Prague, Czech Republic – The state of emergency in the Czech Republic expired yesterday, but most restrictions currently in place should be maintained for the time being.
First declared on March 12 as an extraordinary anti-crisis measure to face the viral outbreak and slow down the spread of coronavirus, the state of emergency was repeatedly extended by Parliament at the request of the Czech government.
After being in effect for more than two months, allowing the government to order a nation-wide quarantine and introduce drastic restrictions on the free movement of people, the state of emergency officially ended in the Czech Republic on Sunday, at midnight.
The Czech Republic’s swift response had been credited with the country’s success in keeping its infection rate and death toll well below other European countries.
However, the end of the state of emergency won’t bring many changes to the every-day life of Czech citizens. Current restrictions should remain in place until further notice after the government passed a law granting the Health Ministry special powers to maintain a set of anti-coronavirus measures beyond May 17.
This includes the obligation to wear face-masks in public – although Czechs won’t be required to do so outside from May 25.
In line with the government’s gradual easing of restrictions, indoor areas in restaurants, bars and cafes should reopen next Monday, but only until 11 pm at night. Events up to 300 people will also be allowed that same day.
Indicating that restrictions on traveling abroad are slowly being lifted, Czech Airlines today resumed flights to several European destinations, including Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. The Czech-Austrian border also reopened this week-end, while Czech officials are in talks with other countries, including Slovakia and Croatia, to introduce safe “travel corridors”, probably in June.
Main photo credit: Official Facebook page of Andrej Babis