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Omicron variant: European nation bans Christmas markets, public consuming in bid to fight COVID-19 wave

1000’s of protesters gathered in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, to protest new COVID-19 restrictions geared toward combatting the unfold of the brand new omicron variant. Amongst different issues, the Czech authorities banned the favored Christmas markets and any public consumption of alcohol, comparable to mulled wine, which Czechs and guests usually drink at such markets. 

“The federal government’s determination to abolish the out of doors Christmas markets actually from each day is outrageous for all market operators and the stallholders themselves, who usually purchased the products on credit score,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib stated on Fb, in keeping with a translation from “It is unbelievable that the stalls have been constructed and now should be torn down once more. The federal government should pay sufficient monetary compensation to all stallholders.”


The Czech authorities mandated Thursday that Christmas markets – which had solely simply opened – shut down at 6 p.m. on Friday. It additionally banned the consumption of alcohol in public, clamping down on a preferred exercise on the markets, the consumption of mulled wine and grilled sausages. Distributors can nonetheless promote Christmas bushes and contemporary carp on the road, and markets that keep open all yr can stay open, as effectively, though foods and drinks bought there can’t be consumed on the spot.

The federal government declared a 30-day state of emergency, closing the Christmas markets and mandating that bars, eating places, nightclubs, discotheques, and casinos shut at 10 p.m.

A general view of a Christmas market in Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. Due to the high rise in COVID-19 infections, Czech government banned Christmas markets in the whole country as of the evening of Friday Nov. 26, 2021. (Roman Vondrous/CTK via AP)

A common view of a Christmas market in Previous City Sq. in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. As a result of excessive rise in COVID-19 infections, Czech authorities banned Christmas markets in the entire nation as of the night of Friday Nov. 26, 2021. (Roman Vondrous/CTK through AP)

1000’s took to the streets in Prague to protest the brand new restrictions, marking the third protest within the final two weeks. In accordance with the Related Press, individuals didn’t put on face coverings or comply with social distancing guidelines. In addition they drank beer in public, in violation of the ban. 

Protesters chanted “Freedom!” and “We have had sufficient!” whereas holding banners expressing opposition to vaccine mandates, comparable to “My physique my selection.”

Police reportedly declined to intervene.

Market organizing firm Taiko additionally condemned the choice to shut the markets. 

“We’re shocked and we’re determined,” Taiko spokeswoman Hana Tietze instructed Pražská Drbna. “We’re shocked that the shops will stay open, however the markets outdoors will shut.” 

“We have now year-round prices for storage and repairs of stalls. We have employed some staff, so we’ll name for compensation,” Tietze added.

Health workers at the Motol University Hospital take out of army helicopter one of the patients with COVID-19, who was transported to Prague from a hospital in Brno, Czech Republic, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. (Vit Simanek / CTK via AP)

Well being employees on the Motol College Hospital take out of military helicopter one of many sufferers with COVID-19, who was transported to Prague from a hospital in Brno, Czech Republic, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. (Vit Simanek / CTK through AP)

The nation has set repeated data in new day by day infections, hitting a document excessive of virtually 28,000 circumstances on Thursday. The an infection fee was at 1,191 new circumstances per 100,000 residents over the previous seven days. Total, the nation of 10.7 million has registered over 2.1 million circumstances with 32,837 COVID-related deaths. It has decrease vaccination charges than many different EU nations.


Different new restrictions restrict the variety of spectators at cultural and sports activities occasions to 1,000 individuals who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, or solely 100 guests, down from 1,000. 

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