Tourist attractions and businesses in the Czech Republic that have not already opened will finally be allowed to go back into business as May 25, but some restrictions are still in place.
The last major step in reopening business will allow life to start to return to normal for local residents, and for domestic tourism at least to get under way. A complete list of the rules that apply as of May 25, in Czech, can be found on the Health Ministry website.
People in the tourism industry are optimistic that the season can now start. “Many of our fans on social networks contacted us to let us know they’ve just postponed their trip, and are looking forward to visiting Prague as soon as they can. We have already seen many domestic visitors coming for one-day trips to see and experience the city without tourists. We expect their numbers to spike after May 25,” Prague City Tourism spokeswoman Barbora Hrubá said.
Crowd sizes will be limited to a maximum of 300, and face masks must still be worn indoors except for the home, on public transit or in places where people are less than two meters apart.
Further changes will come June 8, when the capacity of people at events is set to increase again, if the situation allows.
The most notable change, at least for locals, is that indoor areas of restaurants, cafes, pubs, buffets, wineries, and beer shops can reopen as of May 25, as well as catering facilities in shopping malls over 2,500 meters. Interiors of these establishments have to close at 11 pm and can’t reopen until 6 am.
Groups of different people in restaurants should be spaced two meters apart, and people should wear face coverings when not eating or drinking. For outdoor gardens, tables must be 1.5 meter apart. Outdoor seating at restaurants has been permitted since May 11.
Disinfectant should also be available at the entrance. The restaurant staff is also responsible for enforcing safety rules, including preventing excessive drinking as this can lead to risky behavior.
Contactless payment is also recommended by the Health Ministry. Increased cleanliness rules apply for restaurant and pub staff. Service staff should wear face coverings, and tables should be disinfected after each group, for example.
Theaters, castles, chateaux and other cultural activities can also operate, and cultural, business or sports events can be held for up to 300 people. These will join museums, galleries, and art halls, which have been open since May 11 as well.
Online tickets with a specific time are encouraged. People should check with individual venues before going. Crowd sizes in venues such as castles should be limited to 10 square meters per person. Distancing of two meters between groups should be enforced by staff, and face masks are required.
Prague Castle will reopen and will also temporarily eliminating its security checks, as the threat of terrorism is now assessed as being very low. Spot checks still will take place, and people still cannot carry weapons or other forbidden items, or large luggage. (Prague Castle will also be open for free between May 29 and June 1.)
Indoor areas of zoos and botanical gardens can also open. The outdoor areas have been accessible since April 27, after several zoos signed a joint statement claiming they should follow the same rules as parks, which had remained open.
Prague Zoo is currently using electronic tickets purchased in advance online as a way to control crowd size and also limit contact between staff and visitors.
The Fata Morgana greenhouse at the Botanical Gardens in Troja reopens May 26, as it is normally closed on Mondays. Visitors can look forward to new species of rare plants and other innovations, as the organizers used the time it was closed to make some changes. Some species of orchids are currently in bloom.
Hotels, hostels, campsites and other accommodation providers, and their restaurants and cafes, can also get back into business. This will help to get domestic tourism under way, at least. International travel restrictions will still hinder most international tourism.
As with restaurants, increased hygiene rules apply. Contact with pens used by other people to fill out forms should be minimized. Disinfect has to be readily available for guests. Room cleaning requirements are stricter. Social distancing between different groups should be enforced.
Weddings will be able to take place with up to 300 guests. The wedding couple is not obliged to wear face masks during the ceremony, and the main participants in the ceremony are not required to stand two meters apart. The service should not be unduly long. Other restrictions apply such as not sprinkling people with holy water.
Primary schools can also restart activities and organize school outings.
Taxi services that have not already been allowed can restart. Both the driver and passenger have to wear masks. Regular disinfection and a protective barrier are recommended by the Health Ministry.
Salons that offer tattoos, piercings and permanent makeup can reopen. Disinfectant must be available and face masks must be worn. The person getting tattooed or pierced should be alone, except if they are a minor that requires a guardian. Spaces such as chairs used by customers should be disinfected, and other strict hygiene rules apply. These places will join barbershops, hairdressers, nail salons, tanning salons, cosmetic salons and massage parlors, which all reopened May 11.
Natural and artificial bathing areas, wellness centers, and saunas can reopen. Rules for bathing areas, such as when and where you can take off a face covering, are quite extensive. People with any symptoms of infectious disease are strongly discouraged from going.
People as of May 25 will still have wear face masks in buildings outside their homes, in public transport vehicles and all other places if they cannot be at least two meters away from other people who do not live in the same household with them.
Exceptions from this rule will be the same as they were previously: children under the age of 2; children in kindergartens and students at school if they keep the distance of 1.5 meters from one another; people working outside in hot weather; and moderators, film crews, photographers and people working in offices, if they are at least two meters from others.
Do you have further questions or comments about re-openings in Prague? Let us know in the comments.