Czechs will not need masks when in open spaces from May 25: government


PRAGUE (Reuters) – Czechs no longer need to wear face masks in most public spaces starting on May 25, the government decided on Monday, in the latest easing of restrictions it put in place to curb the new coronavirus outbreak.

The Czech Republic introduced some of Europe’s strictest measures in mid-March, including the requirement that people use masks to cover their mouths and noses when out in public.

But people will soon only need masks on public transport, in shops and in other closed public spaces that also include theaters and cinemas. The government kept in place a recommendation for people to wear them in open-air spaces.

Authorities reopened beer gardens, some schools, hairdressers, malls, cinemas and other businesses on Monday in the central European nation of 10.7 million.

The Czech Republic has reported 8,136 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 illness as of Monday afternoon with 281 deaths. More than half of those who have tested positive have already recovered, according to government figures.

Reporting by Robert Muller, Editing by Michael Kahn and Hugh Lawson