Coronavirus update, May 13, 2021: Foreign vaccination certificates won’t be recognized

Proof of vaccination will be needed for travel and more but for now the Czech Republic won't recognize Covid vaccinations carried out in other countries.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 13.05.2021 09:43 (updated on 13.05.2021)

Foreign vaccination certificates won’t be recognized

Proof of vaccination will be needed not only for travel but visiting sports and cultural events and other purposes. For the time being, however, these benefits will only be available to those who have received the vaccine and certificate in the Czech Republic. The Health Ministry says it fears forged documents and is waiting for a pan-European Covid passport. A protective measure by the Health Ministry effective from May 4 that abolishes the obligation for a negative test for vaccinated people traveling to the Czech Republic from medium and high-risk countries does not apply to those who received vaccination outside the Czech Republic. EU member states are currently negotiating with the European Parliament on the form of a certificate to make it easier for people with vaccinations, negative tests or antibodies to travel across borders. Technical details are still being worked out. This is a developing story (read more via Novinky.cz, in Czech only, here).

Restaurateurs won't be required to check Covid certificates

Instead of checking for negative tests for coronavirus, it should be enough for restaurants to post a message stating that only guests who meet the conditions set by the Health Ministry will be served. Outdoor gardens at pubs and restaurants will reopen May 17. The responsibility would not fall on the operators of catering companies, it would be borne by customers. Representatives of gastronomy agreed on Wednesday with main hygienist Pavla Svrčinová, according to the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts (AMSP). Professional organizations representing entrepreneurs in gastronomy had called on the Health Ministry to issue detailed instructions on how to check test documents or vaccinations.

"The head hygienist responded to our call, understood the problem and we reached a compromise," said AMSP’s Luboš Kastner said.

According to him, restaurants should only be obliged to post the information visibly stating that only customers who meet the conditions will be served. Should the hygienists come to verify compliance with the rules, the guest would be responsible, not the business operator. See our previous story here.

Health Ministry may prolong safe period after Covid to 180 days

The Health Ministry may prolong the period considered safe after having Covid-19 to up to six months when people could not be vaccinated against the virus, and a negative PCR test might be valid for up to two weeks, Health Minister Petr Arenberger told reporters. So far, 90 days after the disease are considered safe.

"A study shows that the antibodies and cell immunity considerably protect the person who had the Covid-19 disease even after half a year, so this should be definitely used," Arenberger said.

The Czech Republic will proceed in this respect along with the neighboring countries. Germany has already prolonged the deadline. The change should be implemented at the latest when the European Covid-19 pass is available to the public, he said, adding that it will be tested in the Czech Republic within a pilot project as of next week.

Babiš wants issues for children traveling resolved

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the possibility of traveling abroad for children must be resolved. "We naturally do not want the families to pay something. We may have to use antigen tests for children but the question is if other countries accept them. If they accepted PCR tests only, we must find a way to pay for them," he said. In a similar way, tests for children in the Czech Republic should be covered from public health insurance, e.g. if required for summer camps and school trips, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said.

Maláčová is for ending Antivirus state support program

Minister of Labor Social Affairs Jana Maláčová is in favor of terminating the Antivirus program, from which the state pays wage contributions. With further dismantling and favorable epidemic developments in the Czech Republic, the cabinet would no longer want to propose further extensions, she told ČTK. The government last decided on the extension less than a month ago. The program lasted until the end of May, when it should end. According to Maláčová, the cabinet could possibly discuss the issue in about two weeks. From the Antivirus program. the state provides wage contributions to companies that have been affected by the imposed restrictions against Covid and the coronavirus crisis. Over 73,600 companies received money from the beginning to May 10, 2020. They received CZK 42.8 billion for more than 1 million workers.  

Teacher fired for ignoring Covid rules is suing town

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Former director of the Waldorf School in Semily, Ivan Semecký, is suing the town. A lawyer has already filed the lawsuit, he said. Semecký, allowed children to attend school without wearing face coverings in the classroom and also allowed them to refuse to be tected for Covid. The former director was dismissed by the town council on April 20. The school is currently run by his deputy. The town hall has already announced a competition for a new school principal, who should start in mid-June.

Medical workers to get spa stays

Medical workers from hospitals will be entitled to spa vouchers worth CZK 8,000. This was stated by Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová during yesterday's visit to the Thomayer University Hospital in Prague. The spa industry has been hard hit due to a lack of foreign tourists over the past year.

Vaccinations top 80,000 for fourth time

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There were another 1,261 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, about 600 fewer than a week ago, while 81,833 Czechs were inoculated, almost 2,500 more than last Wednesday and roughly 1,500 more than on Tuesday, according to Health Ministry data. On Wednesday, the number of Covid vaccinations was over 80,000 for the fourth time since the start of the vaccination in late December. Since the start of this week, people over 45 may register for the vaccination. Next week, Czechs over 40 may take part in it, too, and later everyone over 16. The reproduction number, giving the number of infected by one positively tested person, slightly fell again from 0.79 to 0.77. It has been under one, which signals the deceleration of the epidemic, for almost a month.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (May 13, 2021)

  • New cases 1,261
  • Deaths 29,825
  • Currently hospitalized 1,697
  • PCR tests performed 6,952,575
  • Antigen tests performed 13,815,197
  • Total vaccinations 3,901,001
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 81,833
  • People with both doses 1,085,579
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 82
  • PES index 40
  • R number 0.77
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