Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Czech malls to restrict free WiFi to deter teens from lingering

The country now has the highest number of cases per 100,000 in Europe, surpassing even Spain.

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New coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic reached a daily record of 4,500 on Tuesday, the health ministry said.

Data shows the country now has the highest number of cases per 100,000 in Europe, surpassing even Spain.

The government has already reimposed restrictions on public events after relaxing them during the summer, including banning outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people.

“If the government does not launch new measures next week, there is a real threat that by the end of October, healthcare capacity will be completely clogged,” Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said. “We cannot allow that to happen.”

Nearly 1,500 people are currently hospitalised with Covid-19, six times higher than a month ago, including 326 in intensive care, an increase of more than five times.

Secondary schools have also been closed as teenage infection numbers have been rising.

The government is looking for new measures to slow the spread of infections and planners are hoping they may have found an effective one.

From this week, shopping malls and cafes in the capital Prague and other major cities have been told to restrict their free WiFi availability.

This, it is hoped, will deter teenagers from spending too much time at the mall, where reasoning and threats have failed.

If successful, and numbers start to fall, the measure could well be adopted by worried governments around the world, regardless of what their children say.

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