On Wednesday, as many as 23 restaurants, cafés, and similar food facilities declared they’ll remain open until 10 pm in protest against the COVID-19 measures imposed on small businesses.

The protest came following the change in regulations ordering the restaurants (and other food entities) to close at 8 pm from Wednesday. According to restaurant owners, they are protesting this move because they are being punished for the government’s inability to meet their epidemiological goals. At the same time, they believe that restaurants were not open for enough time to somehow negatively influence the situation.

“The government has thrown pubs, bars, culture, and services overboard. The Czech Republic is not a dictatorship! From now on, we will defend our rights,” said managers, Novinky.cz reports.

Several businesses in Prague, Teplice, Duchcov, and Jince were to remain open on Wednesday. Their owners stressed that this action would take place – first and foremost – in protest of the government’s unpredictable and chaotic actions. According to them, they are in no way trying to compromise or downplay the epidemiological situation in the country.

“We are convinced that at a time when shopping centers are open and crowded, restricting restaurants, where not so many people accumulate, is irrelevant. It may seem to some that it is only two hours, but for us, these are the most expensive hours of our operation,” managers said, Novinky.cz reports.

As was anticipated, the police arrived at several restaurants. As such, the police came to the Malý Janek brewery in Jince at half past eight, checked the visitors’ documents and forced everyone to leave. The visitors and the owners confirmed that they were ready to face the consequences of their actions even if they were to be fined.