Restaurateurs to be Fined for Failing to Comply with Smoking Ban 90 Days after It Becomes Effective

21. 6. 2017

Becoming effective on 31 May, 2017, the so-called smoke-free act bans smoking in restaurants, pubs, bars, coffees, canteens and other catering establishments with the exceptions of restaurant gardens to which the act does not apply and the prohibition of smoking there depends solely on the establishment owner.

The ban does not apply to smoking of electronic cigarettes and water pipes both on the indoor premises of the catering establishments and in their gardens unless the owners/keepers decide otherwise and impose the ban on these also.

Although the smoke-free act aims primarily at customers who are banned from smoking in restaurants and other catering establishments, they are the owners/keepers who are to ensure that the ban is observed. Should a customer start smoking on the premises, the staff are obliged to urge them to stop doing so or leave or a fine may be imposed.

Inspectors of Regional Departments of Hygiene and officers of both Police of the Czech Republic and Municipal Police are responsible to oversee that the law is observed and are entitled to impose a fine up to CZK 5,000 upon a potential smoker and up to CZK 50,000 upon the business should their staff fail to urge the customers to stop smoking or to leave the premises.

In respect of the interim provisions, the catering establishment owners/keepers are to adjust their activities in accordance with the new act within the interval of 90 days after the ban was introduced (i.e. until 29 August, 2017). The law enforcing officials should be start imposing the fines after this date, then; the provisions, however, do not apply to the customers of the bars, restaurants, cafes etc. and these are liable to fines starting on the first day the smoke-free ban came into effect, i.e. on 31 May, 2017.   

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