The Netherlands and Belgium now classified as 'very-high-risk' on updated travel map

The status of these countries will change from Monday, the Czech Ministry of Health has announced.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 02.04.2021 09:28 (updated on 02.04.2021)

The Netherlands and Belgium will newly appear among the top-COVID-risk states indicated by a dark-red color on the Czech Republic's traffic lights travel map as of Monday, which will make the return from these countries more difficult for Czechs, the Health Ministry announced Thursday evening.

In recent weeks, the Netherlands and Belgium have been in the category of high-risk (red) countries.

The other countries whose position on the map will worsen are Ireland, switching from the medium-risk (orange) to the high-risk (red) category, and Iceland, currently in the low-risk (green) category and turning orange as of Monday.

Earlier this week, a court canceled, as of April 5, the ministry's measure requiring a negative test for COVID-19 from all Czechs before their return home from abroad. The Health Ministry today said it will define new conditions for such returns during the weekend.

Under the current rules, passengers returning to the Czech Republic from very-high-risk (dark red) countries must undergo a PCR test before departure and then quarantine at home after the arrival. After five days, they can undergo another PCR test and end their quarantine if testing negative. At present, the dark-red countries on the map are a small part of EU members and most third countries, including Britain.

Those returning from the high-risk (red) countries need an antigen or PCR test before departure and another one in five days following their arrival in the Czech Repulbic, during which they must quarantine. As of Monday, these countries will be Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, the Canary Islands, and Madeira.

Those returning from the medium-risk (orange) countries must undergo an antigen or PCR test before departure. Iceland, Portugal except for Madeira, and the Balearic Islands will fall into this category as of Monday.

On return from dark-red, red as well as orange states, employees and students are bound to submit their COVID test results to their respective employers or schools.

For one month now, Czechs have been banned from traveling to the countries with an extreme risk of the spread of the South African variant of coronavirus, which is Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Trips to Peru and Colombia will be banned as of April 12.

None of the above is required for travelers who return from the "green" countries with low infection risk. Of the European states, this is only the Vatican. This group also includes Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.

Currently, foreigners can only enter the Czech Republic for necessary or urgent reasons. In late January, the cabinet banned foreigners' stay with the exception of their commuting to work or school, visiting relatives, medical, or social care facilities, or attending events such as a wedding or a funeral.