On Friday, December 18, the Czech Republic will once again return to level 4 of the PES system, which means that restrictions will be tightened. This was decided by the House of Commons on December 14; shortly after the restrictions were initially released. Despite that, stores will remain open. Some politicians and experts are worried that Czechs will actually have to spend this Christmas on level 5 of the PES system.
Back on Level 4 of the PES System
From December 18, some of the coronavirus restrictions will be tightened in accordance with the PES system. This will mostly affect bars, restaurants, and hotels which will have to close. It will only be possible to sell food through serving hatches, albeit only until 11:00 PM. Selling beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, will be prohibited altogether. Related to this, consuming alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in public will be banned as well.
Stores will, however, remain open despite the countermeasures tightening. They can be open on Sundays as well but will have to close on Christmas and public holidays. Besides that, there can still be only one person per 15 square metres present at the store at one time.
As for outdoor markets, selling carps and Christmas trees is allowed. Food can also be sold at outdoor markets, but it is prohibited to consume it on the spot. In general, consuming anything outdoors is not permitted.
Hairdressers, beauty services, and solariums will remain open unless they are a part of closed establishments, such as swimming pools, fitness or wellness centres which, obviously, have to close on December 18.
Other restrictions include limits on gatherings and freedom of movement. People will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six people and between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM, a night curfew will be in place. Up to 20 people will be allowed to attend weddings or funerals, and churches can be filled only up to 20% of their capacity. Visiting social facilities (such as retirement homes) will be possible but visitors will have to wear a respirator and get tested prior to their visit.
As for culture, museums, galleries, exhibitions, fairs or castles must be closed and the same applies to zoos and botanical gardens. Similarly to that, indoor sports grounds for amateur sports will be closed as well, but groups of up to six people can train outdoors. At the same time, ski areas can be opened.
Another Possible Extension of the State of Emergency
On December 10, the House of Commons approved another extension of the state of emergency. Yet Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš already announced that another extension will be proposed on December 22; one day before the current state of emergency is supposed to be over. Originally the government proposed the state of emergency to be extended until January 11 but this proposal did not pass.
Make sure to also pay attention to our Advent Calendar – series of articles about celebrating Christmas in the Czech Republic.
Source of the photo: Pexels.com