“State of Emergency Ends on May 17. Face Masks Could be Mandatory Only in Closed Public Spaces,” Says Babiš

Prague Morning

The state of emergency in the Czech Republic is likely to end on May 17, as the government will not request its further extension, said PM Andrej Babiš in an interview with Prima Television on Sunday.

On Monday, the government will discuss further changes in the wearing of face masks. According to the Minister of the Interior, Jan Hamáček, they could be obligatory only in closed public spaces, such as shops, offices, or public transport.

“It’s important to understand that the virus will still be here and we can tighten the measures again,” stated Hamáček.

According to the Prime Minister, the Czech Republic has managed to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the COVID-19 disease. “We were the first country to suspend flights to Italy and other countries and introduce the mandatory wearing of face masks. Moreover, we are the second country that is relaxing emergency measures,” Babiš pointed out.

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According to Hamáček and Babiš, face masks could be mandatory only indoors: “It is necessary to discuss how to proceed with the face masks. They could be mandatory indoors, ie in shops, cinemas, and public transport. Outdoor, the government will only recommend continuing wearing them,” Hamáček added.

From Monday, May 11, all beauty services will be able to reopen, customers in restaurants will have to sit at least 1.5 meters from other tables, but they won’t have to wear facemasks while eating and drinking.

Cinemas and theaters can reopen on May 11 as well. Audiences attending movie screenings and theater performances will be limited to 100 people.

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The Czech Republic had 8,095 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection by Sunday morning. So far 4,448 people have recovered and 276 people have died.

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