Leaders in the Czech Republic said on Thursday that new Covid restrictions would be introduced as the country experiences some of its highest workloads since the start of the pandemic.
From Monday, people without a vaccination card or proof of a previous Covid infection will not be allowed to enter restaurants or bars across the country, nor will they be able to use interior services such as hair salons. They will also be prohibited from attending major events.
The country recorded 22,511 cases of Covid on Tuesday, the highest number since the start of the pandemic, but the streets of Prague were full a day later as people celebrated the 32nd anniversary of the Velvet Revolution that toppled the communist regime.
About 10,000 of those gathered took the opportunity to protest Covid restrictions and vaccinations, police said.
Only 58% of the people of the Czech Republic are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, placing the country in the bottom half of European Union statistics. To boost the numbers, the government has launched a media campaign showing photos of people who have died from Covid.
“The situation is critical and we don’t have time,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Wednesday, also. grateful on twitter that previous restrictions had proved insufficient.
His government, which lost the elections in October, has been criticized for not acting quickly enough during the crisis. Many analysts believe the election campaign was a big factor in the government’s decision not to introduce unpopular restrictions earlier.
A center-right government, led by Petr Fiala, is expected to take power next week.