Prague court cancels passenger locator form for those traveling by car

A court has ruled that in the case of single-family groups traveling by car, locator forms cannot be justified by the state. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 07.12.2021 10:21:00 (updated on 07.12.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic will no longer require passenger locator forms from people entering the country by road in a single family group as of Tuesday. Due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, the form will still be required from all other travelers, the Health Ministry decided today.

Except for those traveling by car in a single family group, the filled-in form will be required from all arrivals, including those returning from states designated as low-risk in the Czech Republic's traffic light system for international arrivals. The change comes about after the Municipal Court in Prague canceled a provision making the form also compulsory for so-called “individual travelers,” meaning those using a means of transport carrying no one else apart from members of the same household.

Passenger locator forms must still be filled in by all other travelers over the age of six who have spent more than twelve hours abroad in the past two weeks, though the amended directive also notes exceptions for citizens of non-EU citizens "if in exceptional circumstances their entry and physical presence in the Czech Republic is absolutely necessary." Non-EU children traveling with a legal guardian are also exempt from the requirement to fill out a locator form, though this does not include those visiting the country as part of a large group or for a school trip.

This includes travelers coming from so-called "green" countries. In Europe, the only country currently in the low-risk "green" category is the Vatican. Outside Europe, “green” states are Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Indonesia, South Korea, Canada, Qatar, Colombia, Kuwait, Macao, New Zealand, Peru, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and Uruguay. The Health Ministry updates the “traffic-light” map for travelers every week based on the data issued by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The amended legislation relating to passenger locator forms will also mean the forms are only preserved for three months, rather than a whole year, as has been the case until now. The data can be accessed by regional public health offices as well as designated staff of the Health Ministry and the Health Information and Statistics Institute (ÚZIS).

The original directive making even car travelers fill out the passenger locator form was canceled after the court ruled that in the case of individual transport means for a single family, passenger locator forms contain no data relevant for contact tracing. As a result, the obligation to fill out the form was not considered a justified interference with the individual’s fundamental right to privacy.

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