The Czech Republic, which has the highest coronavirus infection rate in Europe, will wait at least two weeks before deciding whether to order a full lockdown to stem its epidemic, Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlicek said on Sunday.
In the past week, bars and restaurants have been ordered to close except for takeout orders, and schools have moved to distance learning. Sport and fitness clubs, theatres and cinemas had already shut, but shops have remained open.
On Saturday, the Czech Republic reported 8,713 new cases. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said it had registered 828 cases per 100,000 population in the last two weeks, more than 10 times the rate in neighbouring Germany.
Since schools reopened in September, the cumulative number of cases has risen almost seven times.
Officials have warned that hospital admissions are set to rise sharply until the restrictions show an impact.