Prague, Czech Republic – A group of Czech nudists were scolded by police officers for violating the obligation to wear protective face-masks in public spaces, local media reported.
Clothes or no clothes, face-masks mandatory in the Czech Republic
The message is clear: Protective face-masks have to be worn at all times in public, and no exception will be tolerated.
Following reports that some nudists were sunbathing without protective face-masks by the Lazne Bohdanec spa resort area, in the Pardubice region, Czech police were called to the scene to reprimand the culprits.
Although nude sunbathing is allowed in that area, the group of sunbathers violated two regulations introduced by the Czech government last month to prevent the spread of coronavirus: the ban on gatherings of more than two people, and the obligation to wear face-masks in public.
“Citizens can be in places designed for this purpose without clothes”, commented police spokeswoman Marketa Janovska. “But they must have their mouths covered and must observe the numbers in which they can go into nature”.
According to further reports, local police officers ran a second patrol the following day in the area and found no other violations of the sort.
Czech Republic’s strict face-mask policy goes global
Taking inspiration from the strict preventive measures introduced in east-Asian countries like South Korea and Taiwan, the Czech Republic was, along with neighbouring Slovakia, one of the first countries in Europe to make it mandatory for all residents to wear face-masks (or equivalent like scarves), first when using public transport, before extending it to all public spaces.
Although the country faces an important shortage of protective equipment, thousands of Czechs answered the call and started sewing DIY face-masks at home or in ad-hoc workshops, while organizing themselves via social media to distribute them to social and health workers, elderly and vulnerable people and anyone in need. You can read our behind-the-scenes report straight from one of these “clandestine” sewing workshops.
The Czech Republic’s tough approach has, in recent weeks and days, served as inspiration abroad as the coronavirus continues to spread, including in Western Europe and the United States.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis even took to Twitter to urge U.S. President Donald Trump to use the Czech policy as inspiration. “Mr. President… try tackling virus the Czech way. Wearing a simple cloth mask decreases the spread of the virus by 80%!” he wrote. “Czech Republic has made it OBLIGATORY for its citizens to wear a mask in the public. Pls retweet. God bless America”.
On Saturday, the Czech Republic had 4,194 confirmed cases, while 56 people died from the Covid-19 disease. The latest figures suggest that the spread of the virus could be slowing down. Prime Minister Babis also suggested that the first easing of restrictions could come mid-April after Easter, while life could possibly “return to normal” at the end of May or early June.
Main photo credit: Czech Police