Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech government unveiled earlier today a phased-out 5-step plan to ease anti-coronavirus restrictions over the next two months.
The plan was presented by Trade and Industry Minister Karel Havlicek following a special government meeting.
Czech Republic to ease restrictions in five phases
April 20: Farmers markets, craftsmen and used car dealerships will be able to open their doors under strict hygiene conditions. Weddings of up to 10 people can also be held.
April 27: Shops and stores of up to 200 square meters and not located in shopping centres could reopen.
May 12: Shops of up to 1,000 square meters (also as long as they’re not located in shopping centres), as well as driving schools, gyms and fitness centres will be allowed to reopen.
May 25: Museums, galleries, beauty salons and hairdressers can reopen, as well as restaurants and cafes serving in outdoor gardens and terraces.
June 8: Lastly, indoor cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as hotels, theatres, cinemas and large shopping centres, will be able to open their doors.
New rules for entering and exiting the Czech territory
The government reminded that this 5-step plan could be changed, frozen or amended depending on how the epidemic unfolds in the coming weeks in the Czech Republic and in the rest of the world.
For now, everyone is still required to wear a protective mask in public.
The government also introduced some slight changes to the conditions of entry to and exit from the Czech territory:
- People living in the Czech Republic, both Czech citizens and foreigners, are now allowed to leave the country for specific and “substantiated” reasons (including official duties, work abroad, etc.), which will have to be proven to the police at border crossings. They also have the possibility of returning to the Czech Republic during the state of emergency.
- Everyone (Czechs and foreign nationals) have to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine upon their return to the Czech Republic – except for clearly defined cases, like trips abroad shorter than 24 hours and cross-borders health and social workers.
- Spouses and underage children of EU citizens residing in the Czech Republic are now allowed to enter the country for purposes of family reunification.
- Foreigners (including EU citizens) without a valid residence permit are still prohibited from entering the Czech Republic.
Although no specific decision has yet been made on that topic, Czech borders will almost certainly not open before June, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said.
More coronavirus updates right here.
Main photo credit: ČTK/Hájek Ondřej