After a day of feedback from senior citizens and shopkeepers across the Czech Republic, the Czech government has moved the two-hour window reserved for senior citizens from 10:00 – 12:00 to 7:00 – 9:00 in the morning.
The change was confirmed by officials at a press conference this evening after only a single day of reserving a time for senior citizens only to shop during the coronavirus quarantine.
“We asked the Prime Minister to do so,” said Tomáš Prouza, President of the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism.
“Today’s experience was poor. People lined up at shops before 10:00 and began to cluster there. All pensioners said they were used to going early in the morning to make lunch.”
““If the goal is to limit people’s contact and crowding, this has led to significantly more people coming in the morning. The second thing is, because pensioners are the most vulnerable, it makes sense for them to come to the shops right after opening, before anyone else is there.”
That seems to make sense, and one wonders why the earlier hours weren’t originally used. Anyone still working during the coronavirus quarantine, however, may be prevented from stopping at a shop before heading into the office.
According to both major supermarkets and smaller stores around the Czech Republic, residents by and large obeyed the seniors-only hours. Larger stores placed security at the entrance to ensure only those over 65 were admitted entry.
The new hours will go into effect from tomorrow. Other rules are still in effect; see our initial story from yesterday for more information.