Czech authorities have tightened restrictions in place due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on Thursday, September 24. The limit for mass events hosted indoors at venues that are split into different sections has been reduced to 1000 people, while the limit for outdoor gatherings at such venues was reduced to 2000. The limit for venues without separate sections is now of 500 people indoors and 1000 outdoors. Any indoor gatherings involving more than ten people, or outdoor events with more than 50 people, must have designated seating, and face coverings must be worn by all attendees. There are exceptions in place for certain events, including meetings of legislative bodies, courts of law, exhibitions, markets, and fairs. The new restrictions will remain in place until at least October 7.
Health officials have ordered bars, restaurants, and nightclubs across the country to close between 00:01 and 06:00 (local time) from Friday evening. Students will also be required to wear face masks in classrooms and hallways. Previously, authorities mandated the use of face masks inside buildings. Face masks were also already mandatory on public transport and in all indoor public spaces. Authorities also banned more than ten people from standing in the same indoor space beginning Friday; individuals are required to be seated and wearing masks. This applies to bars, restaurants, and other venues, where the number of customers cannot be more than the number of seats in the establishment. Additional social distancing measures remain in effect.
As of Friday, September 25, there have been 58,374 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic with 567 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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