Czechs close shops, pubs to stem virus spread

Agence France-Presse
Czechs close shops, pubs to stem virus spread
The measure will be in effect until March 24

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – The Czech government closed most shops, restaurants, and pubs on Saturday in a bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The measure, which will be in effect until March 24, does not concern shops selling food and electronics, pharmacies, or petrol stations.

“We wanted to stop people from heading to shopping malls,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters, calling on Czechs to show tolerance and solidarity.

Restaurants and pubs will be closed for the same period, the government said in a statement published on its website on Saturday. (READ: Czech uproar as Vietnamese restaurant bans Chinese guests)

The Czech Republic has registered 150 confirmed cases of the virus and no deaths as of Saturday morning.

On Friday, the government said foreigners would no longer be allowed to cross into the country and Czechs would not be allowed to leave as of Monday.

The government had earlier already closed schools, theatres, cinemas, galleries, and museums and banned gatherings of more than 30 people – except for funerals. – Rappler.com

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