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Czech Republic Imposes Complete Lockdown on Three Hardest-Hit Counties

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this file photo dated Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, healthcare workers move a COVID-19 patient to the Motol hospital in Prague, Czech Republic. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, FILE)

PRAGUE — The Czech government has imposed a complete lockdown on the three hardest-hit counties to help contain a more contagious variant of the coronavirus.

Health Minister Jan Blatny says the measure will become effective Friday for two counties in western Czech Republic on the German border — Cheb and Sokolov — and another in the northern part of the country — Trutnov — on the border with Poland.

Residents of the counties are barred from leaving those places, while people without residency can’t travel there. Exceptions include travel to work. Police will be deployed to enforce the measure.

The counties have been facing the highest occurrence of the fast-spreading coronavirus variant found in Britain. Local hospitals have reached their capacity and COVID-19 patients have to be transported to hospitals in other parts of the Czech Republic.

The number of infected people is around 1,100 per 100,000 in the three counties in the last seven days, several times higher than the rest of the country.