The Czech Republic has imposed a curfew and will limit retail sales on Sundays as part of tighter measures to curb the spread of coronavirus infections.
The country’s Government has stepped up restrictions three times in the past two weeks.
The Czech Republic, which has a population of 10.7 million, has Europe’s highest per capita infection rate.
Its death toll has doubled to 2,337 since October 13.
Cases have averaged more than 12,000 a day over the past week, and are expected to put even more strain on hospitals.
But like others in Europe, officials have sought to avoid the harshest lockdown measures and want to keep industry running so as not to repeat the sharp economic contraction that occurred in spring when the pandemic started.
Health Minister Roman Prymula said measures already in place — closing bars, restaurants, most shops and schools — had failed to bring the infection rate down.
Health officials have estimated the R number, measuring how many people get infected on average from each new case, stood at 1.36, showing exponential growth.
“So far, the R number has a value which is not favourable, we can still observe growth which is bigger than 1 and we are getting closer to levels which threaten the capacity of the Czech healthcare system,” Mr Prymula said.
A 9:00pm curfew will be in place from October 28 until November 3, and will last until 5:00am each day.
Exemptions include travel for work or family visits.
Retail shops still running under current restrictions must also close by 8:00pm and on Sundays, with exceptions for petrol stations, pharmacies or shops at train stations and other travel points.
A planned return of students to classrooms, set for early November, was still undecided, Government ministers said.