What counts as essential?

The government plans to adjust the list of basic goods that shops can offer next week - while several retailers already made some changes.

From December 27, all shops in the Czech Republic can only offer the most essential goods, such as groceries, fuel, glasses or medicine. As part of the revision of the anti-epidemic PES system planned for next week, the cabinet also wants to update the list of necessary items.

According to the Minister of Health Jan Blatný (for ANO), stationary will probably be included for the benefit of school children. Members of the opposition have criticized the fact that people have to rely on online stores to buy for example footwear - while purchasing weapons and ammunition is allowed.

However, some supermarkets already began offering clothes, printer papers or underwear - as Seznam Televize has found out. The government's regulation states that only essential goods may be sold in shops - what exactly counts as "essential" is not specified.

That is why for example the Tesco supermarket chain has started selling things the company deems necessary. "After repeated and justified requests from our customers and careful consideration, we decided to include among other things goods such as underwear, socks or selected stationary items that students need for distance learning," said Tesco's spokesperson Václav Koukolíček for Seznam Televize.

The grocery chain Globus decided to do the same, selling underwear, socks, hats and gloves because the company considers them a necessity during winter months.