Czechs plan to reopen shops and services over seven weeks

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech government on Tuesday announced a plan to reopen stores and restaurants gradually over seven weeks to reawaken an economy brought to a standstill by a coronavirus lockdown. Small shops will reopen on April 20, larger stores on May 11, and restaurants and shopping malls on June 8, according to a government presentation.

Reuters April 15, 2020 00:13:27 IST
Czechs plan to reopen shops and services over seven weeks

Czechs plan to reopen shops and services over seven weeks

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech government on Tuesday announced a plan to reopen stores and restaurants gradually over seven weeks to reawaken an economy brought to a standstill by a coronavirus lockdown.

Small shops will reopen on April 20, larger stores on May 11, and restaurants and shopping malls on June 8, according to a government presentation.

But Health Minister Adam Vojtech said the plan would be conditional on adherence to hygiene rules, and subject to evaluations of the spread of the new coronavirus.

The nation of 10.7 million was among the first in Europe to declare a state of emergency in March, and imposed some of the strictest curbs on public life to prevent the spread of the virus when the proven number of cases was still below 200.

By Tuesday, the Czechs had reported 6,101 cases with 161 deaths. The restrictions have reduced the number of new cases to below 300 per day in the past 10 days, and the number of hospital admissions to below the maximum capacity of the health system.

The plan foresees a partial reopening of schools, not least for exams; normal schooling will not restart before the new academic year in September.

(Reporting by Robert Muller and Jan Lopatka, Editing by Michael Kahn and Kevin Liffey)

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