When Restaurants Will Reopen, Customers Need to Keep a Safe ‘Social Distance’

The new coronavirus has brought Czech life to a near standstill, closing businesses, canceling large gatherings, and keeping people at home. All of those people must surely be wondering: When will things return to normal?

The answer is simple, if not exactly satisfying: when enough of the population—possibly 60 or 80 percent of people—is resistant to COVID-19 to stifle the disease’s spread from person to person. That is the end goal, although no one knows exactly how long it will take to get there.

Meanwhile, the Czech government decided that when restaurants and bars will open again its doors to the public, visitors have to maintain a social distance. This was announced on Tuesday by Deputy Minister of Health Roman Prymula.

According to him, at the moment no one can tell the exact date for lifting restrictions on restaurants. However, he suggested that the end of April could be a very realistic deadline.

Everyone – for some more time, probably one month – will be required to keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters between themselves and other people.

Degrees of normalcy will likely be won back in before summer. Czechs might get restaurants but no music festivals, offices but no crowded public spaces, bars with spaced-out seating.

What’s happening in China

Officials are relaxing restrictions very slowly and methodically. Many restaurants at first reopened with shortened hours and for a limited number of customers; now, doors are open to all.

Primary and secondary schools in several provinces have reopened, but only in communities free of the disease, and schools must check students’ temperatures and watch for symptoms. Universities, where students from around the country mix, remain closed, with classes taught online.

Events that draw crowds are still banned or discouraged. Live music venues and gyms in many cities remain closed. There are temperature checks at subway entrances and factory gates.

A number of local governments had allowed cinemas to reopen, but last week the national government decided it was too early and closed all theaters for the time being. People keep their distance in public and at work. Millions continue to work from home.


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