Czech schools, shops reopen after long COVID-19 shutdown

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PRAGUE (Reuters) – Czech schools, libraries, zoos and some stores reopened on Monday after months of coronavirus closures in one of the world’s worst-hit countries.

A six-month state of emergency expired at midnight, lifting restrictions on movement including a night-time curfew and a ban on non-essential travel among districts.

Children in pre-schools and grades 1-5 returned to classes, mostly on a weekly rotating basis. Pupils must take a nasal swab test twice a week.

“It is hugely visible on these young children when they are not in school,” said father Rudolf Zurek, accompanying his daughter inside a Prague school. “This is good and I only hope that it lasts, that it is not overturned in a month and children go back home.”

Kristyna Franova said her daughter was looking forward to returning to school along with her older sister, who still has to stay at home as higher grades remain closed for now.

“We do not mind the testing, what we do mind is its low effectiveness, because if the tests have 40% reliability then it’s worthless and a joke,” she said.

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