Restaurant controls did not reveal any significant violations

Milan Malíček

The inspections of catering establishments that health inspectors and police scheduled for Thursday across the Czech Republic to check how operators check that guests are free of infection turned out well.

The atmosphere in Brno’s restaurants and bars has been rather gloomy since the beginning of the week. Restaurateurs are fed up with having to bother their guests during checks. Many of them, however, don’t mind too much. “I’ve traveled around four European countries with my vaccination certificate and had no problem,” a visitor to the Bavard café said. The inspection of the establishment took only a few minutes.

Hygienist Veronika Kuzdasová and two police officers arrived in Milevsko after noon. She checked the guests who were already seated and asked them whether the staff used a mobile phone reader during the check.

“Here, they do it basically in a regulatory way. But otherwise, we can’t order operators to use cell phone readers. It’s certainly better for them in particular because they can be sure that the person in question is not cheating,” she explained.

On Thursday, the hygienist managed three establishments in Písek alone within one hour. “So far, the restaurants seem to be complying with the regulations that have been in force since Monday,” Kuzdasová added.

The new obligation for restaurants means more work for the sanitary inspectors. It will probably be relatively rare to meet them during a restaurant inspection, as it was this week.

“The priority is of course routing, but we can also manage these checks as part of our normal supervision,” Kvetoslava Kotrbová, director of the Regional Hygienic Station in České Budějovice, was convinced on Thursday. Around 15 inspections were carried out in southern Bohemia on Wednesday, and nowhere did the hygienists record any severe violations.

On Thursday, the Central Bohemian Hygienic Inspectorate checked the consistency of the operations and whether they were complying with the newly ordered measures.

“We are also checking compliance with all the emergency measures, whether it’s signage information for customers at the entrance, sufficient disinfection, respiratory protection, spacing, the number of guests at the table. Test or illness,” said Lenka Hlaváčková, deputy head of the food hygiene department.

Infection-free checks are just beginning, with Beroun Region doing about three to four a week. Operators who fail to check guests either at the entrance or the latest before serving them face fines of up to 10,000. “In the past, we have already issued fines. The highest one was five thousand crowns,” the inspector explained.

Some inspections, she said, must be accompanied by a police patrol, especially when it comes to nighttime events and selected businesses, which tend to have problems. Hygiene authorities found no issues at the Black Dog in Beroun. “Everything is fine here,” the inspectors agreed.

The restaurant had prepared well for the new measures. “We let the customers sit down, and then we check via an app on their phone that their documents are in order. If not, we offer them an alternative in the form of an antigen test for CZK 60,” explained Ladislav Novák, the operator and owner of Black Dog. If a guest disagrees, they have to leave the restaurant.

“Most people have no problem with this. Then some don’t like it and object that it’s not legitimate. It’s important to us that restaurants don’t close. We want guests to feel safe here, and this is the least we can do, ” he said. During his shift, he had to evict one customer from his establishment due to a missing receipt.

To prevent the use of counterfeit certificates, operators should check the guest’s Dot app when the code is broken, which validates valid confirmations with a green check and shows the expiration date.

“If an operator is shown a QR code that they cannot read with a reader, they should ask the guest to show it in the Dotka app. If he doesn’t, she should ban him. However, a paper certificate is also sufficient, ” confirmed Dana Šalamunová, spokesperson for Central Bohemian Hygiene. The next such large-scale event is scheduled for Saturday.