(Bloomberg) — The Czech Republic, which has become one of Europe’s epicenters for the coronavirus, won’t impose business restrictions that would inflict major damage to the economy, according to Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

The government approved a state of emergency on Wednesday to stem the spike in the Covid-19 infections after ranking only behind Spain in the European Union with new cases per capita over the last two weeks. The measure, valid for 30 days from Oct. 5, gives authorities more flexibility to tighten social-distancing rules in the nation of 10.7 million.

“We won’t close shops or restaurants,” Babis told lawmakers in Prague. “We don’t want measures with a huge impact on the economy.”



chart, bar chart: Virus Spike


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Virus Spike

The new steps, announced by Health Minister Roman Prymula, include limiting social gatherings to 10 or 20 people and shutting high schools for two weeks in most regions. Musicals and opera performances

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