London, January 26, 2020: People wearing protective face masks (illustrative photo via / Powerofflowers)

Mandatory face mask regulations will not end on May 17, says Czech Crisis Staff head

Despite statements from UKS member Roman Šmucler earlier today, the obligation to wear face masks in public will not end on May 17

Prague, May 6 (CTK) – The Czech Republic’s Central Crisis Staff (UKS) has not passed any decision or recommendation that would end the mandatory wearing of face masks, UKS head and Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Social Democrats, ČSSD) told journalists today.

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Hamáček issued the statement as a reaction to UKS member Roman Šmucler, who tweeted this morning that the mandatory wearing of face masks would end after May 17, along with the end of the current state of emergency.

Šmucler later backtracked on his words.

“The UKS did not pass any decision or recommendation that would end the mandatory wearing of face masks,” Hamáček said.

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“This regulation falls under the powers of the Health Ministry, and is controlled by its emergency measures. The wearing of face masks does not have any connection with the continuation of the state of emergency.”

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (for ANO) also told CTK that the mandatory wearing of face masks was not bound to the state of emergency.

“After [the state of emergency ends], the measures will be certainly valid for some more time. At the time of the lockdown relaxation, when people have started meeting each other more often, the face masks will take on an even greater importance,” Vojtěch said.

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“The decision must not be rash,” he added.

“The mandatory wearing of masks will end along with the state of emergency!” Šmucler had earlier tweeted.

“I would do it even sooner, but this is a compromise.”

After Hamáček denied the information, Šmucler said the UKS had discussed the end of the mask wearing, but it still had to be approved by another body.

“I believe this will happen, but personally I cannot influence it any more and I cannot decide on it at all,” Šmucler said.

A ban on being in public without a face mask or other suitable nose and mouth cover has been valid in the Czech Republic since March 13.

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