(Bloomberg) -- The Czech Republic’s incoming government plans to ease rules on people who haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19, Prime Minister-designate Petr Fiala said.
The plan to ease a ban on unvaccinated people entering public venues comes as the European Union nation battles the worst outbreak of coronavirus since the beginning of pandemic. The country registered a record of 25,864 new cases in 24 hours through Tuesday and some hospitals overrun with Covid-19 patients are cutting elective care.
The new administration, which should take power next month, will re-introduce the acceptance of negative PCR tests to allow unvaccinated people to enter restaurants, bars, and service providers. The new cabinet also won’t impose a national shutdown of schools, Fiala said said.
“It’s clear that we cannot stop this wave, we’re coming through,” said Fiala, who also called for better enforcement of measures that are already in place. “We have to limit its impact on the health-care system and prepare for the next ones so that we don’t let it get to this horrible extent ever again.”
The comments contrast with actions taken by the governments of neighboring Germany and Austria, which have introduced lockdowns and tightened measures against unvaccinated people. Both of those countries have less severe outbreaks than the Czechs when adjusted for population size.
The future cabinet will also seek to shorten the period between the second and third doses of the vaccination to five months, from the current six, incoming health minister Vlastimil Valek said.
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