The Czech government has announced that a state of emergency will be declared from Monday, October 5, due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The state of emergency, which will be in place for 30 days with the possibility of extensions, will see the introduction of increased restrictions. From Monday, indoor events with over ten participants and outdoor events with over 20 participants will be banned with the exception of households, workplaces, and government bodies. A maximum of six people will be allowed to sit at tables in restaurants. Secondary schools in areas deemed to be of a high risk of transmission of the virus will also be closed.
On September 17, health officials ordered bars, restaurants, and nightclubs across the country to close between 00:01 and 06:00 (local time). Students are also required to wear face masks in classrooms and hallways. Face masks are 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 and 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.
As of Thursday, October 1, there have been 70,834 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic and 658 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over 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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