The Czech Republic’s health minister Jan Blatny on Sunday said the government will allow restaurants and non-essential shops to reopen on December 3.

The announcement comes as the country’s daily COVID infections dropped below 5,000 in six out of the past seven days. The government said it will move down to level 3 on its 5-level coronavirus risk scale.

Shops and restaurants will however, have to limit customer numbers. The night-time curfew will be lifted, but pubs will have to close by 10pm.

“The shorter the period stores are open before Christmas, the higher the concentration of people would be in shops”, Blatny said, adding that the government plans to introduce wider antigen testing.

Under the new rules, museums and galleries can open with limited capacity and individual indoor sports activities can resume. The number of people who may gather will increase to 50 people outside and 10 inside. Currently, only 6 people are allowed to gather.

As of Saturday, total cases in the country stood at 518,649, while coronavirus-related deaths reached 8,054.


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