The Czech Republic will be entering the fifth and highest stage of its COVID-19 rating system on Sunday, 27 December. This was announced by Minister of Health Jan Blatný earlier today, following a governmental meeting. The expected duration of the newest set of rules will go until 10 January.
Czechia enters the fifth and highest stage of alert
The health authorities estimate that there will be an increase of about 15 000 confirmed cases per day, should the current measures remain, which is likely to lead to 7000 coronavirus patients in Czech hospitals, among which 1000 in intensive units. That is why Minister Blatný recommended a shift to the highest restrictions possible, which can be described as a full lockdown.
Therefore, as of Sunday 27 December, the main changes that will apply in Czechia include:
Gathering of people is reduced to just two people (used to be 6);
The curfew is extended to encompass the hours from 21:00 to 04:49. Restaurant windows are not allowed to open during that time;
Officials should work mainly from home and handle only the most necessary tasks;
A maximum of 15 people can attend weddings and funerals;
Ski lifts will stop operation;
Only primary school pupils in the first and second grades will attend schools in person after the Christmas holiday;
Only kindergartens and special schools should remain open.
As was outlined for the fourth stage of the alert system (which is still in effect until Saturday, included), only the purchase of basic necessities and online purchases are allowed. Service establishments should be completely closed. However, due to a pre-Christmas exception, both services and non-essential shops are open.
The health minister further specified that large supermarkets will only be allowed to offer essential goods from Saturday. The state of emergency was also extended by 30 days, to last until 22 January.