Breaking: Czech PM nixes face mask regulations established by Health Ministry yesterday

Contrary to previous reports, face masks will apparently NOT be mandatory in Czech shops, restaurants, and hairdressers from September

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 20.08.2020 16:43 (updated on 20.08.2020)

He spared Czech residents from having to show a negative COVID-19 test when arriving in Greece earlier in August, and now Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has seemingly saved them from wearing masks come next month.

This afternoon, Babiš met with Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch to discuss the new face mask regulations, which he was apparently not made aware of beforehand.

“When I saw an endless list of exceptions that I don’t quite understand, we simply had to discuss it somehow,” Babiš told reporters this morning.

Minutes ago, Vojtěch and other officials from the Czech Health Ministry held a press conference to declare what appears to be a complete reversal of their previously-announced measures.

Contrary to previous reports, face masks will not, it seems, be mandatory in Czech shops, hairdressers, and restaurants come September 1.

“We will exclude from the measures operations of services and goods, or other operations where customers are present,” Vojtěch has stated.

“We will return to this in September. Or depending on the situation, because the ‘smart quarantine’ is able to react and we will adjust it according to the development of the epidemic situation.”

Masks will also not be needed anywhere in schools, with the exception of schools that make it to the “orange” level of medium-risk for COVID-19 in the Czech Republic’s regional health map. In connection with this, a new regional map will be published on Fridays instead of Mondays, so schools have enough time to react to any changes.

Public transportation vehicles, health facilities, and voting stations will still require masks.

Complete details on the new measures should be released via the Czech Health Ministry soon.

“Originally, we took a preventive approach to this and we were assured that we would be able to respond promptly and, if necessary, intervene through comprehensive measures,” said Vojtěch.

“We’ve adjusted the measures – it’s more about targeting where we perceive the biggest risk. This applies in particular to security offices, medical facilities, public transport and polling stations. These are the places where we still want the face masks to remain mandatory.”

“This is the final decision.”

Or is it?

This is an ever-developing story. We will provide updates as they are made available.