Spain closes discos and nightclubs, the Czech Republic returns masks


Closing of discos and bans on smoking on the street – these were the measures introduced today in some Spanish regions to prevent the return of the new coronavirus, a day after a protest by opponents of the restrictions, AFP reported.

The regions of Andalusia, Castile and Leon, Galicia and Cantabria have officially introduced these measures, which have been in force since yesterday in Rioja and Murcia. Thus, the areas with introduced restrictions become 6 out of a total of 17. The measures were announced on Friday by the central government, but their implementation is the task of the district authorities, which determine their own health policy.

Discos and nightclubs will have to close again, and restaurants will not be able to serve customers after midnight.

In addition, smoking will be prohibited on the street if it is not possible to maintain a distance of at least two meters. Gatherings of more than 10 people in one place are prohibitedand visits to nursing homes are limited.

These measures were already criticized yesterday at a protest in Madrid, in which between 2,500 and 3,000 people took part, chanting “Freedom” and carrying posters with inscriptions such as “The virus does not exist” and “Masks kill”. Protesters, organized through social media, say the pandemic data is being exaggerated to justify restrictions on freedoms.

Many protesters yesterday did not wear masks, which are mandatory in Spain when leaving home. Jose Manuel Franco, a Socialist MP for the Madrid region, promised that the demonstration would be severely punished for what happened.

At the same time, the Basque Country’s regional government today declared a state of emergency, which will allow it to take tougher measures than other regions of the country, including possible restrictions on movement. The area is at risk of a “possible tsunami” of infection.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Spain is close to 343,000, which is the highest figure in Europe.

The Czech authorities will return the obligatory wearing of masks from September 1 in public transport and in many indoor public places. The reason is an increase in the incidence of coronavirus. Against this background, the government in Prague has expressed anticipation of a difficult autumn, Reuters reported.

“We see this as a precautionary measure, given that we are likely to face a difficult autumn, especially after September 1, when there will be increased social contacts,” Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech said in announcing the decision.

The schools open on September 1 after the summer vacation.

According to the new rules, people will have to wear a mask in shops, common areas of schools and public buildings, but not at work and in restaurants and drinking establishments.

The government has also reduced the quarantine period for contacts of infected people from 14 to 10 days.

The Czech Republic, with a population of 10.7 million, has registered a total of about 20,000 cases of Kovid-19, but only 397 have died, a fairly low number compared to many European countries, according to Reuters.

There are currently 5,816 active cases – the largest number to date – but the number of people in need of hospital treatment continues to decline. As of yesterday, only 104 people were in hospital with Kovid-19.

In March, the Czech Republic became one of the first European countries to introduce mandatory wearing of masks in most public places, but gradually began to abolish the requirement in view of the reduced number of infections at the end of spring. However, they began to increase again.

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