LIVE NOW: We are following the press conference of the Czech government.
Restrictions measures against the COVID-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic will remain at the fifth and highest level of the PES system at least until 22 January, Health Minister Jan Blatný said at Thursday’s government meeting.
If the situation improves next week, the cabinet would meet again to reassess the change. In the fifth level, all restaurants and most shops and services are closed. A maximum of two people (except for the ones from one household) may gather and there is a night curfew between 21:00 and 5:00.
Antigen testing will continue after January 15, the Czech government approved. So far, over 950,000 antigen tests have been performed in the Czech Republic.
Moreover, the first shipment of 20,000 doses of Moderna vaccine should arrive in the Czech Republic by the end of January. “Originally, we agreed to receive 80,000 doses, so far only 20,000 in two divided shipments have been confirmed,” said Health Minister Blatný.
“Restaurants have been shown to spread the virus about twice as elsewhere. We are not considering opening them, similarly to any other country with an epidemic situation similar to ours,” he adds.
The government is also preparing legislation that would allow people with COVID-19 vaccination or fresh test access to events or travel that will be impossible for those not vaccinated or tested. The testing option must be included to avoid discrimination, Chief Public Health Officer Jarmila Razova said.
On Wednesday, the European Union has authorized the second coronavirus vaccine to be approved for use in the EU.
The move finalizes the recommendation of the European Union drugs regulator, who earlier on Wednesday recommended granting the drug a conditional marketing authorization.
The EU has secured the purchase of up to 160 million doses — enough to vaccinate 80 million people of its 448 million citizens — as part of a joint vaccine strategy aimed to ensure equitable access across the bloc.