PRAGUE — The Czech government moved to further tighten restrictions Friday amid a surge of a highly contagious coronavirus variant in one of the hardest-hit European Union’s nations.
At the same time, the worsening situation has forced the Cabinet to abandon its plans to reopen all stores as soon as next week.
Health Minister Jan Blatny said residents will have to wear better protection than just a face mask in places like stores, public transportation and hospitals where large numbers of people gather.
Blatny said a respirator and a mask made of nanomaterials or two surgical face masks will be required and homemade textile masks won’t be considered sufficient.
“We’ve agreed that it’s necessary to do all we can to prevent the infection from spreading,” Blatny said.
The Czech Republic is facing a surge of a fast-spreading coronavirus variant first found in Britain that scientists think is more deadly than the original virus. The countries three hardest-hit counties, located on the border with Germany and Poland, are under a complete lockdown.