Government Announces Schedule For Gradual Lifting of Emergency Measures
The Czech Republic’s shops and services will reopen in five stages, dependent on continued promising data about the spread of the coronavirus. The final stage, hopefully bringing the country back to normal, will be implemented on June 8th.
Shops and services
Czech Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek announced the government’s timeframe to reopen the Czech Republic for business at a press conference this evening, which followed a government meeting this afternoon. The announcement comes following several days of positive statistics in the country related to the outbreak, with fewer cases, fewer deaths, and a falling “reproduction number” – the all-important figure that tells us how fast and widely the virus is spreading through the population.
The opening will be implemented in five stages:
- April 20th: Farmers’ markets, skilled craft workshops, car dealerships [corrected], professional training areas and weddings with up to ten people will be allowed.
- April 27th: Small shops up to 200 square meters will be allowed to open (except those in shopping centers above over 5,000 square meters).
- May 11th: Shops up to 1,000 square meters will be allowed to open, as well as driving schools, fitness centers, and gyms.
- May 25th: Restaurants, pubs, and cafés will be allowed to open, with service from windows or in gardens. In addition, hairdressers, beauty services, museums, zoos, and galleries will be allowed to open.
- June 8th: Shopping centers over 5,000 square meters will be allowed to open, along with tattoo parlours, theaters, castles, chateaux, and any other public business or service. Restaurants will be able to open without restriction, and weddings will no longer be subject to attendance limits, though other public events will be limited to 50 people. Sporting events can take place after this date, but without spectators.
Schools will also open gradually. University entrance exams are scheduled for June, and if the development of the disease permits, schools will open for school leavers on May 11th, and younger schoolchildren (including kindergartens) on May 25th.
Class sizes will be limited to 15, and children will remain in the same groups for all classes. The wearing of masks will be at the discretion of the teacher in classrooms, and pupils will be obliged to wear them in the school’s shared spaces.
The Ministry of Education expects the first school-leaving examinations after June 1st. Admission exams for secondary schools will also take place in June, and for the last month of the school year, pupils at the second level of primary schools and secondary school students outside the final year can return to school for classes or consultations.