Most stores and services in the Czech Republic will have to close and people’s freedom of movement will be restricted from Thursday, October 22. This was announced on Wednesday, October 21 at a press conference, the same day the previously announced coronavirus countermeasures came into effect. This happened not too long after the Minister of Health had claimed that the government would wait for a week or two before introducing more restrictions.
The Upcoming Lockdown
On October 21, the Czech government unexpectedly announced that a lockdown would be introduced the following day, on Thursday, October 22, at 6:00 AM. The Health Minister explained this decision by saying that hospitals in the Czech Republic are already on the verge of collapse.
Almost all retail stores and stores in shopping centres will have to close, the same applies to services.
The only exceptions from this rule are, for example:
- Grocery stores,
- Fuel stores,
- Pet stores and feed stores,
- Stores selling glasses, contact lenses and related goods,
- Newspaper and magazine stores,
- Laundries and dry cleaning services,
- Road vehicle service and repair shops,
- Stores selling spare parts for vehicles and production machines,
- Stores selling gardening supplies, including seeds and seedlings,
- Ticket stores,
- Flower shops,
- Textile material and haberdashery stores,
- Electronics stores,
- Real estate services and services providing tax consulting services,
- Locksmith’s shops,
- Repair and maintenance services,
- Funeral services,
- Car wash services,
- Hardware stores.
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Wholesale stores can remain open as well. Operating hours of offices will be cut to five hours, two days per week.
The government also imposed new restrictions on gatherings. Meetings and gatherings may be attended by a maximum of 100 participants, in groups of up to 20 participants and maintaining a spacing of at least 2 meters.
The freedom of movement will be restricted as well – people will be only allowed to travel to and from work, to doctors, do their grocery shopping, or visit their relatives in case they need help. Exceptions also apply to travels to weddings, funerals and travelling abroad. Trips to nature are also allowed but only in couples, the only exception applies to members of the same family.
The Minister of Health also recommended employers to allow their employees to work from home as much as possible so the contact between people would be limited which should supposedly reduce the risk of infection. At the same time, he encouraged people to spend some time in nature to boost their immune system.
The Czech Republic should supposedly remain under lockdown until November 3.
Where Most People Got Infected
The Institute of Health Information and Statistics recently revealed their data regarding the places where most people got infected with COVID-19, though IHIS spokesman Josef Tuček later said that the institute sent the document by an accident – according to him the data has a reduced informative value.
According to this “leaked” data, most of those people who recently became infected got infected in their workplace (32 percent), from their relatives (23.5 percent), or during normal (further unspecified) activities (14.4 percent). About 19 percent of the infected people don’t know where and how they got infected. The rest of these people were infected, for example, at schools, abroad, or from COVID-19 clusters.
Several Politicians Got Infected
Among the people infected with coronavirus, there are also some of the influential political figures. The first to get infected was the Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman who was probably the person who infected the adviser to Czech President Martin Nejedlý. The Minister of Culture is infected as well and the last politician recently tested positive for COVID-19 is the Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček. He is now working from home.
Let us know and get your residence permit as soon as possible to be safe in the future in case the pandemic indeed returns in full force. Having a residence permit is the best way of making sure you’ll be able to return to the Czech Republic even if the borders are closed again.
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Sources of the information: Novinky.cz article I, article II, article III, article IV and article V
Source of the image: Pixabay.com