Father applying face mask to his daughter via iStock / SanyaSM

Mandatory wearing of face masks in public to end in mid-June, says Czech Health Minister

While the widespread requirement to wear face masks is likely to end in June, they will still be required on public transport and other areas

The mandatory requirement to wear face masks to halt the spread of coronavirus in the Czech Republic will most likely end in mid-June, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said on Czech Television this morning.

“We are ready to end the widespread requirement to wear face masks during June,” Vojtěch stated.

The Health Minister noted that the situation would depend on the development of COVID-19 cases in the country, and any major changes could affect that timeframe.

Face masks would still be required in areas of large congregations of people, including public transport, shops, and events for up to 100 people that will be permitted from May 25, Vojtěch said.

While the the larger obligation to wear face masks in public is likely to end next month, then, face masks can still be expected to be an occasional requirement heading into the summer months in the Czech Republic.

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Vojtěch’s statements today clarified some confusion surrounding the requirement to wear face masks in the Czech Republic that had been created yesterday via statements issued by other politicians.

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Czech Central Crisis Staff member Roman Šmucler stated yesterday that the requirement to wear face masks would end on May 17 along with the current state of emergency in the Czech Republic.

His comments were later refuted by Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, however, and Šmucler backtracked.

The widespread use of face masks in the Czech Republic has been credited as one of the key measures that has helped the country keep the coronavirus under control.

The Czech Republic has significantly slowed the spread of coronavirus compared to other EU countries that have not adopted mask wearing, and the country’s stance has been labeled a model of anti-coronavirus measures by the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, and even pop star Olivia Newton-John.

Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula said the softening of the face mask requirement must be logical, and must rationally take into account the impact the previous softening of restrictions have had on the development of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic.

A concrete decision about the face masks can be made in June, when statistical data regarding the impact of lifting the measures at the end of May will be available, Prymula said.

Vojtěch added that the approximate date of June 15 for ending the general face mask obligation is based on a recommendation from the epidemiological working team. It may happen even sooner, he told Czech Television.


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