Stricter measures from Sunday

The government has decided to tighten the anti-coronavirus measures from December 27 - switching the country to level 5 of the PES system.

The new measures will apply until at least January 10. The cabinet will then evaluate if they need to be prolonged. Fifth degree of the PES system means among other things a curfew from 9 p.m., closed non-essential shops, or a ban on socializing in more than two people. Here is a complete list of restrictions.

Shops that will be allowed to stay open will only sell essential goods. Previously, the government has been criticized for closing small stores while large supermarkets were able to sell clothing, toys or electronics. Vendors also no longer have to close on Sundays and can open on Christmas Eve morning.

During the holidays, sports equipment rentals and services, ski schools, car parks in ski areas and ski lift operators will be allowed to operate - but they have to remain closed from December 27. The government also granted an exception from the overnight curfew to midnight masses on December 24.

However, there is no exception for New Year's Eve. The Minister of Health Jan Blatný (for ANO) encouraged people to celebrate this day in a family circle.