Media: Negative coronavirus test will open many doors in upgraded counter-epidemic system

Photo: Lucie Fürstová / Czech Radio

Several news sites have now unveiled details of the highly anticipated counter-epidemic system that is to serve as a guideline for the restrictions imposed in individual regions once the state of emergency ends on April 11. Like its predecessor, the upgraded counter-epidemic system is based on five levels of risk, but a negative coronavirus test will open many doors. 

The state of emergency allowed the government to impose strict coronavirus restrictions, including  restrictions on freedom of movement on a nation-wide scale. Once the state of emergency ends the government will lose that right. However restrictions on movement, such as a night curfew or a ban on travel can still imposed by regional hygiene offices under the new pandemic law. The new counter- epidemic system linking the risk level to a given set of restrictions will serve as a guideline not just for the respective hygiene offices but for the public.

In the fifth, highest risk level all shops, except those selling essential goods, will be closed. People will have to wear respirators indoors and outdoors. A night curfew will be imposed between 9pm and 5 am. No more than two people will be able to meet indoors and out.

In the fourth risk level shops will be open with distancing rules and only one customer per 15 square metres. People will still have to wear a respirator indoors and outside. Services such as hairdressers and beauty salons will be open, but only to clients who produce a negative coronavirus test. All employees must undergo regular testing. Hotels and other accommodation facilities will be allowed to accommodate clients with negative Covid tests which will have to be repeated at regular intervals.

Photo: Rudy and Peter Skitterians,  Pixabay / CC0

Mass sports events will once again be allowed with up to 300 people, on condition they produce a negative test.

Restaurants will be able to open in the third risk level but clients will need to produce a negative Covid test. Restaurants will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity with a maximum of four people at a table. From the third risk level down respirators can be replaced by surgical face masks.

In the second risk level restaurants will be able to operate at 80 percent capacity with a maximum 6 people at one table. Negative Covid tests will no longer be required.

In the first, lowest, risk level a maximum of 100 people can meet indoors, 500 outdoors.

Presently the situation in the country corresponds to the third risk level, but in future it will be assessed region by region. One important criteria for assessing the risk level is the number of people in intensive care per 100,000 inhabitants. In the first level it should be 300 to 400, in the second 600 at the most, in the third 800 and in the fourth 1,000 at the most. Currently there are 1,365 people in intensive care around the country.