Recent state of the general measures and exit plans

Here is summary of recent state of the general measures and exit plans.

  • On 12 March, the government declared a state of emergency for 30 days. Recently on April 7 the state of emergency has been prolonged up to April 30.
  • With effect from 16 March 2020 to 24 March 2020, the free movement of persons throughout the Czech Republic is prohibited. There are some exceptions, particularly for travelling in order to work, running your business, seeing doctors, necessary visits of families or other close persons, buying grocery, medicines, cleaning compounds, fuel, pet food etc. You can visit banks, post offices, insurance companies etc. but you are urgently asked to limit this to really necessary cases. From March 28 no more than 2 persons (if not living together) can gather at public places.
  • Selected protective equipment (FFP3 class respirators) must not be exported however now those can be already sold again also to private entities – companies etc, not only to the state.
  • Since April 9 more exceptions have been added: hardware stores, hobby markets, building materials, collection of secondary raw materials and composting facilities. Shops have to keep safety measures including distances between customers, prevent people from crowding, and provide disinfection and checking the health condition (temperature) of the employees. Car services, ICT equipment services are still opened as well. Other not listed shops, pubs, bars, cinemas, hairdresser and other services etc. are still closed.
  • April 14 the government has decided to start systematically, slowly and carefully releasing the restrictions for shops and services. /exit strategy/ The plan is to do so since April 20 to June 8. There will be several waves with 7-14 days distance between them. At first craftsmen, cars and used cars sales and farmers markets (with limitations and protective measures) can open again. The shops selling other goods like shoes, garments, electronics etc. smaller than 200 square meters can open a week later (April 27) (if not placed in shopping centers larger than 5000 sq. meters). From May 11 larger shops up to 1000 square meters (if not placed in shopping centers larger than 5000 sq. meters), driving schools or fitness centers (with limitations – no showers and dressing rooms). Since May 25, restaurants, pubs, buffets, barbershop, masseurs, regeneration services, hairdressing and beauty services will open. Furthermore, museums, galleries and zoos, but only outdoor. Since June 8, all shops in shopping centers over 5000 square meters, shops over 1000 square meters, the interior of all restaurants, cafes, and bars will be put into operation (in the shopping centers). Furthermore, hotels, taxis, services that affects the integrity of the skin, theaters, castles and other cultural, social and sporting events. The ban will cease to apply to recovery events for children under 15 years of age, weddings and zoos indoor pavilions.
  • The above listed plan is based on recent optimistic epidemiology situation and might be revised in case the number of infected people starts rising too quickly (now it is + - 200 to 250/day but +-400/day is considered as critical.)
  • It is almost sure there will not be any summer music festivals or other mass scale events.
  • Wearing a face mask is still compulsory.
  • The state borders are closed with some exceptions mainly for truck drivers, pilots, ship crews, rescue services and people important for the special interest of the country. Since April 14 the Czech citizens (settled foreigners) can undertake necessary business trips/doctor visits/family visits etc. abroad (no shopping or leisure trips) however after coming back there is compulsory 14 days quarantine. It is expected that the possibility to travel abroad will be renewed fully in June.
  • People who commute to work abroad (up to 100 km from the borders) were allowed to do so until Thursday 26 March 2020. Now they have to choose if they rather stay at home or move to Germany/Austria for at least 14 days. They have to remain in quarantine for 14 days after returning. According to the government, this very strict measure has been induced by the fact that many of those people did not respect the given rules and some of them got infected abroad. Unfortunately the same rule is in place for foreign workers from surrounding countries TO the Czech Republic. It is complicated for the companies to perform some operations, necessary maintenance of the machinery etc. The Confederation of Industry has opening borders for necessary workers among priorities.
  • There are exceptions for health and social care employees, employees of the integrated rescue system, workers of chemical and pharmaceutical operations related to the fight against the epidemic where the quarantine does not apply. If they respect safety rules.
  • There is an exception for necessary trips shorter than 24h when a person has not to go to 14 days quarantine after return. This in only for special reasons: medical treatment which can´t be provided in the Czech Republic, rescuer extending across the border, farmer crossing the border during his work, funerals or court hearings abroad, necessary care of relatives. The traveler has to proof the reason.
  • Schools: There is also a plan how to return schools back in to operation in several steps. First, since April 20, activities up to 5 persons at the universities will be allowed (consultations, exams etc.), since May 11 final years of high schools can attend in order to prepare for final exams etc. (no standard in person education), since May 25 first grade of primary schools can start education in person with limitations – stable group of 15, one child per desk, no lesson in the gym etc. However in most schools the education will not be renewed till the end of June.
  • Several villages and smaller towns were/are under strict quarantine – which, unfortunately, influences also several important companies there. In most cases the quarantine has been already released at the beginning of April.
  • Since April 13 car maker Hyundai has started manufacturing again - with some restrictions and only 2 shifts. This is a first large factory restarted among those which have interrupted the production.
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