The Czech government has declared a 30-day state of emergency starting on Monday, with restrictions on mass-attendance events

On Monday 5 October 2020 the Czech Republic will come under a state of emergency. Andrej Babiš’s government made the decision at an extraordinary session on Wednesday 30 September 2020. Monday will also mark the start of a crisis measure under which the government restricts mass-attendance events.

The state of emergency will start to apply throughout the Czech Republic at 00:00 hours on Monday 5 October 2020 and will last for 30 days. The reason for the state of emergency is the worsening SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. The government resolved that developments in the epidemic in the past weeks satisfy the criteria for a state of emergency to be declared under the terms of Articles 5 and 6 of the Constitutional Act on the Security of the Czech Republic. Specifically, the Czech Republic faces a threat that poses a considerable danger to lives, health and property, to internal law and order and security.

Further to the declaration of the state of emergency the government also adopted a crisis measure under which the government restricts mass-attendance events with effect from 00:00 hours on 5 October 2020 to 23:59 hours on 18 October 2020. During this period, mass-attendance events for more than ten people indoors and more than twenty people outdoors, with the exception of family members, will be prohibited, bar specific exceptions. Concerts, theatre performances and other artistic performances and festivals involving a significant amount of singing, including rehearsals, will also be prohibited.

The government’s decision will also restrict the staging of other mass-attendance events. Theatre, film and other performances not involving singing, for example, may take place with an attendance of at most 500 people, all seated, and without the offer of refreshments. Sporting events that are part of official competitions may take place with the involvement of at most 130 people but no spectators – this also applies to organised training sessions. There is a 100-person limit on attendance of religious services, at which singing is also prohibited, and on public participation in sessions of municipal or regional self-administration.

There is also a change for hospitality services establishments, where it now applies that at most six people may sit at one table.

The government also discussed restrictions on school attendance. The cabinet agreed that educational facilities would follow the instructions of their regional public health authorities, which will issue measures depending on the situation in the region and in line with the epidemiological traffic light system. A restriction on tuition in the form of a switch to distance learning is to apply from Monday 5 October to secondary and higher vocational schools and universities in regions with a red or amber colour. It will not apply to practical training, or to individual consultations and examinations at universities, or to compulsory school attendance at multi-year grammar schools. In other regions, restrictions are imposed on schools and educational facilities under the Act on Schools and on universities under the Act on Universities so that education does not comprise singing and, with the exception of the first stage of elementary education in elementary schools, sports activities also do not take place.