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Tight security planned for Obama Prague speech

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Obama fans will need to hope it does not rain this weekend. Strict security measures mean those coming to hear the US president speak at Hradčanské náměstí in Prague Sunday are not allowed to bring objects such as umbrellas, backpacks, or any other type of luggage, water bottles, signs and metal objects.

According to Deputy Police President Ivan Bílek, this includes cameras and mobile phones, reported.

As the only public speech in his four-day tour of Europe, as well as his first speech in Europe since becoming president, Barrack Obama’s Prague address is certain to attract thousands of Czechs and expats, including those living in neighbouring countries. The area has a capacity for 20,000 to 30,000 Deputy Prague Mayor Rudolf Blažek told

Every single spectator will need to pass through one of 20 metal detectors that will be set up around the square. Security clearance is expected to take around 1 minute for each person. That is why the US embassy in Prague advises people to get to the location early. The speech is scheduled for 10am, but spectators will be allowed into the closed off square as early as 7am. It will not be possible to pick up any confiscated objects after the event.

The square will be only accessible from Loretánská and Kanovnická street, and the Prague Castle will be closed to the public, as will the upper part of Nerudova street.

The speech, to be given against the backdrop of the Prague Castle, is expected to last around 45 minutes and to focus mainly on the topic of nuclear disarmament.

In case of inclement weather, the even could be moved to the nearby Černín palace, which houses the Culture Ministry, ČTK reported.

City Hall has decided to boost tram service on routes that run near the Prague Castle in order to handle the crowds.

Obama is officially scheduled to arrive in Prague at 5pm on Saturday (although reported yesterday evening it might even be as early as noon) and plans to leave around 5pm on Sunday. Evropská street will be closed to the public and no other flights will be scheduled at Prague Airport during his arrival and departure.

More information about traffic and other changes in Prague during Obama’s visit is available on the Prague City Hall’s phone line 800 100 991.

Further details about security measures are available at the US embassy in Prague.

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