Czech citizens will be able again to cross the border with Slovakia after the country decided to reverse its controversial decision to close several border crossings to try and curb the spread of COVID-19 on Monday.
Small crossings were barred with concrete blocks or gravel piles.
The decision of Slovak authorities prompted heated reactions from people living in the towns near the borders who are traveling between the two countries for family or work on a daily basis.
Mayors of local villages even issued notes of protest, saying they had not been informed of such drastic measures in advance. Clashes with police were also reported on Tuesday.
The closed border crossings will be opened again by the end of the week, announced Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček.
“The Slovak interior minister has just informed me that the Slovak side decided to open all border crossings till the end of the week and switch to randomized controls,” Hamáček added.
On Wednesday, the Czech Health Ministry reported 279 people positive for the COVID-19, more than double the number of infections detected on the same day last week and the highest daily number of new cases detected since June 8.
Prague is currently the region in the Czech Republic with the highest rates of new coronavirus infections (32 per 100,000).
The death rate returned to the level before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) said on Wednesday. A total of 9,349 died in May, which was roughly 20 percent fewer than in April.
The number of deaths in May is still slightly higher than this month’s average from 2015 to 2019.