On Thursday, December 3 more of the COVID-19 restrictions will be released in accordance with the PES system as decided by the Czech government on Sunday, November 29. Possibly the biggest changes relate to opening stores and restaurants, though the limit on the number of people at stores remains in place. At the same time, the Minister of Health suggested another extension of the state of emergency.
Loosening of Restrictions
The Government decided to loosen more coronavirus restrictions from December 3 since fewer people are getting infected with COVID-19 and the PES score thus dropped to level 3. This means that stores, shopping malls and restaurants can reopen again. Now they can be also open on Sundays. Another news is that traditional Christmas markets are allowed to take place too.
Things, however, aren’t getting back to normal yet since some restrictions concerning stores, shopping malls and restaurants still remain in effect. For example, the number of customers at stores and shopping malls is still limited to one person per 15 square metres and people are obliged to stay at least two metres apart. On the other hand, children under 15 years of age are not included in the number of customers allowed to be present at stores at the same time.
As for restaurants and other catering facilities, they can now be open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. However, the capacity of restaurants can be filled only up to 50 percent, and only sitting customers can be served.
Another significant change is that the night curfew will be lifted on Thursday and up to 50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors. The obligation to wear face masks indoors and some public areas remains in effect.
On Thursday, museums and galleries will be allowed to partially reopen, however, only one quarter of their capacity can be filled. Libraries can reopen as well but even in this case, only one person per 15 square metres will be allowed to be present. According to the PES system, some historical sites could be allowed to reopen as well, but only groups of up to 10 visitors would be allowed to enter. Cinemas and theatres remain closed.
Fitness centres and gyms can be open too, only one person per 15 square metres will be allowed to be present there though. The same rule of one person per 15 square metres applies to church services.
Extension of the State of Emergency
The Minister of Health, Jan Blatný, also recently stated that another extension of the state of emergency will be proposed. The current state of emergency will be in place until December 12 but if another extension is approved, it may remain in effect at least until the end of the year. According to the Health Minister the Czech Republic will spend this Christmas in lockdown; probably on the current level 3 of the PES system.
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.