May 17 marks another wave of lifting COVID-19 restrictions in the Czech Republic. Starting today, people will be able to work out in gyms or attend outdoor cultural events.
Catering establishments will be allowed to provide their services on terraces, albeit under rigid conditions. Only four people will be allowed to sit at a table, so long as they are not members of the same household.
Furthermore, one of the following documents will be required upon entering: a negative test, confirmation of vaccination, or an affidavit stating that the person concerned has been tested negative at work or school.
After all the formalities are settled, you can discover a world of Czech cuisine and beer! Here are seven establishments in the capital perfect for having a glass of beer or grabbing a bite:
The establishment in the heart of Žižkov boasts a pleasant and well-kept garden. Guests can sit under the roof, where they can admire ornamental grass, trees and a pond.
- Address: Biskupcova 19, Prague 3
- Price: 41-49 CZK for a beer
- Opening hours: Monday–Thursday 11:00 – 22:00, Saturday–Friday 12:00 – 20:00
The restaurant on the roof of Kotva department store, T-Anker offers its customers a stunning view of the capital, a variety of dishes and twelve kinds of beer, including restaurant’s own lager.
Address: Náměstí Republiky 656/8, Prague 1
- Price: 55-95 CZK for a beer
- Opening hours: Monday–Sunday 11:00 – 20:00
The largest outdoor seating area in Prague, Žižkov BeerGarden not only caters to guests, but also invites them to watch football or hockey matches as well as partake in sport activities, such as foosball, pétanque, or beach volleyball.
- Address: Koněvova 1686/112, Prague 3
- Price: 38-45 CZK for a beer
- Opening hours: Monday–Sunday 14:00 – 22:00
Restaurant Pod Juliskou is located near the stadium of the same name. It has a spacious summer garden and a well-equipped playground for kids. Visitors can choose from six kinds of draft beers, one of which is renowned Gambrinus Premium.
- Address: Podbabská 1589/ 1, Prague 6
- Price: 37-52 CZK for a beer
- Opening hours: Monday–Friday 11:00 – 20:00, Saturday 11:30 – 15:00
Kafé Kaple is a quiet place right in the city centre. It provides customers with chilled Pilsen beer, good coffee, and a selection of fine wines. Medieval atmosphere and secluded location make it a perfect choice for small celebrations and private events.
- Address: Na Zbořenci 10, Prague 2
- Price: 45-49 CZK for a beer
- Opening hours: Monday–Friday 14:00 – 20:00
If the weather favours you, in Podolka you will feel almost like by the sea since the restaurant is located right next to the Vltava river. Local team has prepared several innovations for Monday’s reopening, such as a new menu and brand-new desserts.
- Address: Podolské nábřeží – Přístav 1, Prague 4
- Price: around 250 CZK for the main course
- Opening hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11:30 – 23:00, Sunday–Monday 11:30 – 22:00
U Pinkasů is a legendary Prague pub. It was almost impossible to get there prior to the pandemic because of huge influxes of tourists, but now the experience should be completely different. The pub serves classic Czech cuisine and top-quality beer.
- Address: Jungmannovo náměstí 15/16, Prague 1
- Price: 55 CZK for a beer
- Opening hours: Monday–Sunday 10:00 – 22:00
Located not far from the banks of the Vltava in the trendy Karlín neighborhood, this establishment looks to reinvigorate the Beer Garden experience in Prague.
Run by the Hilton, Beer Garden Karlín officially reopened on May 17, with a special offer for the opening week: get any large beer on tap for the price of a small one!
Beer Garden Karlín has six beers on tap including familiar 10- and 11-degree options and more specialized beers like a wheat beer.
- Address: Pobřežní 1, 186 00 Karlín
- Price: 25-40 CZK for a beer
- Opening hours: Monday–Sunday 16:00 – 22:00
The Irish fast-fashion retailer Primark has started recruiting staff for its three-floor store on Wenceslas Square against the background of the reopening of retail shops in the Czech Republic.
Primark’s Prague branch will become the first one in the country, marking the company’s expansion into the Czech market.
In the new Flow Building, Primark will offer a full range of cheap women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, shoes and accessories, cosmetics, as well as household goods and confectionery on a total area of 4,700 square meters.
Salespeople are invited to start working in the second half of May. Besides, Czech is gradually appearing on the official website of Primark. For example, this page informs viewers of the Prague branch opening soon and provides some information about the company.
“With the opening of retail, we can finally move forward with our plans to open the first branch in the Czech Republic. We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic will not cause further delays,” said Kateřina Outlá from Grayling Prague, which represents Primark. However, she did not specify the precise opening date.
Primark operates in 12 European countries and the United States, where it has over 380 stores. Last year, the chain entered the Slovenian and Polish markets; expansion into the Czech Republic was also announced.
However, the spring and winter lockdowns foiled the process, even though Primark was already beginning to recruit employees for the Prague branch.
Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, Primark signed lease agreements for its second store in the Czech Republic, located in the Olympia shopping centre in Brno. The branch is scheduled to open in 2022.
Primark will face less competition in the Czech market than during pre-coronavirus times. A number of retail clothing companies left shopping galleries and stores of large Czech cities.
Among the first to withdraw from the market was the French brand Camaïeu, which planned the closure of stores even before the pandemic. In the following months, it was followed by the French chain Promod and the British retailer Next.
How did the first strip clubs in Prague appear? What were the sexual toys produced in Czechoslovakia?
An exhibition Decadent Prague (“Praha dekadentní”), which teeters on the edge of decency, provides uncensored answers to such questions. The exhibition will run in the Dancing House Gallery until March 31st next year and is only open to individuals over 18 years of age.
According to the organizers, this is the most controversial exhibition to date, which, as they promise, will outrage but also educate visitors.
“We made this exhibition censorship-free so that visitors could see what was really happening in Prague during the 20th century. No covered naked bodies, no censorship,” said Robert Vůjtek, Dancing House Gallery director, adding that for some visitors the exhibition might prove too bold.
Decadent Prague will take visitors to brothels of the First Republic, show the beginnings of striptease in the 1960s in the country or the history of erotic images that were created outside the supervision of state censorship.
“We also have a rarity here – medical books of prostitutes, which were preserved in Czechoslovakia in only two copies; we borrowed them from the Police Museum,” added Vůjtek.
In addition to themes related to prostitution, the exhibition deals with the life of sexual minorities from the times of Austria-Hungary to the Velvet Revolution. Expositions of women’s underwear from the entire 20th century or the first homemade sex toys in Czechoslovakia are also presented.
Most things related to eroticism were banned for most part of the 20th century, but people still managed to find ways to circumvent the prohibitions and get items they desired.
“For example, in the 1970s, so-called massagers were sold. They were intended for something completely different, but a lot of curious people knew that they could also be used as a sex toy,” said one of the witnesses of the pre-revolutionary erotic industry, Oldřich Widman, who was also involved in the preparation of Decadent Prague.
The exhibition is organized in alphabetical order (A to Ž) on 30 themes related to eroticism in the capital and occupies three floors of the exhibition complex. It was created in cooperation with the City of Prague Museum, Czech Police Museum, as well as the city districts of Prague 2 and Prague 3.
The price for a standard ticket is 190 CZK. Price is reduced to 110 CZK for seniors and students.
According to the Czech Chamber of Fitness, the government will allow the operation of indoor sports facilities under a special regime from May 17, affirmed Chamber president Jana Havrdová.
The information also follows from the directive of the Ministry of Health.
The ministers did not mention the fitness centres reopening at the press conference after the government meeting yesterday. It was stated, however, in the resolution published later
Gyms will open with a number of restrictions:
- the presence of more sportsmen than 1 per 15 square meters of the indoor area of a sports ground is not allowed,
- there must be no more than 2 people in a group and 10 people in total in a sports venue,
- all individuals present have to submit a negative test for COVID-19 (PCR, antigen, or self-test) not older than 48 hours OR a certificate of vaccination OR confirmation that they have contracted the virus no longer than three months prior,
- visitors must maintain a distance of at least 2 meters,
- changing rooms and showers remain closed.
There is no clarity with the mask regime in sports venues. Details will be announced soon.
Havrdová called this decision “light at the end of the tunnel”, which will at least allow small gyms to open. That being said, she is also going to clarify what government means by a “sports ground” and, if necessary, demand an increase in the limit for simultaneously present sportsmen on gyms premises.
“In the coming days, we will try to ask [the government] for an adjustment of the maximum capacity of 10 people at one sports ground and to clearly define what a sports ground is. In the case of large establishments with an area of several thousand square meters, this condition would logically make neither organizational nor economic sense, and for many gyms, it would still not mean opening. We believe that the government will reconsider its decision so that the presence of the public in our premises will only be limited by area,” Havrdová said.
Besides gyms, facilities like playgrounds, skating rinks, courts, boxing rings, bowling, billiard rooms, training facilities, and dance studios will be allowed to resume operating.
The directive does not apply to swimming pools, wellness centres, and saunas. They will remain closed to the general public.
President of the Czech Chamber of Fitness wants to change that, too. “Another change that we are discussing and which we perceive as completely risk-free from the point of view of the pandemic, is the opening of private wellness centres. These are spaces defined as a strictly closed and separate area (sauna or bath) with a maximum capacity of 2-4 people from one family or one social bubble, where clients never meet with each other during the entire period of service, including changing clothes,” Havrdová averred.
As part of the next step of loosening of restrictions, the government will abolish the obligation to wear mouth and nose protection when outside from Monday provided that there is no crowding and it is possible to observe a distance of at least 2 meters between people.
There is no change in the constraint to close the respiratory passages indoors.
“In outdoor areas, the obligation to wear mouth and nose protection will only apply where at least two persons less than two meters apart are present in the same place and at the same time, unless they are household members,” said Petr Arenberger, Minister of Health of the Czech Republic.
“It is the same practice as what we had here in autumn. When you are in an open area and there are no other people around, you do not have to wear mouth protection; but when you come to a tram or bus stop and there are more people, you put on a mask,” he added.
The exclusion from wearing a mask will also apply to the time required to consume food and beverages outside the premises of public catering establishments.
Since the beginning of March, people have to wear at least a surgical mask in areas of any municipality, but many people opt to wear a respirator.
Respirators with a protection class of at least FFP2 are still mandatory in public transport, shops, and other crowded places.
On Monday, all remaining shops and other service establishments that have been closed so far due to the pandemic will open across the Czech Republic.
Shoe repair shops, car dealerships, cableways, tanning salons, watch shops, jewellers, carpenters, and travel agencies will be able to reopen.