The Czech government will close non-essential shops, services and ski lifts and enforce a stricter curfew from Sunday as it seeks to curb another rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations, Health Minister Jan Blatny said on Wednesday.
COVID-19 infections have risen throughout December, coming after the government only just loosened restrictions at the beginning of the month after curbing one of Europe’s biggest spikes in infections in October and November.
The country has already re-closed bars and restaurants, so the new restrictions will hit retail outlets and services like hairdressers. Shops selling essential goods will stay open, although supermarkets will be only be allowed to sell essentials. Other items can be ordered online.
A nighttime curfew will shift its start to 9 p.m, from 11 p.m., and public gatherings will be limited to two people outside families. Religious services will be allowed for up to 10% of seat capacity. Ski lifts will close.
The latest numbers
The Czech Republic reported 10,821 new coronavirus cases early on Wednesday, the first daily tally over 10,000 since November 6, health ministry data showed.
In total, 646,312 cases have been detected since the pandemic started. There are 88,722 active cases currently, the highest since mid-November.