Facemasks Required In All Public Buildings Across The Czech Republic From Thursday, Including Workplaces
Exceptions include school classrooms, and workplaces where staff are able to maintain distances of two metres. Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced that from now on, those testing positive for Covid-19 would be asked to “self-trace” their contacts. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.
Czech Rep., Sep 9 (BD) – From Thursday, September 10th, facemasks will be required in all non-residential buildings across the Czech Republic, including workplaces, announced Health Minister Adam Vojtech at a video conference on Wednesday afternoon. Exceptions include school classrooms, and workplaces where staff are able to maintain distances of two metres. Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced that from now on, those testing positive for Covid-19 would be asked to “self-trace” their contacts.
Facemasks to Become Compulsory In All Buildings
“Due to the deteriorating epidemiological situation, this morning I convened an extraordinary meeting of the Smart Quarantine Central Management Team. I agreed with the experts that from tomorrow we will introduce the mandatory wearing of facemasks in all buildings throughout the Czech Republic. Masks are a very effective basic preventive measure,” said Vojtech. He called on citizens to take responsibility for following hygiene rules, and invoked the so-called ‘3R’ rule: Ruce, roušky, rozestupy (“hands, masks, distancing”). “Each of us can contribute to managing this epidemic with a responsible approach,” he added.
The masks will be required inside all buildings except places of residence or accommodation (such as hotel rooms). Staff in offices and other workplaces will have to wear masks, unless they are able to maintain distances of at least two metres, in which case masks do not have to be worn. In schools and universities, the requirement will apply to common areas only, such as corridors and bathrooms, and not teaching areas. Other previous exceptions, for small children, competing athletes, marrying couples, and others, will still apply (full list here).
Chief Hygienist Jarmila Rážová, currently herself in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, urged citizens to follow the new rules: “In response to the high daily increases in new cases, we are requiring masks to be worn in the interiors of buildings, where people are in an enclosed space, distances are often not observed, and the infection is thus easier to spread. We expect the number of new cases to continue to grow. At today’s meeting, all experts agreed that it is necessary to react quickly and introduce drapes from tomorrow. I also want to ask all citizens for responsibility and compliance with hygiene rules. And if you experience symptoms of respiratory illness, stay home and contact your doctor by phone.”
Positive Cases To Be Asked To “Self-Trace”
Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced that from now on, people testing positive for coronavirus infection would be asked to “self-trace”, to assist Regional Hygiene Offices.
“A self-tracing system is being prepared, where people who receive a message from the laboratory that they are positive would fill in a form with their recent contacts in a web application, and it will then be easier for hygiene officers,” said Babis.
Vojtěch told journalists on Wednesday afternoon that the pilot version of the scheme should be finished by the end of next week, but did not say when it would go live. He said it would be for those testing positive to remember all their contacts from recent days and supply contact information.
Hygiene officers have been warning repeatedly for several months that as the number of cases increases, they will not be able to trace everyone infected. The much-discussed “smart quarantine” project does not work.
Worsening Epidemiological Trends
On Tuesday, a record 1,164 confirmed cases of the disease were detected in the Czech Republic. The worst affected area is Prague, but most districts in the country are due to turn “green”, according to the government’s traffic-light system. In the EU, only Spain, France, Croatia, Romania and Malta are reporting faster growth in cases than the Czech Republic.