The Czech Republic reported 1,382 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest single-day tally to date, extending a renewed spike in infections that has led authorities to impose tighter face mask requirements.
The daily rise announced by the Health Ministry brought the total number of the central European country’s infections to 32,413.
The Czech government ordered the wearing of face masks inside buildings across the country from Thursday, September 9.
“We agreed with experts that we will introduce the obligation to wear a face mask inside buildings in the entire Czech Republic,” he said.
The government has argued that hospitalizations, which rose to 249 as of Thursday, were still below spring numbers, and daily deaths have oscillated between 0 and 4.
Read: Prague Reintroduces Public Transport Protection Measures
But critics have said the fast buildup of new cases – Thursday’s number compared with 796 cases a week ago and 483 cases two weeks ago – would show up in hospital admissions later given the incubation period of the virus and the likely progression of more serious cases.
The uptick in recent infections led Germany to announce on Wednesday it would require travelers from Prague to provide a negative COVID-19 test or observe a two-quarantine period upon entry.
Read: Germany Issues Travel Warning for Prague
From today, September 11, front doors on Prague buses and trams will remain closed to create a safe distance for drivers.
Trams and buses will stop at all stops without exception. As for on-demand (na znamení) stops, passengers do not need to press the button; air-conditioning and air circulation will not be used in buses and trams.