Wearing face masks in Prague: What are the rules now?

From Monday in Prague masks must be worn in non-residential medical facilities, such as pharmacies and doctor's waiting rooms

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas
Published on 24.07.2020 10:04 (updated on 24.07.2020)

At a press conference yesterday evening, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch announced new measures aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus in the Czech. The measures come on the heels of the deteriorating epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic.

From midnight on Saturday, Czech residents across the country will be required to wear masks at indoor events with more than 100 people, Vojtěch said at Thursday’s press conference. Since then some clarifications have been made and restrictions added. Here is the latest on when and where to put on a mask in Prague:

From Monday masks must be worn in non-residential medical facilities, such as pharmacies and doctor’s waiting rooms.

Also from Monday, throughout the country inside events for more than 500 people are prohibited. This restriction is mainly aimed at sports and cultural events, such as concerts or dance parties. But also applies to weddings and funerals.

According to Seznam news, these restrictions on mass events are approved by epidemiologists. “Mass events are, of course, a risk, so they are regulated in some way. And mass events inside buildings are a greater risk than mass events outside,” Rastislav Maďar told the news server on Thursday.

The Health Minister added that the measures apply only to organized events. If more than 100 people gather in a bar “unorganized”, they do not need masks (“If it is the case that people go to the bar, where they sit and drink, then it is not a mass event,” said Vojtech).

Vojtěch told reporters that it doesn’t matter if more than a hundred different people gather in a restaurant for lunch. However, if there is a wedding with more than a hundred guests in the same restaurant, a mask must be worn by guests.

Prague does not want to introduce mandatory wearing of masks in bars. “We did not think about it, there is no reason for it yet,” said the director of Prague hygiene station Zdeňka Jágrová. According to Jágrová, the case in the Prague club, where several dozen people became infected, is unique and an interplay of coincidences contributed to its spread.

The obligation to wear masks does not as of yet apply to public transport (with the exception of the Prague metro) or supermarkets.

However, it is expected that Prague will make masks mandatory throughout all of its public transport, not only in the metro, said Zdeňka Jágrová, the director of Prague hygiene station. “We anticipate that as soon as conditions allow, we will return to the obligation to wear veils in public transport,” said Jágrová.

Government officials, including Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, are calling on people to voluntarily wear masks even on other forms of public transport, such as trams and busses whenever possible.

For news on the developing situation in the Czech Republic visit our daily coronavirus update.