Prague's Wenceslas Square, nearly empty amid the coronavirus lockdown. Photo via Lucas Nemec

VIDEO: How Prague’s small businesses have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic

We spoke with some of our friends and partners to find out how they've been personally affected by the coronavirus pandemic

For the past six weeks, many businesses in Prague and the Czech Republic have been shut down as efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the country have resulted in the closure of most shops, services, and restaurants.

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Even businesses that weren’t directly targeted by the Czech Republic’s anti-coronavirus measures have felt their effect.

As the tide turns and most establishments re-open over the course of the next month, we spoke with some of our friends and partners to find out how they’ve been personally affected by the coronavirus pandemic – and how they plan to get back to business moving forward:

“We hope we can get back to normal, we hope we can reopen and then we presume probably work overtime for the first week or two,” Mark Weston of POP Hair Salon told us.

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“It’s actually quite funny. I think for the first month or so people didn’t quite realize how long hair salons might be closed for, and now there’s sort of like this official date that was announced on television and everything and it’s still a month to go and so during the last few days how many people I don’t know have called, texted, wrote messages on Facebook, and sent emails that they all want to be the first person to get their hair cut as soon as we are reopening again.”

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“We’re planning for several eventualities. We don’t know what will happen but we’re trying to be as prepared as we can,” says A Maze in Tchaiovna owner Andy Fell.

“The best case scenario we’ll open and it’s all okay, so we would continue with our theater and comedy program and everything be lovely.”

“Then in a slightly less best case scenario we’d be able to continue to a certain degree but we might be limited in the number of people we have in the theater and that might be both from a legal point of view and also, quite frankly, whether people are wanting to go into spaces with more than 40, 50 people.”

A common thread among those we interviewed was uncertainty about what the future might bring – how long certain regulations may last in the Czech Republic, and what changes the pandemic would result in even after the restrictions are lifted.

“While everyone or most people are re-booking for the fall dates or 2021 I would say it’s in the back of people’s minds that in fact even the fall days might not happen,” says Viktor Palák of Fource Entertainment, who is responsible for bringing major international music acts to the Czech Republic.

“But we are working as if they are about to happen, and we hope they will.”

Interviewees featured in this video:

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