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As of Friday, restaurants and bars across the Czech Republic will have to remain closed between midnight and 6 a.m. and the wearing of face masks will be mandatory for students in classrooms, except for those in grades 1-5 in elementary schools, according to the new COVID-19 restrictive measures announced here on Thursday.

Previously, students have been required to wear face masks only in common spaces in the school, such as corridors and toilets.

“The epidemiological situation is not good, the epidemic is gaining momentum,” Health Minister Adam Vojtech said in a statement.

“If we do not take further preventive measures, the situation will worsen. We are not planning a lockdown at this time, but we need to take some action to target the riskiest places.”

The Czech Republic recorded 2,137 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily count and the first time the daily figure has exceeded 2,000, according to the Ministry of Health data.

Most patients report no or mild symptoms, but the surge in cases this month has also led to a spike in hospitalizations that is nearing the peaks seen in April.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Czech Republic had reported a total of 42,739 cases and 488 deaths.

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Source: Xinhua

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