Czech Republic bans travellers from 15 countries including France and Germany

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected] • 12 Mar, 2020 Updated Thu 12 Mar 2020 16:10 CEST
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The Czech Republic on Thursday declared a 30-day state of emergency and closed its borders to people from 15 "risk countries" to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The government also banned its citizens from entering the so-called risk zones, which include France and Germany. Both countries reported over 2,200 coronavirus cases each as of Thursday afternoon.

Gatherings of more than 30 people were also barred in the country, which has so far confirmed 96 cases and no deaths.

"We are also banning theatre, music, film and other performances, sports, cultural, religious, community, dancing, traditional events and other meetings," Prime Minister Andrej Babis said. 

Restaurants will shutter from between 8 pm and 6 am and all gyms, swimming pools, clubs and libraries will also be closed to the public.

Schools, theatres, cinemas and galleries have already been closed across the Czech Republic.

The state of emergency would be in effect from 2 pm on Thursday, while the ban on events takes effect on Friday morning.

In announcing the new sweeping measures, the prime minister listed the "risk countries" as China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, and France.

The Czech travel ban followed an announcement on Wednesday from President Donald Trump that travellers from most European countries would be barred from entering the US for 30 days, starting on Friday.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: What you need to know about Trump's Europe travel ban

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