Czech government declares state of emergency
The outgoing Czech government has declared a nationwide state of emergency aimed at countering the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. The state of emergency will come into force at midnight on Friday and will be in place for thirty days.
At a press conference on Friday, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch also announced a raft of new measures to combat the epidemic.
As of Friday, restaurants and pubs in the Czech Republic will have to close at 10 pm and there will be a ban on alcohol consumption in public.
A maximum of 1,000 spectators with valid vaccination certificates or proof of having recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months will be permitted at cultural and sporting events and no more than 100 people will be allowed to attend indoor parties or celebrations. The number of people at funerals will not be limited.
The government has also banned Christmas markets, effective from Friday 6 pm, with the exception of stalls selling Christmas trees and carp.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said there were no plans to impose a full lockdown but he urged people over 60 to restrict contacts with others to a minimum and get their booster jabs as soon as possible.