Measures that allow only vaccinated people or those who have successfully recovered from COVID-19 into restaurants, clubs and other public spaces will be considered invalid. The Czech government previously banned unvaccinated people from "non-essential" indoor places.
They were not permitted to show negative COVID test results to visit such venues either. Only those who were vaccinated or recently recovered from the virus remained eligible to visit, with the exception of children ages 12 to 18 and individuals whose medical condition doesn't allow for vaccination.
Judge Petr Mikes explained in the ruling that the "Ministry has no support for restricting such types of establishment in the so-called pandemic law unless it is for technical measures." Miles added that the "Ministry could restrict activities in accordance with the Public Health Protection Act, but only to persons suspected of being infected."
Further, the court pointed out that the measure could not force citizens to be vaccinated as it is a voluntary act. "The aim of the measure cannot be to indirectly force citizens to be vaccinated. This would make voluntary vaccination mandatory through an emergency vaccination measure, as unvaccinated people would have no choice but to be vaccinated if they wanted to live normally," Mikes said. (Related: Brazil starting to ease lockdown restrictions, even as total coronavirus deaths surpasses Spain's.)
The new Czech government also announced that it would invalidate its predecessor's directive on mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers and other professions. Petr Fiala, the newly elected prime minister, said that he doesn't want to "divide society even more."
Czech Minister of Health Vlastimil Valek expressed a similar sentiment, tweeting: "Though vaccination is the most efficient weapon against severe forms of COVID, we will not coerce anyone."
The Czech Republic, which has a population of around 10.5 million, has around 6.8 million people fully vaccinated, with around 3.8 million already receiving their booster shots.
Company employees previously needed to be tested twice a week, while school children and school employees took their tests once a week.
The Czech Republic recorded 57,195 new cases on February 1, which is a new day-to-day record and 2,500 more than the previous one. The seven-day infection rate also grew to 2,483 per 100,000 residents on February 1, up 2,318 the previous day as cases surged due to the omicron variant.
While omicron is less likely to cause severe illness than delta, it spreads more easily than previous strains and has already become dominant worldwide. It also easily infects those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of the virus.
The number of COVID patients needing hospitalizations in the country had been slightly increasing recently, with the numbers reaching 2,653 on February 1, which is still a far cry from the 7,000 in early December 2021. The number of patients in intensive care units has also been stable for the last two weeks, with around 200 cases day-to-day. There were also fewer COVID-19 deaths in January compared to December.\
The Czech Republic has so far registered 37,281 virus-related deaths during the pandemic. (Related: Boris Johnson drops mask mandate in U.K. – will the rest of the world follow suit?)
By easing the mandates, the Czech Republic is following the move of other European counties. Neighboring Austria, for instance, is now allowing shops and restaurants to remain open longer. It is also easing restrictions on the unvaccinated from next week.
Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that Italy would be announcing a timetable to roll back its own COVID-19 mandates and limitations.
Watch the video below to see how the U.S. is faring in the "Defeat the Mandates" fight.
This video is from the You Silenced Me channel on Brighteon.com.
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