Havlíček: Shops To Open From May 10th, Pub/Restaurant Gardens From May 17th

Trade and Industry Minister Karel Havlíček announced a provisional timetable for the next stages of reopening on Thursday evening. This will see the remaining shops open on May 10th, followed by outside areas of pubs and restaurants from May 17th. Photo Credit: BD.

Czech Rep., Apr. 29 (BD) – Trade and Industry Minister Karel Havlíček (ANO) has announced that the remaining closed retailers will reopen on May 10th, one week later than previously announced. This will be followed on May 17th by the reopening of outside areas of pubs and restaurants, as well as hotels and accommodation providers, which will be allowed up to 25% capacity of guests. All timetables are provisional and depend on continuing downward trends in the number of new cases of coronavirus and hospitalisations.

The reopening of shops will take place with strict hygiene measures remaining in place, including the ratio of one customer per 15 sq.m., and mandatory respirators and two-metre distancing. Retailers’ associations have responded with anger to the one-week delay on reopening. Tomáš Prouza, President of the Czech Confederation of Trade and Tourism, accused the government of “making decisions based on Facebook”. Václav Hrbek, founder of the Alpine Pro chain, announced that his business would be opening on May 3rd nonetheless. 

However, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said that the delay is to ensure that the epidemiological figures reach the government’s previously-stated goal of fewer than 100 new cases per 100,000 over seven days. The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Czech Republic is currently 146 per 100,000 people. 

The Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants also announced that it would lodge a complaint at the Supreme Administrative Court to overturn the “discriminatory” measures. The association is particularly angry at the 25% limit on hotel capacity.

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