Empty Prague streets via Lucas Nemec

More shops will reopen in the Czech Republic next week, says Deputy PM

More retail shops will be opened in the Czech Republic next week, while the health and industry and trade ministries will prepare a detailed schedule

Prague, April 9 (CTK) – More retail shops will be opened in the Czech Republic next week, while the health and industry and trade ministries will prepare the particular schedule, Deputy PM and Industry and Trade and Transport Minister Karel Havlíček (for ANO) told reporters after the cabinet’s meeting today.

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The working team will not propose the lifting of the ban according to the types of shops, but rather based on their selling area and will take it into consideration whether they will be able to eliminate crowds of people inside, he said.

Moreover, the government today prolonged the restricted operation of public offices until April 19.

Consequently, even in the week after Easter, public offices will be opened for two days a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, for three hours a day only and offer just limited services. They should be in full swing as of April 20, but with stricter hygiene rules observed, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (for ANO) told reporters today.

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The operation of public offices has been limited since March 16. They should replace personal contacts with citizens by written or online forms and by phone in all possible cases and limit their services to the agenda that is absolutely needed to secure the public administration functioning.

More shops are to open in the country next week. In the days to come, a team of the ministries and another one comprised of epidemiologists will draft a scenario for further lifting of the measures banning retail sales and services to curb the coronavirus spread.

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Havlicek said the process of opening further shops would last several weeks, starting after Easter holidays.

Vojtek also said that the outdoor farmer’s markets might be opened soon, which Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman (for Social Democrats, CSSD) supported.

There are many exemptions from the ban on retail sales and services within the anti-coronavirus measures, valid since March 14. Since the beginning, the closure has not applied to food stores, drugstores, pharmacies, pet shops and petrol stations, among others. The government then also lifted the closure of fabric and haberdashery stores so that people can buy material to make face masks as of March 17.

Later it issued an exemption for car repair workshops, gardening and florist shops as well as locksmithing and repairs, servicing and installation of machines and domestic appliances. Most recently, scrapyards and salvage points, hobby markets, construction material shops, ironmonger’s and bike shops and services were opened this week.

However, this is accompanied by stricter hygiene rules that have to be observed in all opened shops.

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