Czech Republic Allows Beer Gardens To Reopen

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    The Czech Republic has allowed beer gardens to reopen, a small relief for the country’s $2bn restaurant industry. The government is gradually relaxing restrictions after 8 weeks of coronavirus lockdown. In the first easing phase, only outdoor venues are allowed to serve customers.

    However, damage from the coronavirus dented the European Union’s fastest-growing eastern region in the first quarter, with most of the bloc’s eastern members tumbling toward the worst recession since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

    While the countries stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea averted the record downturns suffered by big western European states, the shutdown of factories, shops and services hammered company profits and drove unemployment higher.

    Economic growth slowed on an annual basis less than expected in Poland and halved in Hungary from the end of 2019, data showed on Friday. The Czech and Slovak economies shrank, while Romania and Bulgaria remained outliers, with both quarterly and annual expansions despite expectations of a looming drop from April to June.

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