Czech Republic to keep current limits on participants at indoor and outdoor events from September

Czech officials did not meet Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek's request that the limit on spectators be abolished

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 17.08.2020 11:20 (updated on 17.08.2020)

Prague, Aug 17 (CTK) – The maximum attendance of indoor events will remain at 500 in Czech Republic, the Government Council for Health Risks decided today, not meeting Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek’s proposal that the limit be raised to 1,000 in areas with good epidemiological situation, Michaela Lagronova told CTK.

The council also decided not to enable outdoor events with participation of more than 1,000 people, Lagronova, Culture Ministry spokeswoman, said.

If the organizers guarantee the arrangement of separated sectors for 500 people each, the total number of participants may be five times higher at both indoor and outdoor events than the above limit, Lagronova said.

Zaorálek, who negotiated with organizers of big festival and artistic associations’ leaders of late, demanded that the permitted attendance of mass events be increased.

“The public health authorities and the Health Ministry want to maintain the current restrictions. If Czechia permitted event with the attendance of thousands, it would also be unprecedented in relation to the neighboring countries,” Lagronova said.

On the other hand, the Health Ministry’s current directive that spectators at indoor events have to leave every other seat in the auditorium vacant was abolished today, which was another step proposed by Zaorálek.

“People will be able to sit next to each other, but will have to wear face masks,” Lagronova said.

On arrival at the Council meeting earlier today, Zaorálek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told media that he wants the permitted number of participants in mass indoor events to be raised to 1,000 in the regions with a favorable epidemiological situation.

Where the situation would deteriorate, Zaorálek prefers the introduction of compulsory face masks for the participants, such as theater spectators, to a reduction of their number, he said.

“If the situation in some region, as reflected by the traffic lights system, worsened [from the non-risk white or slight-risk green] to the yellow color, I can imagine tightening the sanitary measures rather than cancelling events,” he said.

Face masks worn by spectators would be a better solution than the cancellation of whole performances, he added.

Zaoralek also said he wants to propose an increase in the number of participants in the events held on large premises that offer the area of 1.5 square metres for each participant. “This is another thing the public health authorities must comment on,” he said.