Czech government bars travel to countries with Covid variant
The Czech government is barring its citizens and residents from traveling to countries hit by highly contagious coronavirus variants and is tightening rules for face coverings.
Starting Thursday, people are required to wear better masks in places where large numbers gather, including stores, hospitals and public transportation.
Cloth masks will no longer be good enough and medical-grade masks, safety respirators or two surgical masks will have to be used instead.
The changes come as one of the hardest-hit European Union countries faces a surge of a fast-spreading coronavirus variant originally found in Britain.
As of Friday, Czechs and foreign residents are not allowed to travel to 11 countries amid concerns over coronavirus variants first detected in South Africa and Brazil.
The Cabinet is also preparing new restrictions that Prime Minister Andrej Babis indicated should include limits on movement.
The country's day-to-day increase in new confirmed cases reached 13,657 on Wednesday, about 2,700 more than a week ago. The nation of 10.7 million had almost 1.2 million cases with 19,835 deaths.