Official: Shops, Restaurants and Services to Reopen on December 3rd

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The Czech Republic will move down one notch to level 3 on its 5-level risk scale, which means all shops and restaurants can open but must limit customer numbers to allow for social distancing.

From Thursday, December 3, all shops, restaurants, and services will reopen if they comply with the rule of 15 square meters per customer, the minister of health, Jan Blatný, said on Sunday morning.

“The shops will also open on Sundays,” Blatný added. A night-time curfew will be lifted and limited sports activities can resume.

The restaurants will be able to open from 6 am to 10 pm. A maximum of four people can sit at one table and restaurants will only be allowed to fill 50 percent of their capacity. Getting a drink while standing will not be permitted.

The government was aware that relaxing the restrictions may slow the improvement in case numbers, but plans to counter this with wider antigen testing, he said.

“The shorter the period stores are open before Christmas, the higher the concentration of people would be in shops,” he told a news conference.

Hairdressers and barbers will not need to wear face shields, but just a regular face mask. “There is no evidence that face shields/visors are an effective source control for either larger droplets or small aerosols.”

Moreover, the government “still recommends not holding Christmas markets, but we do not forbid them either,” said Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček. However, it will not be possible to consume on the spot but drink somewhere “along the way.”

Museums and galleries will be able to reopen as well, with one-quarter of their total capacity.

Groups of up to 50 people may gather outside and 10 inside, from a maximum of 6 anywhere at the moment.

Fitness centers and gyms need to respect the same rule as in the shops – one person per fifteen square meters. “Group fitness lessons are allowed for 9 people plus the instructor,” said Havlíček. Everyone needs to wear a face mask indoors.  The exception will be only for professional athletes who are regularly tested.

The opening of ski resorts will be discussed in a second phase. “We are preparing a manual on how queues should be organized at ski lifts or rentals. We are monitoring the situation with other European countries,” added Havlíček.

The Czech Rep. reported 2,667 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. In total, 518,649 cases have been detected since the pandemic started.

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