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Bars and restaurants open in the Czech Republic in protest against lockdown

Hundreds of bars and restaurants opened in the Czech Republic on Saturday, January 23, as part of a general protest against government-imposed strict restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Deutsche Welle reports.

The action was organized by the Chcipl pes initiative. The name of this protest movement alludes to disagreement with the policies of the government, which introduced the electronic surveillance system PES.

The Chcipl pes movement recently registered itself as a political entity whose members can gather in catering establishments, which can be considered a regular party meeting place.

In the Czech Republic, all restaurants, pubs, and bars have been closed since October 2020, as well as cinemas, theaters, zoos, gyms, and most stores. Authorities allowed them to open only during the Christmas holidays. Restaurants will face a maximum fine of 20,000 kroner (about $932) for violating the quarantine.

The Czech Republic, whose population is about 10.7 million people, is among those EU member states most affected by the current pandemic. Currently, there are about 930,000 cases of coronavirus infection and almost 15,300 coronavirus-related deaths in the country. Every day in the Czech Republic, about eight thousand new cases of the disease are recorded.

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