Czech well being minister photographed breaching coronavirus guidelines
Czech Health Minister Roman Prymula says he is “ready to face the consequences” after being photographed leaving a restaurant in Prague late Wednesday evening, just days after announcing a strict lockdown and asking people to leave to stay.
The country is currently experiencing one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world in terms of new infections per capita. The restaurants in the Czech Republic have been closed for seating since Wednesday October 14th. Take-away service is permitted, but only until 8 p.m.
The photos, published on Friday in the country’s best-selling tabloid, Blesk, showed Prymula walking out of the restaurant and getting into his government chauffeured car without a mask.
Under the rules that went into effect earlier this week, people in the Czech Republic are required to wear masks when in a car with people outside their homes.
Jaroslav Faltynek, Prymula’s political ally and chairman of the ANO ruling party, was also seen in the restaurant. He apologized in parliament on Friday.
Faltynek said he asked Prymula to meet with him to discuss the current coronavirus situation, stressing the restaurant was closed when the two men met there.
“We met on Wednesday evening in a closed restaurant in the lounge, where we discussed these things over coffee, and that was it,” said Faltynek in Parliament. When challenged by members of the opposition, he added: “Knowing the owner of the restaurant, I know it was only open until 8pm. He only allowed us to use the private lounge of the restaurant to talk about these things over coffee. “” I apologize for breaking the trust [of the public],” he said.
A number of Czech politicians have called for Prymula to step down.
Speaking to the Czech weekly news magazine Respekt, Prymula said he did not consider what he was doing “too much” but added: “If the public wanted me to step down, I would.”
“I was here at the ministry until about 9:30 pm, then I was invited to a meeting … it’s not true that I didn’t wear a mask, I went into the restaurant lounge with a mask on. I left around 11:30 p.m., I didn’t wear a mask, but I put it on in the car. “
CNN has asked the Czech Ministry of Health for an opinion.