Prague, Nov 29 (efe-epa).- Bars, restaurants, shops and leisure spaces are due to reopen in the Czech Republic in the coming week as part of a gradual easing of a draconian shutdown enforced to curb a vicious second wave of Covid-19, the health minister said Sunday.
Jan Blatný’s announcement comes after the central European nation, one of the worst-hit by the second wave of coronavirus that swept across the continent, logged a decrease in infection rates.
Czech health authorities said that there was a cumulative incidence rate of 567 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which ranks it mid-table in the European Union. The fatality rate averages at 18,7 per 100,000, the third-highest in the bloc, according to the EU’s center for disease control.
Under the five-tier alert system in the Czech Republic, the country’s epidemiological situation technically allows it to move from level four to three from Monday.
However, the government has opted to err on the side of caution and has postponed the reopening of restaurants, bars and social spaces until Thursday. There will be limits to how many people can be in a shared space at any given time to maximize social distancing.
Bars and restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, with a maximum of four people per table. They will have to close by 10 pm.
Tight restrictions on mobility, which currently permit only essential trips outside the household, will be lifted at the same time although a nighttime curfew will remain in place.
The Czech Republic avoided the worst of the first wave of Covid-19 EFE-EPA