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Stricter measures will come into effect this Friday as the Czech Republic switches back to level four of the anti-epidemic PES system. Restaurants, hotels and gyms will close, but shops, services and ski resorts can remain open. A curfew will apply between 11pm and 5am, and a maximum of six people can gather in a group. Photo credit: Freepik / Stock Photo.  

Czech Rep., Dec 15 (BD) – On Monday, the Czech government met to discuss the deteriorating epidemiological situation. The decision was made to return to the fourth risk tier of the PES system, and new measures were agreed that will come into effect on Friday.

In returning to PES level four, restaurants, hotels, swimming pools and gyms will close again. However, shops and services, including ski resorts, will be able to keep operating. It is not permitted to consume alcohol in public, and movement will be restricted between 11pm and 5am. Groups of maximum six people will be permitted to gather. 

Restaurants and Pubs

Establishments will close but can sell through a dispensing window outside of the nightly curfew hours (11pm to 5am). It is not possible to sell alcohol, but the sale of coffee and tea will be allowed. The government will compensate businesses which are forced to close.

“100% rent for three months, 100% salaries and levies, special compensation for rooms for accommodation facilities and a gastro bonus for all restaurant owners in relation to the number of employees. We have just approved CZK 10 billion in support for the affected sectors in the government,” said Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček.

Shopping

All stores will remain open, including on Sundays, unlike in the previous period of PES level four. The opening hours of shops will not change, and supermarkets will be open until noon on Christmas Day. Children under six years of age are not counted in the number of shoppers in a large store. Small shops with a limited number of customers will allow children under the age of 15 years old to enter with an adult. 

Sports and Events

Indoor sports facilities will close, including swimming pools, saunas, gyms and wellness centers. It will be possible to play sports outside with a maximum group of six people. Only professional competitions without spectators will be allowed, amateur competitions will be suspended.

Ski resorts will open on December 18th and lifts and cable cars can operate, but no accommodation is allowed. Refreshments can be sold from the restaurant windows of the resort, but this does not include alcohol. Equipment rentals will be open. 

Services

Service establishments such as salons will continue to operate under hygiene measures and one person allowed per 15 square meters. 

Accommodation facilities will close to tourists, but people on business trips may be accommodated. 

Social Facilities

Visits to people in social facilities, such as elderly homes, will be allowed on condition of a negative antigen test and the wearing of a respirator of class FFP2 or KN95. “Even in level four, visits to homes for the elderly will be possible, because rapid antigen tests are now available,” said Health Minister Jan Blatny. 

Culture

Castles, galleries, museums and similar institutions will close again. Libraries will operate but only by distributing pre-ordered books through an issuing window. Churches can be filled to 20% of the maximum capacity. Weddings and funerals can take place with a maximum of 20 people. Mass singing will again be banned.

Schools

The last day of school will be December 18th. On December 21st and 22nd, kindergartens and universities will operate according to the fourth PES level. Parents will be allowed to take nursing care for these two days.

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