The government has rubberstamped a further easing of Covid measures that will enable hotels, theatres and cinemas to reopen as of May 24. Primary and secondary schools will go back to full in-class learning and it will once again be possible to do collective sports, indoors and out.
As Covid numbers drop in the Czech Republic, life is slowly, but steadily, returning to normal. Following the reopening of shops and restaurant gardens, the government on Monday announced it was ready to give the green light to hotels, theatres and cinemas and bring more children back to the classroom on a permanent basis.
Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček stressed that while hotels could reopen without any capacity limitations, strict hygiene norms would have to be respected.
“The condition is that guests will be asked to produce certificates of vaccination, negative Covid tests or proof of post-Covid immunity by the staff before being accommodated and they will be accommodated for seven days on the basis of that certificate. If they wish to prolong their stay Covid tests will have to be repeated every seven days. Unlike pubs and restaurants, the responsibility of checking those certificates will lie with the respective venue.”
May 24 will also be an important milestone for the organizers of cultural events. As of that date it will be possible to organize cultural events for up to 1,000 people outdoors and 500 indoors. This will enable the long-anticipated reopening of cinemas and theatres as well as music festivals, however for the time being they will only be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity with every second seat left vacant. Visitors will be expected to have certificates of vaccination, negative Covid tests or proof of post-Covid immunity and must not mingle. The organizers of cultural events are pushing a similar arrangement as holds for pubs and restaurant owners where the responsibility for the Covid certificate lies with the individual in the event of an inspection. Some theatres are already preparing to launch outdoor shows, others are planning to renew operation in June.
The coming relaxation of measures will also bring more children back to the classroom on a temporary basis. Education Minister Robert Plaga explains:
“I can confirm that we have been able to act according to plan and as of next week secondary school students will go back to full in-class learning, without rotation. Testing will continue with antigen tests once a week, and if schools want to purchase the more accurate PCR tests, which are only required once a fortnight, the state will contribute 200 crowns to the cost of one test."
Collective sports indoors and out will once again be possible, with up to 12 people allowed to train together. The number of people allowed on the sports fields will increase to 30 from the present 10. The rules will enable the resumption of gym lessons at schools with a 12-persons limit on collective games indoors. In sporting facilities for the general public people will also be expected to have valid negative Covid tests or certificates of vaccination. People exercising together will no longer have to wear respirators and they can also be removed at hairdressers, beauty and massage salons.