Czech Republic

  1. Protests as Italy tightens restrictions

    Naples protest, 25 Oct 20
    Image caption: Naples protest: Many small businesses now fear bankruptcy

    A partial lockdown is taking effect in Italy to curb the rising infection rate, with restrictions similar to those in force now in Spain, France and Belgium.

    • Italian bars and restaurants now have to close at 18:00, and gyms, swimming pools, cinemas and theatres will be shut until at least 24 November. Confirmed daily cases have risen above 21,000. There were protests in Naples, with businesses demanding compensation, and protests are planned today in Milan and Turin
    • Spain now has a curfew in force between 23:00 and 06:00, initially for 15 days, but it could be extended to six months. That’s tough in a country where people traditionally eat out at night. Spain has passed one million cases since the crisis began. Regions may now impose travel restrictions, and gatherings of different households are restricted to a maximum of six people
    • The French health authorities say the country may be getting 100,000 new cases daily - twice the official figure. Prof Jean-Francois Delfraissy said the estimated figure included undiagnosed and asymptomatic cases
    • The Czech Republic is among the hardest-hit countries in Europe and an emergency field hospital with 500 beds has just been set up on the edge of Prague. Table service has ended in all food outlets, schools have moved online and all non-essential shops have closed.
  2. Paris and other cities tighten controls

    A Paris bar, Sept 2020
    Image caption: Paris bars face another big blow to business

    European countries are racing to control increasing infection rates, with tighter measures being imposed in several cities.

    • From Tuesday bars in Paris will have to shut for two weeks and the capital's restaurants and cafes must tighten their hygiene measures. Similar rules are already in force in Marseille. Paris universities can only have lecture halls half-full. The French government is alarmed that in Paris the infection rate is now above 250 per 100,000 people, and Covid patients account for more than 30% of intensive care beds.
    • In Moscow schoolchildren will have to stay at home for two weeks and firms have been told to keep at least 30% of staff working from home. Russia's daily infection rate has risen to 10,888 - the highest since May.
    • The Czech Republic has reimposed a state of emergency, as its two-week average infection rate is 303 per 100,000, with only Spain's (319) higher in Europe, according to EU experts. Czech borders remain open, but indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people maximum.
    • Ireland's emergency health team, the NPHET, has recommended measures almost as tight as a full lockdown. Level Five would see all indoor gatherings banned and bars and restaurants only able to do takeaways.
  3. Czech Republic records 1,677 new cases

    Rob Cameron

    BBC Prague Correspondent

    A woman wearing a protective face mask walks into a metro station in Prague
    Image caption: Hospitalisation and deaths are on a sharp upward trend in the Czech Republic

    Tuesday marks a fresh record with 1,677 cases in the Czech Republic.

    Hospitalisation, intensive care and deaths are also on a sharp upward trajectory, and heading towards the numbers seen in March and April.

    Experts expect numbers will continue to rise for the next 2-3 weeks before new measures introduced last week begin to have an effect.

    New guidelines are also now in force on who should go into quarantine; asymptomatic people who have come into contact with someone positive will no longer need to self-isolate or take a test if both people are wearing face masks throughout the time of contact.

    Cyprus has become the latest country to restrict travel to and from the Czech Republic; tourist travel is now banned. The Netherlands, meanwhile, is strongly advising people have a Covid test on their return from visiting the Czech capital.