect originally.
Those places where this form of protection will be mandatory are as follows:
- At stores;
- At service establishments;
- At health care facilities where outpatient care is provided;
- In social services facilities, such as weekly hospitals, homes for the disabled, homes for the elderly and homes with special regimes, and other facilities providing social services;
- At international airports;
- On public transport;
- At public transport stops;
- In vehicles, unless there are only persons from one household using the vehicle.
The obligation does not apply to children between 2 and 15 years of age, since, according to the Minister of Health, it is not possible to acquire a respirator in a suitable size. They must, however, wear at least a surgical face mask in those places, too. They must not have home-made respiratory protection.
People are completely exempt from this measure, for example, in the following circumstances:
- Children below the age of two;
- Children in kindergartens and preschool groups, children’s home or boarding schools;
- Pupils, students and pedagogical staff during educational activities, the nature of which does not allow the wearing of a protective equipment;
- People with intellectual disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and cognitive impairment;
- Patients if they are hospitalized in inpatient health care facilities or in necessary cases;
- Persons driving a public transport vehicle when they are not in direct contact with the passenger at check-in;
- People lecturing or artists during the act of performing an art piece (eg a theatrical, dance or musical performance);
- Moderators, editors and other persons appearing in radio, television and other programs;
- Marrying couples at a wedding ceremony (including registered partnership ceremonies);
- People working in hot conditions;
- Sportsmen in certain situations;
- The whole list is available in Czech on the Ministry of Health’s website.
More Changes Coming in March
The Minister of Health also announced that wearing appropriate respiratory protection will be mandatory everywhere from the beginning of March. People will be obligated to wear at least one face mask in the following places:
- In all interiors of buildings, outside of the place of residence or place of accommodation (e.g. hotel room);
- In all other public places where at least two persons less than two meters apart are present at the same time, unless they are members of the same household;
Exceptions will include, for example, children under two years of age, children in kindergarten or children in children’s groups. Until the end of the month, scarfs or homemade face masks will be tolerated for strolls around the town.
Are you curious about what you need to be aware of as a long term expat in the Czech Republic? Foreigners’ Head of PR & Marketing, Lucie Pátková, will discuss this and many other topics with Kenny Phipps from Prague Life on Clubhouse. So make sure not to miss anything!