Coronavirus update, July 7, 2021: Slovakia to establish dedicated lanes for vaccinated drivers at its borders

Plus: Tečka app for certificates downloaded by over 715,000 people, new Covid cases drop compared to last week but still high in Prague. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 07.07.2021 09:36:00 (updated on 07.07.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Slovakia to have special lanes at border for Covid vaccinated

The Slovak police will establish a special driving lane for the travelers who have already been Covid vaccinated at large border crossings, police command spokeswoman Denisa Bárdyová told journalists. As of this Friday, Slovakia will demand quarantine from those who have not been Covid vaccinated when entering the country, though there will be some exceptions to the new rule. The Czech diplomacy has made it clear that the Slovak steps have complicated the situation in the border area and it wants to negotiate with Bratislava. "The toughening of the Covid measures on the Slovak side of the border is causing serious complications in the border region. Our governments are in contact," Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek said.

"We have agreed with my Slovak counterpart Ivan Korčok that we will present a list of the most urgent problems that have occurred and that must be solved," Kulhánek has tweeted.

On Monday, the Slovak police started checking at selected border crossings whether travelers observe the duty of being registered online when entering the country and whether they fulfill the conditions for being exempt from quarantine. Smaller border crossings have been closed. Currently, travelers to Slovakia from the Czech Republic and some 40 more countries only need a certificate on a negative coronavirus test, but as of Friday, the quarantine will be avoided by the travelers who will have been Covid-19 vaccinated. There will be exceptions from the quarantine for some professions and transit across Slovakia. Inoculated people commuting to work across the border will also avoid quarantine. The toughening of the border treatment is part of an effort to prevent the spread of the more infectious coronavirus mutation.

Tečka app downloaded by over 715,000

Over 715,000 users downloaded the Tečka app as of the morning of July 6. The app allows users to store the QR code proof of vaccination or testing certificates on their smartphones for easy access when it needs to be scanned. The app, which was developed in cooperation with the Czech Health Ministry was launched at the end of last week. The Smart Quarantine project is now encouraging entrepreneurs to download the cTečka app, which can be used to scan QR codes. People still need to prove their non-infective status to attend public events and use some services.

Two walk-in Covid-19 vaccination points to be set up in Prague

Two Covid-19 vaccination points where people can be vaccinated without previous registration will be established in Prague at the Chodov shopping center and at the train station Hlavní nádraží, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch told reporters. The sites, which will be set up within the next two weeks, are intended to make the vaccination process more accessible. Mobile vaccination teams have been set up and the two vaccination points in Prague are currently being prepared. Vojtěch said he hoped they will begin working within two weeks at the latest.

"The aim of the project is to reach people who have not yet registered for vaccination. Then they will [be able to enter] without any reservation or time slot and will be vaccinated immediately without any obstacles" Vojtěch said.

Along with two-dose vaccines against Covid-19, these new vaccination points will also get the single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. If people choose a two-dose vaccine, they will have to come back for another dose at a later date. The vaccination points for unregistered people are a pilot project, but if successful, the ministry would like to expand it to other regions as well, Vojtěch said. See out full story here.

One-third of Czechs are vaccinated against coronavirus

About one-third of the Czech population has completed the coronavirus vaccination, among people aged over 60 it is more than 60 percent, and further 1.6 million people will get receive their second vaccine dose in July, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch told journalists. The country has 10.7 million inhabitants, 8.45 million doses have been applied in the country since late December when the vaccination was launched, and 3.44 million people have seen their vaccination completed. The Czech government approved in early June that if the first dose was applied at least 22 days ago to a person, this person is considered free of infection. Now the government returned to the original rule and only one dose will not be enough as of July 9 again. Vojtěch warned on Wednesday that the effectiveness of the first of the two doses against the Delta variant is only about 33 percent. Studies show that complete vaccination, especially with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, is sufficient protection also against the Delta variant, mainly against a serious course of the illness. See our full story here.

New cases drop compared to last week

There were 107 new Covid cases on Tuesday, a drop from the 156 recorded the previous week. Monday also saw fewer cases than the previous week, though it is not clear whether the drop was due to the four-day weekend or to a real recession of the spread of the virus. Weekend numbers tend to be lower than weekday numbers. No Covid-related deaths have been recorded for four days in a row. Deaths have been at zero or one since June 27. The incidence number of new Covid cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days remained steady at nine for the entire country. The situation in Prague, though, is worse. There were 30 cases per 100,000 over the past seven days. Some 44 of the 107 new Covid cases reported on Tuesday were in Prague. The nationwide R number dropped to 1.08, but it still remains over 1.0, meaning the virus is spreading rather than contracting.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (July 7, 2021)

  • New cases 107
  • Deaths 30 311
  • Currently hospitalized 27
  • PCR tests performed 8,206,071
  • Antigen tests performed 22,199,776
  • Total vaccinations 8,596,489
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 32,091
  • People who have completed vaccination 3,531,782
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 9
  • PES index 38
  • R number 1.08
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