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Exercise, food and alcohol: Poll reveals quarantine habits in the Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic – Czechs under quarantine ate and drank more than usual but have continued to exercise on a regular basis, according to a new poll by the Ipsos agency for the Interior Ministry looking at the habits formed during the lockdown.

Survey sheds some light on quarantine daily habits in the Czech Republic

Two-thirds of respondents said they were able to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet during quarantine, and 70% of them declared they managed to keep exercising – usually by walking or cycling.

A third of Czechs said they didn’t do any sports during the lockdown.

The poll also showed that nearly half of the population (40% of respondents) said they started eating more during lockdown, particularly young men aged under 30. Slightly less than a fifth of respondents – and a higher share among people aged 27 to 35 – said their daily alcohol consumption had increased during the lockdown.

On the upside, a vast majority of the population (80%) said the quarantine didn’t have any negative effect on their relationship with family or on their sex life. Just 10% of respondents said their relationship with their partner deteriorated during that period.

The survey was meant to “map the behaviour of people in extraordinary situations” and identity health risks that could arise from the lockdown and quarantining of millions of people throughout the Czech Republic.

For first-hand personal lockdown experiences from Central Europe, you can also check out our special Quarantine Diaries segment, with testimonials from Prague, Brno, Budapest and beyond.

Czechs cautiously heads toward lockdown exit

The Czech Republic has been in a state of emergency since March 12, forcing nearly all shops, businesses and social and cultural venues to close their doors, schools to shut down and people to stay at home.

Despite prolonging the state of emergency until May 17, the Czech government has started easing some restrictions last month in a gradual lockdown exit strategy expected to run until May 25 – at which point nearly all businesses should be allowed to reopen, while events of up to 100 people will be allowed to be held two weeks before, starting on May 11. However, a number of restrictions will most likely be maintained beyond May 25.

The government has also partially reopened the Czech borders, theoretically allowing anyone living in the country to travel abroad. Officials are also in talks with other countries considered “safe” – including Slovakia, Austria and Croatia – to discuss the possibility of establishing travel corridors for the summer holidays.

The Czech Republic appears to have been mostly successful in containing the viral outbreak. Out of 250,000 people tested altogether, there were more than 7,600 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection on Friday morning and 237 deaths from the disease.

Authorities however reported that the daily number of new cases has been increasing over the past three days after a week-long drop, with 103 new cases reported on Thursday.

Main photo credit: REUTERS/David W Cerny

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.