Government Restrictions of Activities inside the Czech Republic
All current measures can be found here (in English here).
- On October 21, new emergency measures were enacted to mitigate the record increases in coronavirus infections. The measures take effect at 6 am on October 22 and should lapse with the end of the state of emergency at 23:59 on November 3. All inhabitants will be limited to essential trips to work, grocery shops, doctors etc. With the exception of family members, no more than two people can meet in public places, no more than ten people can participate at weddings and funerals and no more than 100 people in groups of twenty can gather under the right of assembly.
- The Government has also decided to close most shops and service providers, except for those specified by decree. Businesses exempted include grocery shops, gas stations, shops offering sanitary goods, cosmetics and other drugstore goods, and pharmacies.
- The Government also confirmed limited working hours and operation of public authorities and public offices (5 hours per day, two days in a week) as well as limited operation of hotels and restaurants. Hotels will be limited to business travellers, foreigners stranded in the country by restrictions on travel, and employees required for essential services as defined by the emergency law. All exceptions to the general ban on accommodation are listed in the government decree. Meals can be provided to registered guests between 6 am and 8 pm. and via take-away windows of restaurants until 8 pm.
- From October 19, face masks are obligatory both outdoors and indoors if the social distance is less than 2 meters, with exception of family members. As of October 19, weddings and funerals can be attended by up to 30 persons (changed to 10 persons on October 21).
- From October 13 until the measure is terminated, face masks are obligatory for all people gathering while waiting outside at stops of public transportation.
- Most of other measures should expire at the end of the state of emergency.
- From October 14, all grades of elementary schools incl. grades 1-4 of elementary schools will switch to online learning for two weeks until November 2 (with exceptions). Individual one-on-one lessons of students of arts schools (ZUŠ) will no longer be possible. Examinations at universities will be possible for up to 10 students present in person (except practical part of medical and pedagogical fields that will continue).
- Students of medical studies will assist in hospitals.The rule of max. of six persons at one place at a time applies indoors and outdoors nation-wide (with exceptions: family within one household, employment, public authorities meetings). Drinking of alcohol in public space is banned.
- Operations of restaurants, clubs and bars (except for take-away windows between 6.00 and 20.00, and hotel restaurants available to hotel guests between 6.00 and 20:00) will be limited (inner parts closed) until the end of the state of emergency.
- Wi-fi network will be switched off in public space and in foodcourts in shopping malls. A group of max. of two persons (unless they are members of one household) is allowed to enter shops. Between customers in a shop, a safe distance of 2m has to be kept.
- From October 12 for 2 weeks cultural events are banned and museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, observatories, monuments, ZOOs and sports halls will be closed for general public. No sports competitions can be held, neither professional, nor amateur. (Until October 14, all indoor events, incl. religious gatherings were restricted to 10 persons. Maximum of 20 persons were allowed at outdoor sports activities. Generally, max. of 10 people could be present indoors and 20 people outdoors at one place at a time.)
- From October 9, restaurants are obliged to close (except take-away windows) at 20.00 and the rule of four persons per one table applies. Fitness centers, swimming pools are closed for general public for two weeks.
- Autumn school holidays will be extended by two days to full five working days (October 26 - 30). Public service offices are open for two days in a week only, for 5 hours each day. Online education was introduced for two weeks at all universities (except practical part of medical and pharmaceutical studies) and secondary schools (except practical lessons) nation-wide.
- Isolation of Covid-positive citizens should be possible in hotels. Visits in all hospitals and homes for elderly are banned nation-wide. The number of participants at weddings and funerals is allowed, from October 19 the number of participants will be limited to 30..
On October 5 started the state of emergency in the Czech Republic for 30 days, with the stated objective of decreasing the reproduction number of the virus by 40% from 1.2 to 0.8. The first set of emergeny measures was supposed to be effective for 14 days - until October 19 - primarily to limit free time activities and general public contacts, but due to the increase in incidence, stricter measures apply effective from October 9 and subsequently from October 14 (see above).
From September 18 nationwide, students, pupils and staff at all schools, except pupils of grades 1-4 of elementary schools, are obliged to wear face masks, including in classrooms during the educational process. The Ministry of Health is asking schools to limit all mass school events, excursions and similar activities. The Ministry have asked businesses to postpone bigger events, teambuildings and similar company events. General population was asked to stick to the „3R rule“ (face masks, hands disinfection, social distance).
The Ministry of Health Care reintroduced an obligation to wear face masks in all indoor spaces and common spaces within schools nationwide from September 10. Face masks are obligatory outside the place of residence or place of accommodation (eg. hotel room). This applies to public transportation, airports, public offices, retail stores, shoping malls, and also to the commercial offices where employees are obliged to wear face masks if working in one office with less than 2m distance from each other. The emergency measure does not apply to children under the age of two, children and teachers in kindergartens, hospitalized patients, people performing the author's work, moderators, athletes during sports training or competition, fiancés during the wedding ceremony and others, see the ministry´s press release. Face masks are obligatory at all events held indoors (regardless of the number of participants).
Based on a decision of the Government Council for health risks on September 14, the obligation to undergo quarantine will not be applied on the person who met infected person, if both were wearing face masks properly during the encounter. Also, those who have already healed from Covid-19 in the past 90 days will not be obliged to stay in quarantine.
- In Prague, nose/mouth cover is obligatory upon entering the lobby of a metro station and subsequently while using the underground/metro and leaving the station. As of September 14, upon entering any indoor space, people are obliged to use disinfectant to clean their hands. From September 18, visits are banned in Prague's health and social care facilities. As of September 21, Prague universities launched distance/online education until October 31.
- Stricter measures may apply to local hotspots.
- The Parliament approved and the President signed a law by the Ministry of Interior on special forms of distance voting in municipal and Senate elections in October. Czech citizens unable to be present in voting sites due to quarantine or isolation ordered by the public health authority were able to vote with special mobile voting committees or from a car at a drive-in site.
- The Ministry of Education together with the Ministry of Health issued a hygienic manual and recommendations for schools applied from September 1, rules for introducing quarantine at schools were issued on September 4.
- The Parliament approved and the President signed an amendment to the Education Act on distance education as part of the compulsory education in case of state of emergency or an emergency measure to close educational facilities ordered by the public health authority.
- From July 27, 2020, the max. number of participants at an indoor event stood at 500 in one sector (max. 5 sectors are allowed) and at an outdoor event 1,000 persons. During September, an additional measure applied to indoor and outdoor events with a capacity exceeding 1,000 people. In these cases, there could be 1,000 persons present and the remaining capacity could be used to up to 50%. More.
On August 3, 2020, a framework system with a key role of hygienic stations in it was launched by the Government - visualized as a map of risk on a weekly basis. Four levels of alert will indicate community spread of the virus at the level of municipality (okres). The map serves as a recommendation for preparedness for reaction:
0 - white, no or minimum risk of the spread within the municipality/okres
1 - green, sporadic incidence without community spread
2 - yellow, initiated community spread
3 - red, increased and persistent community spread within the municipality/okres, if necessary, whole region can be indicated as red
The traffic lights system is not as much based on the Covid-19 incidence, but focuses on the situations when the source of the spread is not clear (uncontrolled community spread) and on the capacity to handle the situation (testing points, labs, hospitals, etc). The evaluation is based on 20-25 criteria.
Generally in hotspots, nose/mouth cover is obligatory in indoor public spaces, size of events is restricted, 2 m distance between persons and strict hygienic rules have to be kept, visits are limited in hospitals and social care facilities, PCR testing of new patients, employees of these facilities is obligatory, bars and restaurants are obliged to remain closed during night, or accommodation restrictions apply. In border regions, regular PCR testing of cross-border workers may be required. The final list of restrictions is defined by local hygienic stations. More.
SPRING, SUMMER 2020
- The elderly citizens aged 70+ or persons in risk categories are not recommended to stay at crowded places. The shopping hours 8.00-10.00 for the elderly were lifted.
- Public transportation lines resumed regular operations.
- The Government decided to relax measures restricting international railway and bus transportation - starting on May 11. International private passenger travel has partially resumed. The transportation companies have to follow emergency measures of the foreign countries through which they travel. Airports in Brno, Karlovy Vary, Ostrava, Pardubice re-opened.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs published updated travel recommendations.
- The system of traffic lights shows the level of risk in individual countries and shows conditions for entering the Czech Republic. More about border regime here and here.
- An obligation for landlords using digital platforms (e.g. Airbnb), to inform the municipal trade licensing office, at its request, of the number of contracts concluded for tourism services, the total price for these services, as well as the address of the place where guests were staying. In the future, the data may be used to trace those accommodated in the event of the threat of the infection spreading.
- Face masks are obligatory in cinemas, concert halls, theatres and all events held indoors. Sports and cultural activities are allowed, given the face mask rule, hygienic conditions and/or the safe distance are kept, but there may be ad hoc changes depending on the development of the pandemic. As of June 22, events for up to 1,000 persons were allowed to take place (updated on July 27 to max. 500 participants indoors in one sector, 1,000 at outdoor events, and other updates followed in September; different measures apply to local hotspots). Big events with thousands of participants are banned.
- From 25 May, ZOOs, castles, aqua parks resumed operations in full scope, including interior parts (mouth/nose cover obligatory). The Government decided to further increase visitor capacity from June 1.
- From May 11, practically whole retail sector re-opened, including shopping malls. On May 25, hotels and restaurants were allowed to resume their full oprerations. From July 1, bars could remain open after 23.00. In hotposts, this measure may be modified.
- From April 27, university students from all years could rejoin the educational process, under given conditions (consultations for up to 5 students). From May 11, there could be up to 15 university students in a group. From May 11, secondary school students preparing for their final exams returned to school. Pupils in the final year of elementary school (9th grade) could voluntarily return to school for preparation for exams in groups of up to 15 students. The same rule (up to 15 students in a group) applied to arts, language schools or leisure time activities at centers for youth. On May 25, elementary schools re-opened for classes of up to 15 pupils. From 8 June, secondary level students returned to schools in a consultation format, under given hygienic and social distancing rules (specific types of schools can open from June 1). From July, during the summer, universities could proceed, no limits were applied to the number of students present or the mode of teaching/examinations, but individual universities could decide for stricter rules.
- Summer camps for children (300-500 persons) could take place from June 27.
- From May 25, visits in elderly homes, hospitals are allowed, but some hospitals did not allow visits or under limited conditions (see above). Deliberate spread of new coronavirus is a crime.
- From May 25, all post offices are fully open, opening hours returned to the state prior to the state of emergency.
- Telecommunications operators and banks are obliged to assist the authorities in tracing the spread of the coronavirus; on March 30, the Government announced Smart Quarantine pilot project launch in the South Moravian region, which has traced the contacts of positively tested individuals to COVID-19 using modern information technology and is intended to help regional hygiene stations trace other potentially infected. The tracing is conducted with assistance of the Czech army and Smart quarantine was extended to all 14 regions of the Czech Republic by May 1. Ministry of Health will take the project over from the army.
- The second part of the Smart Quarantine project includes improved data sharing between laboratories and hygienic stations. The Government decided on July 27 that the Czech Army will be responsible for the logistics part of Smart Quarantine.
- Amendment on the powers of the Czech Police and the municipal police to penalise breaches of crisis measures was adopted. Police officers will be able to penalise (up to 10,000 CZK) on the spot any persons in breach of the crisis measures, even in cases that have to be normally dealt with in administrative proceedings.