The lower house of parliament approved the extension of the state of emergency which was introduced on October 5 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic until December 12. The state of emergency allows the government the legal basis to introduce measures to control the spread of COVID-19 including limits of gatherings, closing businesses temporarily, or introducing curfews.
A nightly curfew is in place nationwide from 21:00 - 05:00 (local time). Movement is restricted during curfew hours with individuals encouraged to stay at home unless conducting essential tasks. Individuals may leave if traveling to and from the workplace, making necessary family trips, for individual exercise, trips to natural areas and parks, and shopping for essential items such as groceries and medication. Masks are mandatory on public transport and in all indoor public spaces, and outdoors when a social distance of 2m (6ft) cannot be observed.
Nonessential businesses are closed until further notice. Shops selling essential items ad garden centres remain open; however, these will close on Sundays. Employees must work from home wherever possible. Restaurants and bars and similar establishments remain closed except for takeout services, which is permitted until 20:00. Public gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, are limited to two persons from different households, except for family members from the same household. Weddings and funerals are limited to ten people.
As of Thursday, November 19, there have been 479,020 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 6856 associated fatalities in Czech Republic. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.