Coronavirus update, Sept. 28, 2021: Czech govt. scraps visa restrictions for third-country nationals

A ban on visa restrictions put in place during the pandemic will be lifted, respirators required at the polls, and highest daily rise in cases since May. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 28.09.2021 09:59:00 (updated on 28.09.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

All foreigners can apply for visas in the Czech Republic

At the height of the Covid-19 spread, the Ministry of Health, as a part of its emergency measures, banned visa applications for people from third countries who did not meet any of its exceptions. Now all foreigners will once again be able to apply for visas or long-term residence permits in the Czech Republic. 

Earlier this month, the Municipal Court in Prague canceled the directive containing the ban. The Health Ministry has changed the directive and the modified version will take effect from Sept. 30.

"We are reacting to the Prague Court ruling that in granting visas we cannot differentiate between various groups of people, and so it is newly possible for Czech diplomatic missions to accept and handle third-country foreigners' applications for long-term or permanent residence permit or long-term visas," Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch said.

The controversial directive banned people from third countries, i.e. from outside of the EU, from applying for visas or long-term residence permits unless they met certain employment, study, or family criteria.

Afterschool groups no longer subject to Covid testing

Students will no longer need to produce a negative Covid-19 test result for afterschool clubs as of Sept. 30 if they are from the same school or coming from different schools that are part of a "stable" or unchanging group, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said.

Currently, proof of either a negative test, recent recovery from Covid, or complete vaccination is required for taking part in leisure time activities with more than 20 participants.

Tests are no longer required to use accommodation services if they are provided exclusively for students from one school; the relaxed testing measures also apply to group visits to zoos, botanical gardens, and museums (the same rules apply to the adults accompanying a group of children).

In addition, amateur and professional athletes of up to 20 people will not need to test if they form a regular team of unchanging members.

Respirators required at Czech polling stations

The cabinet also agreed on hygiene rules for the general election coming up on Oct. 8-9. Voters must wear respirators at polling stations as they would in shops and public transport.

The exemptions will be the same as well, applying to those with a health condition that does not allow for them to have their mouth and nose covered. Voters who do not have their mouths and noses covered with a PPF2 respirator face a fine.

More details on Czech national tutoring plan released

According to information released by the website, Czech teachers will receive up to CZK 250 per hour as part of the national tutoring initiative. Teachers will be able to conduct tutoring outside of normal working hours at the school on the basis of a special agreement with the student. University students, employees of non-profit organizations, club leaders, and other educators will also be able to offer tutoring. 

Tutors will focus on selected pupils of primary schools, lower grades of multi-year grammar schools or conservatories, and the last years of secondary schools. The funds for tutoring can be used by schools until Dec. 31, 2021.

Czech Republic sees highest daily rise in Covid cases since May 24

The Czech Republic saw 672 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, which was 200 more than a week ago and the highest figure since May 24, while the number of the Covid hospitalized exceeded 206, the Health Ministry's morning data shows. At present, 36 of them are in serious condition.

The incidence rate or the number of the infected per 100,000 population in the past seven days has risen to 32 after holding steady at 30 for two days. The reproduction number R, which represents Covid spread, has increased from 1.06 to 1.12.

The coronavirus is spreading fastest in Prague and the Moravia-Silesia region with 52 and 51 new cases per 100,00 inhabitants in the past seven days, respectively. The Central Bohemia and South Bohemia regions follow each with an incidence rate of 37. Liberec and Hradec Kralove regions have the lowest indicidence rate at ten. The Beroun district (Central Bohemia) had 89 new cases per 100,000 in the past week, and in the Opava district (North Moravia) there were 83 cases per capita.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Sept. 28, 2021)

  • New cases 672
  • Deaths to date 30,454
  • Currently hospitalized 206
  • PCR tests performed 23,047
  • Antigen tests performed 45,202
  • Total vaccinations 11,788,930
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 8,962 
  • Vaccinations completed 5,944,618
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 32
  • R number 1.12
  • PES number 55
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