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Czech Republic tightens restrictions as COVID cases set new record

Prague, Czech Republic- The Czech government has announced a set of new restrictions on public life, effective today, as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to surge in most parts of the country.

On Tuesday, local health authorities registered some 1,164 new cases of coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic, a skyrocketing new all-time high since the start of the pandemic, largely surpassing the previous record of 796 cases set on Friday last week.

Yesterday, the number of new COVID-19 cases reached its second-highest number this year, with 1,161 additional people testing positive for the virus.

Although health authorities have assured that most people infected are either asymptomatic or show mild symptoms of the virus, the number of active cases has, for the first time, exceeded the 10,000 mark, according to data released by the Czech Ministry of Health.

More than 240 people are hospitalized, and 57 are said to be in serious condition at the moment.

In light of the deteriorating situation, the Czech government convened an emergency meeting on Wednesday, announcing new restrictions on public life and tightening face-masks regulations. In Prague, rules had been tightened a few days ago, and it was already mandatory to wear face-masks in all public transport, shops, malls and post offices.

Starting Thursday, face-masks are now mandatory in nearly all public indoor spaces and buildings, including offices where 2-meter social distancing between co-workers is impossible.

Students and pupils also have to wear face-masks in school buildings, except in classrooms. At least 144 schools throughout the Czech Republic have already reported cases of COVID-19 since the start of the school year, according to official data.

A few exceptions apply, however. Are exempted from the mandatory wearing of face-masks: young children; mentally disabled people; people consuming food and drink; athletes while exercising; artists while performing; couples when getting married; public transport drivers.

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.

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