Czech Republic amends Covid-19 testing rules for returning travelers

From April 5, only travelers returning from "very high" risk countries and those travelling by public transport will need a Covid-19 test before travelling


Written by ČTK Published on 04.04.2021 16:22:00 (updated on 04.04.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Health Ministry has issued new wording for the Covid-19 lockdown measure that was cancelled by Prague's Municipal Court and which takes effect on April 5, the Ministry told journalists on Saturday.

Under the new wording, the Covid-19 test will only be mandatory before entering the Czech Republic if on return from countries with a very high risk of infection, i.e. those depicted as dark red on the travel map.

For return travel from the countries with high and medium risk (red and orange on the map), a test will be only mandatory if the traveler uses public transport such as an airplane to return to the Czech Republic.

On March 15, the Health Ministry said the Czech Republic could only be entered if a negative Covid-19 test was presented in advance if entry from countries with medium, high, and very high risk of coronavirus infection.

Prague's Municipal Court ruled that the Ministry had not explained why it was not sufficient to ensure citizens undergo the measures only after their return.

In reaction to the court ruling, the Health Ministry modified the regulation so that as of Monday, the advance test will only be needed before entering the Czech Republic from countries with a very high risk of infection, and when entering the Czech Republic by public transport from countries with medium and high risk.

Health Minister Jan Blatný said on Saturday that a person infected with Covid-19 might infect another 10-20 people when travelling by air.

"They can then spread the infection in the country where they disembark. This is why we consider it necessary for people to be tested before entering the Czech Republic, i.e. before entering the means of transport," Blatný said.

The measures still include a duty to undergo a PCR test within five days upon return to the Czech Republic from countries with medium, high, or very high risk of Covid-19. Until then, the traveler must stay in isolation.

The measures also demand that a form should be filled out upon arrival. This is not mandatory for travelers from "green" countries with a low risk of infection.

"Additionally, for preventative reasons, people who return from orange, red, and dark-red categories must wear a respirator everywhere outside their home for 14 days. Even in outdoor spaces," the Health Ministry stated on Saturday.

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