Czechs will likely have to tighten COVID-19 curbs again as cases surge - Prime Minister

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A police officer in a protective suit checks the temperature of a person inside a car at Czech-German border in Rozvadov crossing

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech government will almost certainly have to tighten its anti-coronavirus measures again as current curbs have not halted a surge in infections, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Sunday.

Cases are up across Europe, but the Czech Republic has recorded the sharpest rises in infections on the continent in recent weeks.

The government on Wednesday ordered most shops and services to close and sought to limit movement to essential trips only.

"The measures which we have taken, aren't working yet," Babis said in a video message on his Facebook page.

"The next week will be the key one, and unless a miracle happens, we won't have any other choice than to tighten our measures further," he said.

Babis said that he wanted Christmas to be celebrated as normal, but he could not promise anything for now.

"I don't know what will happen with the virus. I don't know," he said.

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths doubled to more than 2,000 in the last two weeks.

(Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Andrew Heavens)