| 6 October 2022, Thursday |

Czech government plans to end COVID passes, easing measures for unvaccinated

Starting next week, the Czech Republic will no longer require COVID cards for access into restaurants and other service or entertainment facilities, allowing unvaccinated persons to attend, according to Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

As the Omicron strain spreads, the country of 10.7 million people, which was badly affected by past waves of the COVID pandemic, is experiencing a record surge in coronavirus infections. However, experts anticipate a decrease in illnesses this month.

The Health Ministry reported a record daily tally of 57,226 COVID infections on Tuesday, plus nearly 10,000 suspected re-infections. On Wednesday, a further 43,307 cases were reported and more than 7,000 re-infections on top of that.

But hospitalisations have not yet jumped and are well below peaks in previous waves of the pandemic. The government has sought to end some measures.

From Feb. 9, the need to show proof of vaccination or being recently recovered from COVID-19 to enter restaurants and other hospitality or service venues will end, Fiala said in a statement late Wednesday evening.

The government will also finish mandatory testing in firms and schools from Feb. 18.

Measures requiring mask wearing indoors and limits to the number of people at public events will remain.

The moves follow easing planned in other European countries. Neighboring Austria will allow shops and restaurants to remain open longer and also ease restrictions on the unvaccinated from next week.

On Wednesday, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Italy would soon announce a timetable to roll back its COVID-19 curbs.

  • Reuters