The Czech government on Monday evening decided to shorten the opening hours of restaurants, bars, and dispensing windows in response to the increasing COVID-19 cases.
As iDNES.cz reports, starting from Wednesday, December 9th, restaurants, bars, and dispensing windows throughout the country must close at 8 p.m, said Health Minister Jan Blatný.
However, there are no plans to tighten measures in the coming days, he added. On Monday, the government decided to extend the state of emergency for another 30 days.
According to the minister, the dispensing windows should be closed along with the restaurant. “Even though the ban on sales and consumption was in place, some restaurants sold alcohol and people consumed it,” the minister explained.
Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček does not expect the cabinet to further tighten measures against the spread of coronavirus. “If the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, the government would have just to adjust the measures.”
Hamáček added that Thursday’s loosening has so far been too short to affect the epidemic’s statistics. “If the numbers are growing, it’s a reaction to something that happened 10 or 14 days ago,” he said.
Since last Thursday, when shops and restaurants reopened, the PES risk score has increased from 57 to 64, putting the country back on the fourth level of the government’s coronavirus emergency system.
The Czech Republic reported 1,113 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 3,312 cases on Saturday, both days showing a rise from the previous weekend after several weeks of a steady drop.
In total, 546,833 cases have been detected since the pandemic started. There were 59,837 active cases currently. The number of hospitalised patients was 4,179, below a peak of more than 8,000 in early November. Deaths have climbed to 8,902.