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Czech health minister hopes to ease COVID-19 restrictions maybe by “mid-February”

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We’ve heard the whole “Maybe by X we can get back to normal” routine, so no one’s holding their breath. However, Czech health minister Jan Blatný is showing signs of optimism, saying the Czech Republic could ease up on the COVID-19 restrictions by mid-February at the earliest. 

Currently, the PES system is at 69 points, which is stage 5 out of 5, or the highest possible state of restrictions. 

The hope is that the country would move from the 5th degree on the PES system to the 4th, which would mean raising the curfew, opening certain businesses (not bars and restaurants), and allowing home visits. But perhaps the best part is that children would be allowed to go back to school.

Blatný has also previously stated that he will decide next week on following Germany’s lead in making respirators mandatory in certain spaces, upgrading from regular masks. However, concerns about price regulation dominate the conversation; Mandatory masks might make the price go through the roof, but price regulations might mean distributors just end up exporting to another country for a better profit. 

“If we do not ensure that we can’t get respirators among people at an affordable price, then it’s not worth going forward with this type of regulation. If I submit the proposal, I will know next week. The working group under the chief hygienist is now in charge of it so they will submit it within a week.”

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