Overview: New State of Emergency Measures Limit Indoor Events to 10 for 14 Days; Gyms and Swimming Pools Stay Open

An overview of the latest anti-coronavirus measures, which will take effect on Monday, October 5th. The new measures, announced on Wednesday by the Health Minister Roman Prymula, will be valid for 14 days. Prymula added that the measures will be less strict than in the spring. Photo: Health Minister Roman Prymula speaking at the Czech Parliament today. Credit: PS CR.

Czech Rep., Sep 30 (BD) – A state of emergency will be declared in the Czech Republic from midnight on Monday, October 5th for 30 days, as approved by the Czech government at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday.

According to Health Minister Roman Prymula, the state of emergency will enable the government to react more quickly to the current situation when implementing new measures and distributing medical equipment. 

The goal of the new measures is to reduce the reproduction number below 1, from the current 1.24.

New Limits on Social Gatherings

From October 5th to October 18th, the Health Ministry is banning public indoor events for more than 10 people, and outdoor events for more than 20 people. Exceptions will include court proceedings, meetings of municipal councils and teams in workplaces.

Hobby and sports activities will be limited to 20 people. Swimming pools, water parks and gyms will stay open, as these are not classified as “mass events”.

A maximum of six people can sit together at one table in a restaurant. Customers must maintain a safe distance of at least 1.5 metres from other customers. The closure of catering establishments to the public between 10pm and 6am remains in place, and the number of customers cannot exceed the number of seats in the establishment.

From October 19th, there will also be a new limit of 30 people for weddings and funerals. The date was selected to allow enough time to reorganize already-planned weddings.

Opera, musicals, and other performances that involve singing, including rehearsals, have been prohibited for the same period. Spiritual masses can be held without singing if the limit of 100 people is not exceeded.

Theaters and cinemas can remain open without restrictions; the number of spectators in such events where there is no singing will be limited to 500 people, who must have designated seats and keep safe distances of 2 meters. Refreshment breaks will be prohibited.

The number of people at sporting events will be limited to 130 people. “Implementation teams, security staff, TV staff and so on will fit within the limit,” said Prymula. Sporting events will take place without spectators.

There are no new measures applied to shops.

Schools Watch “Traffic Light” System Closely

Education Minister Robert Plaga announced some new measures for schools. Secondary, higher vocational and art schools in districts marked orange or red on the Ministry of Health’s coronavirus risk map will switch to distance learning for two weeks.

Map: Degrees of alert and related measures regarding the current epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic from September 16-22 (latest update). Source: Ministry of Health.

The Minister of Health initially indicated a possible exception for students in the first years of secondary schools, but in the end the exception will not apply.

Music lessons for children in the lower ages of primary school (until 11) will take place without singing. Students in the upper years of primary school will not be allowed to sing, and their PE lessons should take place outdoors. 

School groups and kindergartens will remain in operation.

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