Soldiers at Prague Castle wearing face masks during the changing of the guard via iStock / josefkubes

Czech Republic coronavirus updates, June 30: 202 new cases, UK upgraded to low-risk status

In Prague, there have been only 5 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days

There were 202 new COVID-19 cases reported in the Czech Republic yesterday, according to the latest data provided by the Czech Health Ministry this morning.

That’s considerably lower than Sunday’s 305 reported COVID-19 cases, despite many more tests being performed: 3,817 yesterday versus 2,420 on Sunday.

The vast majority of the new cases continues to be reported in areas of localized outbreaks, with blanket testing in the Karviná district uncovering the highest percentage of new cases.

Karviná has now reported nearly 250 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days. Neighboring Frýdek-Místek has reported 36 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over that period, and Ostrava has reported 23 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

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Across the rest of the Czech Republic, the number of new COVID-19 cases has largely remained stable, even dropping in some areas. Many districts are reporting no new cases over the past week.

In Prague, once the epicenter of COVID-19 in the country, there have been only 5 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.

As the Czech Health Minister stated over the weekend, the recent surge in new cases is not indicative of a second wave of coronavirus, and in fact the opposite may be true.

Tonight, Prague will host a dinner for 2,000 at a half-kilometer-long table on Charles Bridge promoted as a symbolic farewell to the period of the coronavirus crisis.

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From tomorrow, the Czech Health Ministry will release a daily map of 1-10 risk levels in regions throughout the country; as of today, Karviná and surrounding districts would be listed as 4-6 medium-risk, with the rest of the country 0-3 low-risk.

The low recent numbers in Prague have led to officials removing the requirement to wear a face mask in the city’s trams and buses as of July 1, though passengers are still required to wear a face mask in the metro.

Presumably, the requirement to wear a face mask at other indoor locations will also be removed in Prague as of July 1, along with most of the rest of the country, though this may depend on the regulations of individual venues. Face mask restrictions will remain, however, in Karviná, Frýdek-Místek, and other areas of localized outbreaks.

Yesterday, the Czech government updated their “traffic light” map of European countries where travel is permitted to or from without restrictions; the UK has been upgraded to green low-risk status, and Portugal to orange medium-risk status. Only Sweden remains red high-risk.

While regulations for travel have been eased on the Czech side, however, restrictions may remain in place in each destination country; the UK, for example, has has a mandatory 14-day-quarantine in place for incoming travelers, though this may change in the near future.

The EU was slated to decide on around 15 non-EU countries that they will open their borders to from July 1 yesterday, but as of this morning talks are still underway. Following that announcement, which should happen today, the Czech Republic will announce about 10 countries from that list that they will open their borders to.

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