People in the Czech capital, Prague, built a 1,600-foot table and held a massive public dinner party on Tuesday, to celebrate the end of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
Residents stretched through the city’s streets and over its famous Charles Bridge after the government lifted restrictions on large gatherings.
The Czech Republic was quick to implement a lockdown at the start of the global coronavirus outbreak and became one of the first countries to tell its citizens to wear masks – helping it avoid the worst of the pandemic and ease restrictions earlier than many other nations.
This meant that locals could enjoy a jaw-dropping spectacle of alfresco dining and forgo social distancing to celebrate the country’s progress.
But the World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic is not over, and the Czech Republic is still banning many foreigners from crossing its borders – a rule that allowed the event to take place.
“We want to celebrate the end of the coronavirus crisis with people meeting up and showing they’re no longer afraid to meet others. That they aren’t afraid to accept a bite of a sandwich from someone,” Ondrej Kobza, the Prague cafe owner who organized the event, told the Agence France-Presse news agency.
“Everyone had to do something to be here, bring food or a flower. The idea was for everyone to get involved,” Kobza said.
Tables were adorned with white tablecloths and flowers, and locals drank and shared food as the sun set over the city.
A country of around 10 million, the Czech Republic has seen around 12,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 349 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Those figures are relatively low compared with some of its close European neighbors.
The European Union formally agreed a set of recommendations on Tuesday that will allow travelers from outside the bloc to visit EU countries, months after it shut its external borders in response to the pandemic.
As had been widely expected, the list of 14 countries does not include the United States, whose current Covid infection rate does not meet the criteria set by the EU for it to be considered a “safe country.”