Petr Dubinsky

Czechs Protest Against Coronavirus Restrictions

Demonstrators gathered in Prague to protest anti-coronavirus measures. They criticized, in particular, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Minister of Health Roman Prymula. Speakers at the demonstration disagreed mainly with the mandatory wearing of face coverings indoors. The protest in front of the Ministry of Health was organized by the Civil Dissatisfaction Movement (HON) initiative.

Several speakers spoke at the event. In their speeches, they criticized that measures are mandatory, and people have no choice, comparing some current measures, such as restrictions on mass events, wearing face maks on public transport, schools, and other indoor spaces, to a totalitarian regime.

According to the speakers, it is incomprehensible to wear face masks in schools during classes. Some called on teachers and principals to take action and not require them in schools. One speaker said she would not send her children to school until the obligation to wear face masks was lifted.

The speakers also mentioned Babiš’s alleged cooperation with the Communist State Security (StB). Babiš has long claimed that he is listed illegally in archival documents. At Prymula, on the other hand, people pointed out a possible conflict of interest in connection with his trade license, based on which he could manufacture medical devices or carry out studies.

People had Czech flags with them at the demonstration. Some also brought banners, with the words Defenestration, I am for immunity, Prymula – Minister of Fear, and We do not want a vaccine, we want freedom. The vast majority of participants did not have face masks or practice social distancing.

From Monday, face masks are mandatory in Prague and the entire Central Bohemian Region at mass outdoor events with over 100 people. Inside buildings throughout the Czech Republic, face coverings must be worn from 10 September. About a week later, they were also ordered in schools class, except the first grade of primary schools.