Government Allows Movement Within Districts For Leisure Purposes

The government has partially eased the anti-epidemic measures, permitting movement for leisure purposes within the district until the end of the state of emergency. The government will request an extension to the state of emergency and aims to keep restrictions in place until after Easter.  Photo: Minister of Health Jan Blatný at the press conference on March 18. Credit: 

Czech Rep., Mar 19 (BD) – The Czech government met on Thursday evening to discuss changes to the anti-epidemic measures, which will come into effect from Monday, March 22nd. The government will largely keep the current measures in place, with minor changes. These will last until the end of the state of emergency on March 28th. The government will discuss an extension on Monday.

Among the changes from Monday will be an expansion of the area permitted for leisure activities. Since March 1st, walks and sports activities were only allowed within the municipality. ‘‘They will now be permitted in the whole district. This means that it will be possible to move around the district for nature, sports and the like,’’ said Minister of Health Jan Blatný. In Brno, this means that residents will now be allowed to go to Brno-venkov for leisure purposes, as the two Brno districts are considered as one for the purposes of restrictions on movement. 

The current restrictions on movement between districts will remain in force, permitting only necessary trips such as visits to the doctor or authorities and commuting to work. The government has allowed an exception to the ban on leaving the district for parents to visit children under 18 or visits from close relatives with children in foster care or institutional care. 

‘‘The incidence of new diagnoses in the population is about ten percent lower in the week-on-week comparison,’’ said Blatný, adding that the epidemic situation has improved over the last three weeks but the situation in hospitals remains serious. 

According to the minister, the government aims to extend the measures and state of emergency until Easter, as holiday periods are associated with a large movement of people. ‘‘The goal is really to maintain this restriction until Easter, so a state of emergency is necessary. Without this, this fundamental restriction is not possible,’’ said Blatný. The government will present data to the opposition on Monday, to inform the decision regarding an extension of the state of emergency.

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