Face masks must be worn everywhere in the Czech Republic from tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21 in order to curb a surge in coronavirus infections, Prymula said on Monday evening.
The measure applies to all pedestrians if people are closer than two meters apart.
Family members walking together and people doing sport are exempt from the requirement to wear masks. The regulation will enter into force on Tuesday at midnight.
“The Czech government will wait at least two weeks before deciding whether to order a full lockdown to stem its epidemic”, Health Minister Roman Prymula added on Monday.
Po jednání vlády jsou přijata tato opatření. pic.twitter.com/D77kj3fisT
— Roman Prymula (@profesorPrymula) October 19, 2020
Face masks in the car
The government has also agreed to the mandatory wearing of face masks in the car if there are no members of the same family.
If the driver is alone in his car, he doesn’t have to use a mask. However, he does have to do so if there are one or more passengers unless of course, they are members of his own family or if they all live together.
According to the minister, the possible introduction of a lockdown will not be discussed during this week.
The Czech Republic reported 8,076 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest increase on the first working day of the week since the beginning of the epidemic.
The total number rose to 182,000. According to the latest data of the Ministry of Health, there are 3,721 people who are currently hospitalized.
The local health system has been under pressure and hospitals are filling up with patients and almost 600 patients are in intensive care, according to government figures released on Monday.
The Health Ministry predicted the system could reach its capacity around the end of October.
Czech hospitals have been working recently to increase the number of beds available for COVID-19 patients to some 10,000. The field hospital in Prague is meant to be used as a last resort.