Prague, March 14 (CTK) – Restaurants, bars and shops remain closed in Czechia from 06:00 today until March 24, except for food stores, drugstores, pharmacies, petrol stations and others as a measure to help stem the coronavirus infection, the government has decided, PM Andrej Babis has written to CTK.
Among the catering facilities, the exceptions include canteen services.
Gambling rooms and casinos have been closed as well, according to the resolution the government has released on its website overnight. Unlike other facilities, gambling rooms and casinos are closed indefinitely.
Banks and post offices remain open, untouched by the ban.
Other shops exempted from the closure include the sales of information technologies, consumer electronics, newspapers, magazines and tobacco products, and also pet shops and glasses shops.
Presence of people has been banned in catering facilities with the exception of those that do no serve the public, such as corporate canteen services and the catering in medical, social care and prison facilities.
The ban furthermore does not apply to food and meals sales outdoors, where the customers do not enter the given facility.
On the other hand, the ban has closed the catering facilities in shopping malls with the area over 5,000 square metres.
Services such as hairdressers’ shops and beauty parlors will remain closed as well, unlike laundries and dry-cleaners, to which the ban does not apply.
Later this morning, Babis told media that the new wave of closures is aimed to prevent accumulation of crowds of people in shopping centres.
Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said the police will go to big shopping malls to check whether the government measure is being observed.
The first case of new coronavirus appeared in the Czech Republic on March 1. Their number reached 150 this morning, nine more than late on Friday, Babis said. About 6,900 people are in quarantine.
Babis said the government would not seal off selected Czech regions over coronavirus. If needed, the quarantine would be imposed nationwide, he said.
Earlier this week, the government originally decided on the closure of restaurants, pubs and bars between 20:00 and 06:00 as of Friday.
It furthermore decided on the closure of swimming pools and tourist information centres, and restricted the operation of indoor and outdoor sport places. Sports, cultural, religious, entertainment events as well as festivals and markets with more than 30 participants are banned, which is also why ski resorts have closed.
Elementary and secondary schools and universities and colleges have been closed since Wednesday, and many towns have closed or are going to close kindergartens. Day-care social facilities will close as of Monday.
The country has been under the state of emergency since Thursday, with foreigners’ being banned from entering Czechia and Czechs from leaving it as of Sunday midnight.