To reduce one of the world’s highest rates of coronavirus infection, the Czech government forced bars and clubs to shut at 10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25, and forbade Christmas markets as well as limiting attendance at sporting and cultural events to 1,000.

According to the presidential office, President Milos Zeman was admitted to the hospital after testing positive for coronavirus just hours after the new limitations were announced. Local media, however, said that he showed no signs of illness.

According to Reuters, the 77-year-old leader had just left the hospital after a 46-day treatment for an unrelated chronic ailment less than half a day before.

On Tuesday, Nov. 23, the Czech Republic recorded a new high of over 25,000 new infections, and daily COVID-19 cases per million people reached 1,516. This number is the third highest in the world, after Slovakia and Austria.

People who had not been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 were formerly prohibited from entering bars, restaurants, movie theaters, hair salons, and gyms.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who will take over the next administration in a few weeks, said the government favors required vaccines for persons over the age of 50 or 60 and certain occupations and that legislation might be passed soon.

The new government, however, has spoken out against the vaccine rules.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the Czech Republic has vaccinated 58.5% of its overall population, significantly behind the EU average of 65.8%.

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