PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech government agreed Wednesday to further ease coronavirus restrictions as the wave of infections caused by the highly transmissible omicron variant has been receding.

Health Minister Vlastimil Valek said all limits on the number of people attending any public gatherings, including sports matches and concerts, will be lifted on March 1.

Valek also said mandatory testing of health care workers and staffers at nursing homes will end on March 13. That same day, masks will remain mandatory only on public transport and at hospitals, outpatient clinics and nursing homes.

The Czech Republic recorded over 14,000 daily new cases Tuesday, about half of what the daily tally was a week ago. The seven-day infection rate dropped to 809 per 100,000 residents on Tuesday from 939 the previous day.

The number of COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization has dropped to 3,297 on Tuesday, about 1,000 less than a week ago.

The European Union nation of 10.5 million has over 6.8 million people considered fully vaccinated and almost 4 million who have received a booster shot. Overall, the Czech Republic has registered 38,403 virus-related deaths.


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