In June the Czech Republic appeared to have beaten coronavirus, and a huge party to celebrate victory was help over the length of Prague’s Charles’ Bridge.

However, from 22:00 on Tuesday night the country will now close bars, restaurants and even schools for a three-week period to try to beat down a soaring infection rate.

Tellingly, student hostels will also close. The wearing of masks will be extended to train stations and tram stops.

The central European nation has the highest infection rate per 1,000 people of any European country.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said on Monday: “80,000 active cases is a problem, 120,000 is the point of no return. We’re now at 61,000.”

The total number of deaths since the start of the outbreak stands at 1,051, but last Friday saw the biggest daily tally so far, with 52 deaths.

PHOTO: A deserted Charles Bridge, Prague www.praguego.com