Coronavirus update, October 21, 2021: Czech Republic to demand restaurant vouchers and masks at work

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Restaurants must check customers’ Covid status

As of November 1, bars and restaurants in the Czech Republic will have to check a customer’s health condition before serving them. Checks will not be carried out at the entrance but after the guests have been seated. The obligation does not apply to those who order take-out food, nor to restaurants in food courts in shopping centers, said Health Minister Adam VojtÄ›ch.

Restaurant staff will be prohibited from allowing entry or providing services to anyone without an electronic or paper certificate proving either their complete vaccination, recent Covid infection, or a valid negative Covid test. If a guest refuses to provide evidence, the police or the public health bureau can intervene, Vojtěch said, adding that a guest would face a penalty for submitting a false document.

Vaccination, illness or valid test certificates are already checked at the entrance to shows and swimming pools, for example. However, restaurants and other catering establishments have not yet been required to do so.

Respirators will be required in all interior spaces

Czech lawmakers have also decided that respirators will be mandatory in all indoor premises, including workplaces, from October 25, making an exception for people who work alone in an office. Respirators will also be required at mass indoor events, regardless of the number of participants. Currently, the respirator requirement applies to shops and public transport.

Covid tests will no longer be free

Covid tests must be paid from November 1 and will remain free only for people under the age of 18, people vaccinated halfway through their vaccination and those who cannot get bitten due to a contraindication. indication, said Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch.

Free tests will be available for the above groups once a week for antigen testing and twice a month for PCR testing, Vojtěch said. Tests ordered by doctors or public health authorities will also remain free. Test prices are capped at CZK 814 for PCR and CZK 201 for antigen testing each.

The cabinet also approved a reduction in the validity period of a negative test from seven days to three for PCR testing and from 72 hours to 24 hours for antigen testing.

Shortened quarantine time

The cabinet has approved that the quarantine of those who have been in contact with a person infected with Covid will be reduced from 14 to seven days from October 25, if it ends in a negative PCR test, the health minister said. Adam Vojtěch. The length of the quarantine has been criticized by parents of schoolchildren, who are required to self-quarantine if one of their classmates is infected.

Cabinet disagrees on rules for schools

The cabinet failed to agree on anti-epidemic measures to be taken in schools, and the issue is yet to be discussed in the coming days. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch proposed that face masks be compulsory even during lessons in classrooms of schools in neighborhoods most affected by the coronavirus, to which Education Minister Robert Plaga strongly urged opposite.

Court rejects complaint regarding recognition of Covid antibodies

The Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) rejected a proposal to quash part of the Health Ministry’s measure that did not recognize the presence of Covid-19 antibodies as evidence that people are safe from the ‘infection. This means that the measure, which is no longer valid, was in accordance with the law. Unlike the cases treated previously, there is no doubt why the ministry favored people vaccinated against the coronavirus over those with antibodies in this case. The presence of antibodies cannot be confused with immunity, the court said. Health Minister Adam VojtÄ›ch welcomed the court decision. “I hope this decision will end this debate now,” he said on Twitter.

Schools could extend fall vacation

Principals of schools most affected by Covid can announce the principal’s leave on Mondays and Tuesdays, extending the fall vacation for children, the news server iDnes.cz reported. “The situation of last year is starting to repeat itself”, said the mayor of Prague ZdenÄ›k HÅ™ib. In consultation with hygiene, the city will invite the directors of critical schools to assess the situation. “Depending on this, administrators can voluntarily decide whether or not to declare the director’s leave on Monday and Tuesday,” HÅ™ib added. This would apply to about 150 schools. Likewise, schools in the South Bohemian and Jihlava region are already considering extending the holidays.

Half of Czechs have seen their health deteriorate

Half of Czechs saw their condition worsen during the Covid pandemic because they did not consult their doctor about their problems, also half saw it worsen as a result of the Covid infection and 58% attribute the worsening to hospitals delaying planned surgeries, a ministry investigation has shown. According to general practitioners, one in three Czechs reduced the frequency of their visits to general practitioners’ offices. Up to 73% of people have done so for fear of a Covid infection. The number of preventive examinations of adults fell by around 15% in 2020, according to statistical data. Two-thirds of general practitioners believe that a late examination has seriously deteriorated the health of some of their patients.

Over 12 million doses of vaccination administered

On Wednesday, 3,276 new cases of Covid were reported, up from 1,500 a week earlier and even more since April 20. The number of hospitalizations with Covid has risen to 726, including 114 in serious condition. A week earlier, 462 were hospitalized with 88 severe cases. Four deaths have been reported and previous figures have been updated. October’s death toll is now 108, compared to the entire month of September with 44. The seven-day incidence of new cases per 100,000 over seven days rose to 134 from 117 a day earlier. A week ago it was 74. The reproduction number R is now at 1.65.

The total number of vaccines administered now exceeds 12 million, including boosters. More than 6 million people are fully immunized. The incidence number for Prague is 153, up from 133 a day earlier. In Moravia-Silesia, which is most affected by the pandemic, the incidence number is 223.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (October 21, 2021)


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