No loosening of rules soon

The government will not loosen the anti-epidemic measures in the near future - the number of hospitalizations needs to go down first.

For the country to switch from the current fifth (and strictest) to fourth level of the anti-epidemic PES system, there should be no more than 3,000 people in hospitals, said the Minister of Health Jan Blatný (for ANO). Right now, there are more than two times that.

For almost a week now, the PES score corresponds to the milder fourth degree. Previously, the cabinet considered loosening the measures after the index stayed in a lower range for seven days in a row.

From Tuesday, stationery and children's clothing and footwear stores will be allowed to open. Other shops, such as supermarkets, will also be able to sell these goods.

The state of emergency, which allows most of the anti-Covid restrictions to be in place, now applies until January 22. The government will once again ask the Chamber of Deputies for a 30-day extension. Aside from the still high numbers of new infections and hospitalizations, the reason for this is also that the more infectious so-called British variant of the coronavirus has now been confirmed in the Czech Republic.