Woman wearing a face mask. Illustrative photo via iStock / torwai

Czech Health Ministry limits group size in public spaces to two people maximum

Under the new restriction on free movement valid through April 1, Czech residents are only allowed in public spaces in groups of a maximum of two, with few exceptions

Prague, March 25 (CTK) – As of Tuesday, March 24, Czech citizens are able to enter public spaces only in groups of two, the Health Ministry said in a press release today.

According to the media, the ministry based its decision on the law on the protection of public health, not on the law on the state of emergency. This results in a situation in which for example store and restaurant owners cannot ask the state for compensation.

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Representatives of opposition parties said they do not approve of the change and want to meet PM Andrej Babis (ANO) to discuss the situation.

According to Finance Minister Alena Schillerova (for ANO), the law on the state of emergency treats such cases the same as the law on the protection of public health, meaning that compensations are in order only if some property was confiscated or similar strict measures were deployed, none of which apply at the moment.

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Deputy Health Ministry and Central Crisis Staff head Roman Prymula apologized on TV Prima today for the way citizens were informed about the new measures

Prymula explained that Babis, as well as Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO), were not present at the relevant press conference, thus the new measures were not presented to the public as planned. He also confirmed that the new measures do not allow citizens to file for compensation.

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The only exceptions to the new limitation are people living in the same household, attendees of funeral services and people congregating for work.

The ministry also instructed citizens to keep a distance of at least two metres between each other if possible.

Earlier this week, the government prolonged the previous limitations on the free movement of people to April 1.

Some media published reports today that the measures announced today also prohibit citizens from visiting their weekend houses due to a clause that directs people to stay in their place of residence.

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Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (CSSD) explained that people should only consider if it is that important to them to visit their weekend house under the circumstances.

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