The Czech Ministry of Health decided to reintroduce wearing face masks in all indoor spaces. They react to the fact that the number of people infected with coronavirus is growing with worrying speed in the Czech Republic. Since the situation is serious in the whole country, this will apply nationwide and not only in the worst-hit districts and cities such as Prague or the Hodonín district.
Mandatory Face Masks
Due to the epidemiological situation getting worse rapidly across the country, the Minister of Health announced wearing face masks will be made mandatory in all indoor spaces (+ offices and other workplaces that don’t enable social distancing) nationwide as of Thursday, September 10. So far, it was mandatory to wear a face mask only on public transport, in public spaces of offices and in social and medical facilities.
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UPDATED ON SEPTEMBER 10: Later on September 9 the Czech government also released the list of exceptions. Wearing face masks therefore won’t be mandatory in the following cases:
- Children up to two years of age;
- Children and pedagogical staff in kindergarten and children and carers in a children’s group;
- Persons in educational institutions providing one-year foreign language courses with full-time tuition in classroom education;
- In dormitories;
- Some types of schools;
- Schools established by the Ministry of Justice;
- Staff and children in facilities for children requiring assistance;
- People with intellectual disorder, autism, or cognitive impairment;
- Patients if they are hospitalized in inpatient health care facilities and in cases where it is necessary for the provision of health services;
- Healthcare professionals for as long as is strictly necessary for the provision of health services;
- Users of social services in social services facilities, which are weekly hospitals, homes for the disabled, homes for the elderly, and homes working in a specific regime;
- If decided by health or social service provider;
- Workplaces that enable social distancing;
- Public transport drivers if they are not in contact with their passengers;
- During court proceedings;
- Persons performing an author’s work (for example theatrical, dance or musical performances), lecturers and performers in the creation and production of an audiovisual work or program;
- Moderators, editors and other persons appearing in radio, television and other programs;
- Persons performing employment for which physical exertion cannot be avoided;
- People in restaurants while consuming food or drink;
- On public transport while consuming food or drink;
- Couples during their marriage ceremony and other persons present at the ceremony;
- Persons for the time strictly necessary to take the married couples portrait photographs;
- Athletes or trainers during training, exercise, wrestling, competition, etc.;
- Persons in indoor artificial swimming pools;
On the other hand, wearing face mask will be mandatory even in corridors of apartment buildings.
Until now, tighter rules regarding face masks only applied to Prague and a few other regions, where the epidemiological situation was worse than in the rest of the country. In total, there are currently 14 districts (+ the city of Prague) where the situation is particularly serious.
For now, no other decrees are being planned by the Ministry of Health, however, Germany and Belgium placed Prague on their list of epidemiologically unsafe countries. Other EU countries are considering doing the same thing as reported by a Czech Member of the European Parliament Tomáš Zdechovský. In addition to this, Belgium also marked the rest of the Czech Republic orange on its own “coronavirus traffic light map”.
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The Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also recently announced a new project that would help disburden the public health authority which is currently overloaded. If this project is introduced, infected people themselves will trace the people they have been in contact with. Hygienists would therefore trace only the contacts of people with serious symptoms of the COVID-19. No details have been released so far, though.
There is also a chance wearing face masks will be made mandatory everywhere in Prague as of Monday, September 14. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but more information should be reportedly announced on Thursday, September 10.
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 information: Novinky.cz article I, article II, article III and article IV, SeznamZprávy.cz article I and article II
Source of the photos: Pexels.com