Czechs mark end of lockdown with dinner on a bridge

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 01 2020 11:44 AM

Residents dine at a 500-meter-long table spanning across the length of the medieval Charles Bridge as restrictions ease following the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Prague, Czech Republic June 30, 2020. David W Cerny, Reuters

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Crowds gathered on Prague's Charles Bridge on Tuesday to celebrate the end of the Czech Republic's coronavirus crisis with a group dinner along a gigantic table set up on the historic landmark.

The EU member of 10.7 million people has by now eased most of the anti-virus measures it introduced early on -- thanks to which it has fared relatively well, registering fewer than 12,000 coronavirus cases and under 350 deaths.

On the 14th-century bridge, merrymakers munched on snacks and sipped drinks they brought from home, sharing their fare with others at the table spanning 500 metres (a third of a mile).

"Everyone had to do something to be here, bring food or a flower. The idea was for everyone to get involved," Prague cafe owner and event organizer Ondrej Kobza told AFP.

Residents dine at a 500-meter-long table spanning across the length of the medieval Charles Bridge as restrictions ease following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Prague, Czech Republic June 30, 2020. David W Cerny, Reuters

"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."

"Society mustn't be afraid. Otherwise, we'll have an economic crisis, a depression and that will hit society harder than COVID-19," said Kobza.

The 41-year-old is known for having placed pianos in the streets of Prague, set up chess tables in a local square and made the roof of a palace accessible to the public.

Several improvised bands played and sang along the curvy table adorned with oxeye daisies and new friendships were sealed over a snack or a glass.

"I found the event on Facebook and thought it was interesting," said Galina Khomchenko-Krejcikova, a Russian Prague resident who came with a friend.

"I just finished a night shift so I didn't have time to prepare anything. But we brought some wine and snacks we found at home," she told AFP.

frj/amj/spm

© Agence France-Presse