The Czech government has approved new coronavirus restrictions that specifically target unvaccinated people amid a record increase in infections.
Health Minister Adam Vojtech said most unvaccinated people will no longer be allowed to show negative results on coronavirus tests to attend public events, go to bars and restaurants, visit hairdressers, museums and the like or use hotels.
Only people who are vaccinated and those who have recovered from COVID-19 will remain eligible.
There are exceptions for adolescents aged 12 to 18, people whose disease does not allow vaccination and people who have received one shot of vaccine.
Vojtech said the purpose of the measures, which will take effect on Monday, is to encourage people to get vaccinated.
Prime Minister Andrei Babis said his government was inspired by similar measures imposed in the German state of Bavaria.
“The situation is serious and we are once again urging everyone to get vaccinated,” Babis said.
A negative test will suffice for visitors from hospitals and nursing homes.
Additionally, the government imposes mandatory tests for non-vaccinated employees of all firms and companies once a week.
Those who are over 60 and have been vaccinated will also need to be tested.
At the same time, the tests at elementary and high schools, which were due to end on November 29, will continue.
The announcement came after the Czech daily toll rose to 22,511 new cases on Tuesday, surpassing the previous record set on January 7 by nearly 5,000 and nearly 8,000 more than just a week earlier.
The country’s infection rate has risen to 819 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, more than 558 a week earlier.
With 58 percent of the population inoculated, Czech vaccination is below the European Union average.