Coronavirus update, Aug. 24, 2021: Fully vaccinated American tourists can come to the Czech Republic

Plus: Epidemic expected to grow in the autumn, preventive coronavirus tests to remain free, R number stays under 1.0 for third day. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.08.2021 09:59:00 (updated on 24.08.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Fully vaccinated Americans can come for tourism

Fully vaccinated Americans can enter the Czech Republic for non-essential travel including tourism if they have a vaccination card from the CDC. They must be 14 days after the final dose. The U.S. Embassy and Czech Interior Ministry clarified the situation after initial confusion on Monday. The Czech Interior Ministry has an example of what the CDC card looks like. People must have been vaccinated with one of the four approved vaccines. The US Embassy on its website states: “If vaccinated, only a Personal Locator Form (PLF) and negative COVID test within 72 hours of travel are required. If unvaccinated, travelers are subject to pre-arrival and post-arrival COVID testing, as well as self-isolation until receipt of a negative test.” More details on travel rules are on the Health Ministry website.

Epidemic to grow in autumn, but won’t burden hospitals

The coronavirus epidemic will start growing in the country when people return to work and children to schools after the summer holidays, but the development should not be as dramatic as last year, Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS) head Ladislav Dušek told ČTK and Czech Television.

"The return of a big mass of people into ordinary life will unavoidably lead to growing infections," he said.

Dušek said even if the high-risk scenario occurred, about 500 coronavirus patients could be treated in Czech hospitals in late September, including a hundred at intensive care units. Dušek said the autumn risk is that some 440,000 people aged over 60 have neither been vaccinated nor recovered from the infection disease, and that the percentage of the young population that is vaccinated is not high enough. He said a rather serious course of the disease can be expected in the case of 50 to 60 percent of these people in their 60s or older.

Preventive coronavirus tests to remain free

The Czech cabinet decided that preventive coronavirus tests will continue to be free for everybody, although people aged over 18 originally were to pay for them as of September, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said. He said the decision was made because of the unfavorable epidemic development in some European countries, adding that the plan that coronavirus testing should not be covered from the public health insurance system anymore wanted to motivate the citizens to get vaccinated. But he said one cannot ignore the situation in Europe. See our full story here.

Renewed testing in companies not expected

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said that the government does not yet expect the renewal of mandatory regular Covid testing in companies, which was the case in the spring. According to Vojtěch, it would make sense if the so-called incidence number, which indicates the weekly number of newly infected per 100,000 inhabitants, was above 75. Now, for the third day in a row, it remains below 12, though in some regions it is higher and in Prague it is 27. However, according to Vojtěch, the situation is dynamic and the end of September may be different.

Delivery of Covid sests for schools starting

Firefighters will begin delivering 4.2 million antigen tests to municipalities for three waves of testing in schools in early September. Schools can also test pupils with PCR tests, but they must arrange these themselves, and some 200 schools have taken this option Three waves of testing await schoolchildren on Sept. 1, 6, and 9. First-graders will be tested instead of the first day of school until Sept.2. Using a more accurate PCR method, pupils in schools will only be able to test once a week at the beginning of September, passing two tests. Children will also be able to be tested at an official test site and then provide proof of a test.  

R number stays under 1.0 for third day

There were 206 new cases of Covid reported for Monday, down from 213 the previous week. The number of hospitalized people rose by one to 58 and serious cases rose be one to 10. No new deaths were reported for the third day in a row, and the revised toll for the month is at 17. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 remains at 12. The reproduction number R rose slightly to 0.97, and is under the break-even point of 1.0 for the third day. For Prague, the incidence number is 27, down from 28 on the previous day. The R number is at 0.96.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Aug. 24, 2021)

  • New cases 206
  • Deaths 30,385
  • Currently hospitalized 58
  • PCR tests performed 9,817,667
  • Antigen tests performed 25,546,214
  • Total vaccinations 11,261,988
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 45,095
  • People who have completed vaccination 5,562,724
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 12
  • PES index 35
  • R number 0.97
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