Coronavirus update, July 2, 2021: Czech govt. tightens rules for traveling and proving Covid status at home

People will again need to be two weeks after vaccination or show a test to attend events, Covid test to be necessary for people returning from abroad.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 02.07.2021 09:59 (updated on 05.07.2021)

Two weeks after second jab needed to prove non-infectous status

One Covid vaccine dose is no longer enough for people to prove that they are not infectious -- proof of two weeks after the second dose application will be necessary as of July 9, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said after a cabinet meeting Thursday.

"This will definitely be reflected in all measures concerning people's visit to restaurants, concerts, service facilities, and other places. All who have received two doses will be viewed as protected. Others will have to get themselves tested," Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said.

Currently, people can prove themselves as not infectious, where needed, by producing either a certificate of having undergone Covid-19 in the past 180 days or a negative result of an antigen or PCR test for Covid-19 or a vaccination certificate.

A period of 22 days following the first jab has been recognized as sufficient until now, but experts say this protection is not enough, standing only at 33 percent protection in relation to the Delta variant of the virus. Even those with the first dose of vaccine will therefore need to get tested again to attend events and visit restaurants. (Those with Czech public health insurance have one antigen test covered per week, and two PCR tests a month. A negative result of an antigen and a PCR test proves one as infection-free for 72 hours and seven days, respectively.)

Covid test to be necessary for all people returning from abroad

A Covid-19 test will now be necessary upon return from all countries, and employers must not let people coming from a holiday abroad into their workplace without a negative test, the Czech government decided.

"We are introducing the system in which people coming from any country must be tested," Vojtěch said.

The regime will differ in the case of returns according to the extent of the risk the authorities have ascribed to the country in question, he added. "We consider the biggest risk the employees who were abroad. We were thinking of testing everyone absent from work, but the Government Legislative Council said this was impossible," Vojtěch said. The plan is to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the Delta variant of Covid.

When it comes to the "black countries" with the extreme risk of the coronavirus infection on the travel map, Czechs will no longer be banned from going there, but there will be a resolute "non-recommendation" of the trip, Vojtěch said.

With regard to the green and orange countries with a low or medium risk of infection, there will be newly a unified approach, Vojtěch said. "Those coming from green and orange countries will have to fill out the arrival form and be tested at least by an antigen test not older than 48 hours or a PCR test not older than 72 hours," he added.

The rules do not refer to those with a complete, two-dose vaccination or those who underwent the disease in the past 180 days. "In this respect, the duties for the employers change. They must not allow employees returning from abroad to [the work site] if they do not present a negative test result," Vojtěch said.

In the case of green and orange countries, it will be possible to undergo the test within five days. Until then, the employee must wear a respirator, he added. In the case of the red and dark red countries with the high and very high risk of the infection, fully vaccinated individuals newly do not have to begin self-isolation.

Vaccination certificates won’t expire

The certificates confirming one's vaccination will no longer contain the information about their nine-month validity. No decision on re-vaccination has been made for the time being, so the certificates will be valid indefinitely, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said.

Recognition of foreign certificates delayed

The Czech Republic will not start recognizing foreign vaccination certificates as of July 7, as previously planned, but as of July 12; the date is delayed due to other tasks faced by the Health Information and Statistics Institute (ÚZIS), which is in charge of certificate supervision. Afterward, the Czech Republic will issue a Czech certificate of Covid vaccination, also recognized by the EU, for those vaccinated abroad, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said.

Czechs must present Covid certificate in Croatia

Tourists from the Czech Republic will have to newly present a Covid certificate at the border when entering Croatia, while so far they have been able to travel to the country without limits, Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek tweeted yesterday. However, the previously agreed rules of entry to Croatia are still valid, he added. For those who have already entered the country, the previous conditions are still valid, such as at least 22 days after the first vaccine dose, a negative test for Covid-19 or having undergone the disease. See our full story here.

Over 27,300 children registered for vaccination

Children aged 12 to 15 can now register for vaccination against Covid-19. By 6:20 pm yesterday, more than 27,300 of them had used this opportunity, Lukáš Trnka, a spokesman for the National Agency for Communication Technologies (NAKIT), told ČTK. There are about 456,500 children living in this age group in the Czech Republic. Vaccines can be given by selected vaccination centers on the first day, there will be at least two in each region. The child will need to be accompanied by at least one legal representative for vaccination. Children will be vaccinated with Pfizer and BioNTech.

"Children's groups can be a risk for the spread of the disease and its possible transmission to families, so we consider the vaccination of children against Covid-19. For fully vaccinated children, we assume that they would no longer be tested," Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said.

Hungary gives 100,000 Pfizer doses to Czech Republic

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš received 100,000 Covid vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech from Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó. Hungary has lent the vaccines to the Czech Republic. Babiš and Szijjártó agreed the Czech Republic might return them by the end of the year. In early June, Babiš received 40,950 doses of the vaccine from him. In April, the vaccines were promised to the Czech Republic by Slovenia, Austria and Hungary. Babiš said today all the promises had been fulfilled. The Government Office said along with routine deliveries of the vaccines based on agreements concluded with manufacturers through the EU, the Czech Republic has also gained at least 300,000 doses. Slovenia and Austria have lent them, while Israel, Serbia and Slovakia have donated them.

Prague incidence number continues to rise

The number of confirmed new Covid cases on Thursday was 164, up from 96 on the same day of last week. Nationwide, the incidence number, tracking newly infected people per 100,000 over the past seven days remained at 8. For Prague, where the pandemic is rising, the incidence number rose to 27 from 24 on the previous day. The number of people hospitalized nationwide continued to drop, and is now at 50, with nine in serious condition. Some 106,120 were vaccinated on Thursday, with 85,842 getting a second dose. One death was recorded, and figures for Wednesday were updated to also include one death. No deaths were registered for Monday or Tuesday.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (July 2, 2021)

  • New cases 164
  • Deaths 30,308
  • Currently hospitalized 50
  • PCR tests performed 8,087,484
  • Antigen tests performed 21,929,742
  • Total vaccinations 8,350,097
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 106,120
  • People who have completed vaccination 3,366,292
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 8
  • PES index 37
  • R number 1.25
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