Dozens of additional Prague restaurants will need to close their outdoor areas by 10 p.m.

A new amendment will strip 67 central Prague restaurants of their exemption from nighttime closing hours

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 02.09.2020 13:31 (updated on 02.09.2020)

According to the Prague’s regulations on nighttime quiet hours, most outdoor restaurants, pubs, and other businesses in the city center need to bring their patrons inside after 10 p.m. to avoid causing a disturbance for local residents.

But a total of 277 venues in Prague 1 had been granted an exception to this rule. Many are allowed to keep their outdoor areas open until midnight or even later, including numerous locations in the city’s historical center.

Under a new ruling from Prague City Council, however, dozens of those venues will be stripped of that exemption, and required to close their outdoor areas by 10 p.m. A total of 67 establishments will have their exemption stripped, reducing the number of restaurants allowed to operate outdoors past 10 p.m. to 210.

“These were primarily places where there was a conflict between nightlife and the locals,” Prague city councilor Jan Chabr told reporters.

The establishments that are allowed to keep their gardens open past 10 p.m., and how late they could do so, were not identified. But officials stated that around 60 venues, primarily on Prague’s Old Town and Wenceslas Squares, would be allowed to operate until midnight, and the rest would need to pack up their gardens by 11:00 p.m.

The new change follows a decision earlier this year, in which Prague decided to allow certain venues to stay open past 10 p.m. rather than institute a blanket ban. That previous decision drew some criticism from Prague residents.

The ruling comes as part of a new amendment to the city’s market regulations.

The new amendment also modifies the city’s regulation to farmers markets: while vendors at Prague farmers markets were previously required to sell only products produced in the Czech Republic, the new amendment allows for up to 10% of their wares to be foreign-produced.

While most restaurants will have sufficient indoor areas to accommodate their patrons after 10 p.m., some guests at pubs and bars tend to congregate outdoors to smoke.

According to the Czech Smart Quarantine Team’s risk assessment for COVID-19 transmission, restaurant patrons have a much higher chance of catching COVID-19 if eating at a restaurant indoors rather than an outdoor garden area.