The Czech government on Thursday ordered bars and clubs to close at 10 p.m. and banned Christmas markets in an attempt to stem one of the world's highest coronavirus infection rates.
The new restrictions also include a maximum attendance of 1,000 people at culture and sports events, stopping short of the sweeping lockdowns in neighbouring Austria and Slovakia, where infection rates are even higher.
Just hours after the new restrictions were announced, the presidential office said President Milos Zeman was taken to hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus, although local media reported he showed no symptoms.
This was less than half a day after the 77-year-old leader left the hospital following a 46-day treatment for an unrelated chronic condition. read more
The Czechs registered more than 25,000 new cases, a record, on Tuesday, and an average of 1,516 daily COVID-19 cases per million population over the past week, the third highest in the world behind Slovakia and Austria, according to Our World in Data.
Health Minister Adam Vojtech said daily infections and hospital admissions were likely to rise further, but the government hoped the new measures would prevent the need for tougher restrictions.