Coronavirus update, Aug. 31, 2021: Czech airports to introduce tighter screening of international arrivals

Plus: Govt. clarifies details for third dose, 45 percent of former vaccine opponents now want a jab, new cases continue to rise week-on-week.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff
Published on 31.08.2021 09:53 (updated on 31.08.2021)

Czech international airports will check passengers meet anti-Covid rules

Public international airports in the Czech Republic will have to check arriving passengers for whether they meet all conditions imposed within the anti-coronavirus measures, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said. The cabinet agreed and approved the relevant directive yesterday. Vojtěch said the checks are necessary due to the situation to the west of the Czech Republic, where another wave of coronavirus is on the rise.

 “The epidemiological situation in the world is deteriorating rapidly. We are thus introducing more rigorous controls on arrivals at international airports. It will mainly be a check of completed Arrival Forms and vaccination / test / recovery. Operators will cooperate with the police and customs officers in random inspections,” Vojtěch said.

The arrival conditions are regulated by the traveler's traffic lights map. The travel conditions do not apply to the people who saw their Covid vaccination completed 14 days ago at least or recovered from Covid-19 in the past 180 days. They, too, have to fill in the arrival form, however.

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Poll: 45 percent of former vaccine opponents now want a jab

Some 45 percent of Czechs who last year resolutely refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19, have done or plan to do so now, with mainly elderly people with only elementary education changing their mind, a poll conducted by the P&Q Research company has shown. On the contrary, young people without university education have lost their original interest in getting vaccinated.

"Besides people's age, their readiness to get vaccinated also depends on their trust in political institutions and medical workers, their awareness and media sources. It also depends on personal experience. The people who know someone who died of Covid-19 show a stronger readiness [to get jabbed]," P&Q Research director Daniel Prokop tweeted.

The poll showed a lower readiness for vaccination on the part of people with lower education and material deprivation.

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Third Covid vaccine doses to be applied as of Sept. 20

People in the Czech Republic will be able to get the third dose of anti-Covid vaccines as of Sept. 20, at least eight months after their previous dose, and the re-vaccination will continue next year, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said after the government meeting yesterday. The cabinet took notice of the re-vaccination conditions that the Government Council for Health Risks approved.

"As of Sept. 10, the people concerned will be receiving notes, most often a text message, telling them they can use this possibility, either in their GP's surgery or by making a reservation in the system in one of the vaccination points," Vojtěch said.

He added that the Covid vaccination would remain voluntary. The third dose is primarily recommended to the people who face a higher risk if infected with Covid-19, such as the elderly over 60 and the chronically ill. However, Vojtech said the others would be gradually re-vaccinated as well.

Unvaccinated social service employees, clients to be Covid tested

Employees and clients of social services in the Czech Republic who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 or did not have it of late will get tested for the virus at least once a week as of September, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch told reporters after the government meeting. One of the reasons for this measure is that the Covid vaccination rate mainly among the personnel of social care facilities is not as high as the authorities would like to see, Vojtěch said. He said the testing duty would apply to the providers of healthcare services offering long-term inpatient care and other social inpatient services as they had been identified as the most risky ones in terms of the patients' structure. The tests can be carried out directly in these facilities, but also elsewhere, he noted.

Vietnam receives Covid vaccines donated from Czech Republic

The Czech Republic's gift of 250,000 doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccines from the AstraZeneca and Moderna firms has arrived in Vietnam, the Czech Foreign Ministry tweeted. The Czech government decided on the donation in July. Based on the cabinet's decision, the Czech Republic will donate at least 2.39 million vaccine doses against Covid-19 by the end of the year. They will be sent to Balkan countries, Africa and Asia. The gift is part of the previous agreement of the EU member states' leaders, under which the EU will jointly donate 100 million Covid vaccine doses to third countries. Outside the Covax European initiative, the gifts of are designated for Vietnam, while 30,000 doses will go to Taiwan.

EU recommends tighter conditions for some tourists

The European Union on Monday recommended its 27 member states to tighten conditions for tourist trips from six countries, including the United States and Israel. The recommendation also applies to Lebanon, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Kosovo. The reason is the deteriorating epidemic situation there. Individual member states have the power to determine the conditions for entry into their territory; they do not have to tighten the rules for vaccinated passengers. The recommendation also applies to the Schengen Member States.

New cases continue to rise week-on-week

There were 241 new Covid cases reported for Monday, up from 208 a week earlier. Hospitalizations rose to 53, from 48 a day earlier and the number of serious cases rose by one to eight. No deaths were reported for Monday, but one was added for Aug. 29. The toll for August is at 26. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days is at 13, up one from a day earlier. The reproduction number R was at 1.05, above the break-even point of 1.0 for a sixth day in a row. For Prague, the incidence number was at 28, up from 27 a day earlier. The R number was at 0.93, under the break-ven point for the second day in a row.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Aug. 31, 2021)

  • New cases 241
  • Deaths 30,404
  • Currently hospitalized 53
  • PCR tests performed 9,990,709
  • Antigen tests performed 25,928,394
  • Total vaccinations 11,451,492
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 26,788
  • People who have completed vaccination 5,712,140
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 13
  • PES index 33
  • R number 1.05
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