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Czech Prime Minister says life could return to normal by May or June

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis with a protective mask

Prague, Czech Republic – One question on everyone’s quarantined mind right now is: How long will the coronavirus crisis last? And when will life in the Czech Republic return to “normal”?

Life “back to normal” by the end of May or June, says PM

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Thursday provided some – hypothetical – elements of answer, while saying he was “optimistic” about the situation in the Czech Republic which fared much better than most European countries in preventing the spread of the virus.

In an interview with local outlet, the Premier said that life could return to normal in the Czech Republic at the end of May or beginning of June. He also praised the work and dedication of the Central Crisis Staff.

According to the current estimates, the coronavirus, or Covid-19, epidemic is expected to peak at the end of April. At that time, the Czech Republic is expected to have between 10,000 and 15,000 confirmed cases of infection.

Prime Minister Babis, whose government is expected to prolong the state of emergency by 30 days, added that they could introduce the first easing of restrictions by mid-April, after the Easter holidays.

First easing of restrictions could come after Easter

Smaller shops, for instance, could be able to re-open first, although customers and clients would still have to follow the appropriate social distancing and hygiene rules. They could  be followed by schools, restaurants and bars in a second phase.

Although striking a positive tone, Andrej Babis also said that the situation in the Czech Republic would depend on how events unfold in other European countries.

On Thursday morning, the Czech Republic had more than 3,600 cases of infection confirmed, out of some 60,000 people tested for the virus. While over 60 patients have recovered, 40 people died from the disease, according to figures released by the Health Ministry.

There had been mounting speculation about the Prime Minister’s own health over recent days after Babis didn’t attend a number of press conferences. Talking to Blesk reporters, the Czech Premier assured he was in good health and would only get tested for Covid-19 if he started to show symptoms.

Main photo credit: ČTK / Michal Kamaryt

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.

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