Prague, Czech Republic – Wearing face-masks in public transport could once more become mandatory after summer, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech (ANO) announced.
According to Vojtech, the Czech government could re-introduce the nation-wide mandatory wearing of face-masks in crowded spaces from October/November due to the added risks posed by the flu and other respiratory viruses, in addition to COVID-19.
The regulation should apply to closed and crowded where social distancing is impossible, including public transport. Today, face-masks are still mandatory in the metro in Prague and public transport in the hardest-hit regions, including Moravia-Silesia and Jihlava.
The Czech Minister of Health also said that testing capacity will be increased in order to be able to differentiate cases of coronavirus infection from other respiratory diseases, common during the flu season.
“The situation will certainly be more complicated [in autumn] than it is today”, he warned during a visit to the lab of Dana Biotechnologies, which has been developing new COVID-19 testing kits.
The Czech Republic was, on March 19, one of the first European countries (along with neighbouring Slovakia) to make face-masks mandatory in most public spaces – a move largely credited for slowing down the spread of the virus early on, and later emulated by many EU countries.
The face-masks regulations have been gradually relaxed since the end of May.