COVID-19: What You Should Know before You Come

COVID-19: What You Should Know before You Come

COVID-19: What You Should Know before You Come
UPDATE 22. 11. 2021! In the last months, the classification of some protective measures has been tightened and the rules for arrivals in the Czech Republic have changed. There is an obligation for persons arriving from all countries (including the low-risk green category) to provide a completely filled arrival form. Testing conditions upon entry into the Czech Republic do not apply to persons who have at least 14 days after full vaccination (14 days after the second dose in the case of a two-dose schedule, 14 days after vaccination in the case of a single-dose vaccine) or those who have experienced covid- 19. All they have to do is fill in the Arrival Form. In the last week of July and September, the classification of some protective measures has been tightened.

Conditions of entry into the Czech Republic

When planning a visit to the Czech Republic, it is important where you come from. The individual countries are divided by colour according to the degree of risk of infection ("traffic lights" system). If you are traveling from a country that is not part of the European Union, then contact your embassy in the Czech Republic and check whether you are authorized to enter the country. Since November 22nd, Germany, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Andorra will now be in the dark red category. Romania, the Canary Islands and Madeira will be moved to the red category. The orange category will expand to include Spain.
 
The Vatican City State belongs to the category of countries with a low risk of infection (green category). From non-European countries or parts thereof, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Hong Kong, Jordan, Colombia, Korea, Canada, Qatar, Kuwait, Macao, Namibia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Peru, United Arab Emirates, Rwanda, Uruguay Eastern Republic or Taiwan.
 
Another category is countries with a medium risk of infection (orange category). This category of countries includes Spain, Malta, France, Italy, Monaco and Portugal, incl. Azores.

When returning from the countries of the green, orange, red and dark red categories, it is necessary to fill in the arrival form. Before entering the territory of the Czech Republic or no later than 5 days after entry, it is mandatory to undergo an antigen or RT-PCR test.
 
The traffic light system also includes the category of countries with a high risk of infection (red category). Finland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Madeira, Norway, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland and the Canary and Balearic Islands currently fall into this category. The same rules apply for returning from countries in the red category as for returning from the dark red category.
 
The countries with a very high risk of infection (dark red) include Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Austria, Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Sloveniaand other third countries outside the EU. Persons returning from the red and dark red categories must fill in the arrival form before returning to the Czech Republic and at the same time undergo an antigen or PCR test before returning if they use public transport to return. These persons are also obliged to undergo a PCR test upon their return to the Czech Republic, no earlier than the 5th day and no later than the 14th day after entering the territory of the Czech Republic. In the case of a trip to the Czech Republic by individual transport, it is not necessary to have a test before the start of the trip, but it is obligatory to undergo a PCR test no earlier than day 5 and no later than day 14 after entering the territory of the Czech Republic.

TESTING
From November 1, free testing for covid will end. Tests will be free only for:
- children and adolescents under 18,
- vaccinated persons,
- persons who have started vaccinations,
- persons who cannot be vaccinated due to contraindications.
Tests prescribed by a doctor or hygienist will also be reimbursed.
The validity of the negative PCR test is shortened to 3 days, the negative antigen test is valid for 24 hours.

Since November 22nd, an protective measure of the Ministry of Health comes into force, on the basis of which it will be possible to prove oneself in leisure activities only by vaccination or confirmation of past illness in the last 180 days. This will end the recognition of antigenic and, with some exceptions, PCR tests.
 
From 22 November, antigenic and PCR tests will no longer be part of the O-N-T System: Vaccination – Past Illness – Test and it will not be possible to prove them in places where the O-N-T System: Vaccination - Past Illness – Test is required, such as restaurants, accommodation facilities, service establishments (hairdressers, cosmetics, etc.), indoor sports grounds, swimming pools, various mass events.
 
The exception applies to children under the age of 12, who, as before, will not have to prove themselves at all. The tests will continue to be available to young people aged 12 to 18 or people who cannot be vaccinated due to health reasons. However, the doctor must enter the reason for the contraindication of vaccination in the Information System of Infectious Diseases (ISIN). Furthermore, it will be possible to prove the test, for example, when entering spa care, accommodation in university dormitories or in elections to the administrative bodies of legal entities. PCR tests and antigen tests, but exclusively collected by healthcare professionals, will also be recognized for visits to hospitals or social services facilities, including the presence of the father at birth.
 
From October 27, 2021, an updated protective measure came into force, which regulates the entry of persons into the Czech Republic. For example, the conditions for the entry of children in the age group 0–12 have been relaxed, for which no epidemiological rules are already laid down. Newly, after arrivals from countries with a high and very high risk, the obligation of self-isolation is abolished in the period after entering the Czech Republic until the test result is received (unless an exception from the testing obligation is applied). During this time, however, the persons concerned are obliged to use the FFP2 respirator or its equivalent.

From Monday 23 August 2021, vaccination to third-country nationals who have completed vaccination from a non-EU country with a substance approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or an equivalent vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use is also recognized. These persons must also have a verifiable certificate issued, which is published in the list of certificates on the website of the Ministry of Health. It can also be a vaccination from countries for which an implementing act has been concluded and they issue a certificate according to the EU covid regulation. Complete conditions for returning to the Czech Republic from abroad during the covid-19 pandemic can be found here.

As of 9 July 2021 the Ministry of Health updated the Protective Measure regarding the conditions of entry into the Czech Republic. The condition for travels from countries with a low and a medium risk and countries with a high and a very high risk are unified.

Persons travelling from the country with a low and medium risk are obliged to fill in the arrival form (the exception have children under the age of 6) and undergo an antigen or PCR test before or within 5 days after arrival.
 
Travellers from the countries with a high and a very high risk are obliged to fill in the arrival form (the exception have children under the age of 6), have to submit negative PCR test before arrival (when travelling by public transport) and undergo a RT-PCR test 5th day after the arrival at the earliest.

The exception from testing

(but not filling in the arrival form) is applied to:
  • Persons who had COVID-19 in the last 180 days (it is necessary to have a written medical certificate from EU+ country where the isolation was completed or a digital EU certificate on it).
  • Persons fully vaccinated in the EU+ countries after at least 14 days from the application of the last dose (it is necessary to have a national certificate or a digital EU certificate).
  • Czech citizens and EU+ citizens fully vaccinated in a third country with the EMA approved vaccination after at least 14 days from the application of the last dose (it is necessary to have a certificate whose sample is published on the Ministry of Health´s website).

Rules for testing:

Testing before arrival to the Czech Republic:
1) PCR not longer than 48 hours before starting the travel
2) antigen not longer than 24 hours

Testing after arrival to the Czech Republic - within 5 days after arrival from countries with low and medium risk and 5th day after the arrival from a country with high or very high risk at the earliest. During thist time, however, the persons concerned are obliged to use the FFP2 respiraor or its equivalent.

From 1st July, the EU Digital COVID certificate for vaccination, testing or covering from COVID-19 will be used exclusively when traveling within the EU. Fully vaccinated citizens of the Czech Republic will have their rules relaxed when traveling throughout the EU.

Detailed information can be found here.

List of low, medium and high risk countries can be found HERE - PDF

For Czech citizens there is an application čTečka (E-reader), where they can save their vaccination certificate, tests or certificate of covering from COVID-19.

 


In case you need to contact an embassy or a consulate of your country while in the Czech Republic, please see the List of Foreign Missions to the Czech Repulic.
 

Information

  • COVID PORTÁL - Important information regarded COVID-19 measures in daily life is

  • Current information on entry to the territory of the Czech Republic is available on the website of  the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic
    here
    or the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic
    here
  •  
  • Recommended security guidelines
    here

Safe Travels

  • The Czech Republic has been awarded the international "Safe Travels Stamp" by the World Tourism & Travel Council (WTTC) and now holds the status of a safe destination. More information
    here
    .

Digital green certificates

  • On 17 March 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate the safe free movement of citizens within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  •  
  • Digital Green Certificates will be valid in all EU Member States. More information
    here
    .

Measures and restrictions

Respirators (FFP2/KN 95) are mandatory in shops and shopping centers, services, on all forms of public transport, at public transport stops, on platforms and in waiting rooms, at airports, in health and social service facilities, inside official buildings, at post offices, in pharmacies, cars (members of more than one household), and in a workplace (unless being alone in a room).

Face masks are obligatory outdoors only if two and more people meet with shorter than a two-meter distance, unless they are from the same household.

Everyone is encouraged to wash hands frequently, avoid crowded spaces and large gatherings, and generally behave in a responsible manner to minimize risks. 

Conditions for entering service establishments including accommodation facilities, participation in public events:

  • You can either take 7 days before the PCR test or
  • 72 hours before the antigen test or
  • Be fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after the 2st dose) or
  • Prove that you have in the last 180 days underwent covid-19

GATHERINGS
A maximum of 20 people may meet indoors without any restrictions. Up to 75 people indoors and up to 150 people outdoors are allowed to meet under the following conditions: a PCR test (not older than 7 days), an antigen test (not older than 72 hours), having undergone Covid-19, or being vaccinated.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places is prohibited.

SHOPS AND SERVICES
The capacity of shopping centers and retail stores is limited to 1 person per 10 square meters, while maintaining a spacing of 1,5 meters.
Holding of farmers' markets is allowed.

RESTAURANTS AND OTHER GASTRONOMIC FACILITIES
Interiors of restaurants may open under strict hygienic conditions. At each table, only four guests can be seated. More guests are allowed to be seated at a table with 10 or more seats. Spacing of 1.5 meters between groups is mandatory. Wearing of respirators is required when not eating. Guests have to show either a negative test for coronavirus, a vaccination certificate, or a document on having undergone Covid-19.

HOTELS AND OTHER ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES
Accommodation facilities may accommodate guests who show either a negative test for coronavirus, a vaccination certificate, or a document on having undergone Covid-19.
Guests are allowed to be served in the hotel's restaurants from 6 am until 10 pm.

MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, MONUMENTS
Museums, galleries, heritage sites, exhibition spaces, fairs, castles, chateaux, zoological and botanical gardens may open under strict sanitary conditions. The capacity is limited to 1 person per 10 square meters, while maintaining a spacing of 1,5 meters, max. 75% of the capacity.
Guided tours for up to 20 people are allowed.

CULTURAL EVENTS
Open-air events are allowed to host up to 7000 people, while indoor events can't exceed more than 3000 people.
Music, game, dance, social clubs and discotheques may open.
Up to 250 persons may take part in congresses and conferences, provided that maximally half of the capacity of the indoor space is used.
The visitors to all the events and venues mentioned above are required to wear respirators, show either a negative test for coronavirus, a vaccination certificate, or a document on having undergone Covid-19.

AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL SPORTS ACTIVITIES
Operation of indoor sports grounds is allowed under a special regime. A limit of one visitor per 15 square meters of indoor sports ground applies.
Amateur athletes under the age of 18, organized by sports associations, can train at outdoor sports grounds, provided that there are no more than 30 of them and the limit of one athlete per 15 m2 of sports ground is met.
Artificial swimming pools, saunas, salt caves, and wellness are open to the public.
The visitors to all the facilities mentioned above are required to show either a negative test for coronavirus, a vaccination certificate, or a document on having undergone Covid-19.
 

Health services

If you have reason to suspect you might be ill with the coronavirus and have flu-like symptoms (dry cough, fever, joint pain), call the coronavirus hotlines:
National Institute of Public Health:
+ 420 724 810 106 or  + 420 725 191 367.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic:
 + 420 224 181 111 or  + 420 224 182 425 
 

eRouska app

The Ministry of Health recommends that everyone in the Czech Republic download the free eRouska application to their mobile phones. eRouska uses Bluetooth technology and is compatible with Android and iOS operating systems. The application completely anonymously detects which other users of the application you have come into closer contact with and can notify you if you have encountered an infected person and considered voluntary quarantine or if you feel symptoms seek professional help. More information about the application: https://erouska.cz/en.

The application in the English version can be downloaded here.