The Czech Republic ramps up efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus by banning meetings of more than two people outside the same household and mandating the closure of nonessential businesses, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

The news is reported by Česká Televize.

The Czech Republic’s government decided to impose a two-week quarantine on 16 March with the exception of travel to work, to health facilities, and a few other exceptions.

The Ministry of Health has recently extended the measure, until April 1.

The draconian measures which will change every aspect of Czechs lives included:

  • All gatherings of more than two people in public were forbidden – meaning a ban on all social events, including weddings and baptisms
  • Communal play and exercise areas inside parks will also be shut down, but not parks themselves
  • Places of worship such as churches and mosques must also shut, except to host for funerals

When in public, people should stand at least 2 meters apart.

Germany took the same measure three days ago when Merkel announced that “spending time in public space is only permitted on your own, with another person who does not live in the household or with members of your own household. When in public, people should stand at least 1.5 meters apart.”

After Italy, Spain, and Austria, the Czech Republic was the fourth European country to restrict people’s movements due to coronavirus.

As of 6pm on Wednesday, there were 1,654 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection in the Czech Republic. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch has said that there are 19 people in serious condition and on ventilation machines.

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