Czechia lifts Covid travel restrictions for all EU arrivals

A regularly updated article with all the latest developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 14.03.2022 09:45:00 (updated on 08.04.2022) Reading time: 9 minutes

This is a weekly overview of the latest coronavirus news for Prague and the Czech Republic. Here you'll find important developments, organized by date, and updated daily by Expats.cz as well as a live data stream taken from the Ministry of Health. A regularly updated list of restrictions can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of Covid hospitalization, vaccination, and mortality data for the Czech Republic, see CovData.cz.

Latest COVID Statistics

Confirmed cases on 26.05.2022: +245

Active cases: 1 551

Currently hospitalized: 138

Tests yesterday: 2 713

Vaccinations yesterday: 1 847

Confirmed cases total: 3 919 344

Recovered total: 3 877 513

Vaccinated total: 6 961 896

Tests total: 21 847 103

Deaths total: 40 280

COVID 19 - New cases for last
Data valid as of 19:28:01 27.05.2022
Source: https://onemocneni-aktualne.mzcr.cz

March 20

Number of Covid-19 patients in Czech hospitals drops below 2,000

The Czech Republic reported 4,784 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, according to the latest data released by the Czech Health Ministry. Saturday's total represents 359 more cases than a week ago despite fewer tests being performed, but the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals has dropped below 2,000 for the first time in about two months.

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There are currently 1,883 patients with Covid-19 in Czech hospitals. Among them, 115 patients are in serious condition.

The Czech Republic's incidence rate stands at 509 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days. It continues to be the highest in Plzeň (619 cases) and lowest in Karlovy Vary (362 cases).

On Saturday, laboratories carried out about 13,000 Covid tests, roughly one third fewer than a week ago. The rate of positive tests was over 30 percent, one of the highest rates throughout the entire pandemic. A week ago, the rate of positive tests was about 20 percent.

March 19

Number of new Covid cases remains steady into the weekend

The Czech Republic confirmed 8,705 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, about 350 more than last Friday, the latest data from the Czech Health Ministry shows. A total of 2,156 patients with Covid-19 are currently in Czech hospitals, which is about 300 fewer than on Monday.

The Czech Republic's Covid incidence rate slightly increased on Friday, up to 506 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days. The rate has been just above 500 all week. It continues to be the highest in Plzeň at 621 cases per 100,000 people, and the lowest in Karlovy Vary at 369 cases.

The number of patients with Covid in Czech hospitals, meanwhile, has steadily fallen this week. On Monday, there was a total of 2,483 people with Covid in Czech hospitals, decreasing by about 300 people over the course of the week. There are currently 133 patients in serious condition, one fewer than on Monday.

March 18

Czechia lifts Covid restrictions on arrivals from EU

The Czech Republic has lifted all Covid restrictions for arrivals from the EU and another eight European states. As of today, people will no longer need to fill in the passenger locator form and produce a negative test, vaccination certificate, or proof of past Covid recovery, the Health Ministry announced on its website. In addition to EU states, the new rules apply to Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican. They remain unchanged for arrivals from other non-EU countries, which also applies to the people who stayed in such countries for more than 12 hours in the past 14 days.

No more traveler's traffic lights maps

The Health Ministry will no longer release the traveler's traffic lights map, which divides countries into groups of different colors depending on how strong a coronavirus risk they pose. The ministry has released the updated map every Friday amid the recent phases of the coronavirus epidemic. Instead, it will release the list of the non-EU states from which all people can arrive in Czechia if meeting the valid epidemiological rules. The updated list will be released only if really modified, which is probable once in several weeks.

Covid epidemic slightly slows again

There were 8,163 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Thursday, compared to 8,238 a week earlier. It is the lowest number on a working day in the past two weeks, and the epidemic slightly slowed down for the second day in a row in the country. Laboratories revealed 1,485 suspected reinfections, also fewer than a week ago. Czech hospitals treated 2,194 coronavirus patients, including 135 in serious condition. A week earlier there were 2,329 patients and 135 serious cases. The reproduction number R is at 1.01, meaning the pandemic is spreading slightly. The number of new cases per 100,000 people is at 502, down from 503 a day earlier. It is the highest in Plzeň region, 633, and the lowest in the Karlovy Vary region at 355. In Prague, it is 575.

March 17

Pandemic indicators start to drop again

There were another 8,559 new Covid cases, compared to 9,031 a week earlier. This was the first fall after three days of increases. The number of suspected reinfections, at 1,640, was also fewer week on week. Some 2,205 people are hospitalized with Covid, and 129 are in serious condition. The numbers have been falling in the past two days. A week ago there were 2,388 patients and 150 serious cases.

The reproduction number R dropped slightly to 1.0, meaning the pandemic is at its break-even point. The number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days fell to 503 from 508. The incidence number only rose considerably in the Olomouc Region and there was a very slight growth in Central and Southern Bohemia. It is still the highest in the Plzeň region at 634 and lowest in the Karlovy Vary region at 358. In Prague it is at 576.

Válek: EU and Czechia preparing a Covid strategy for the autumn

The European Union is preparing a joint strategy for Covid revaccination in the autumn, Health Minister Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09) said before yesterday’s government meeting. It is not yet clear what vaccine would be used. Experts believe another Covid wave will start in the autumn. Válek said a strategy is currently being discussed by experts. The National Institute for Pandemic Management, which advises Válek, will also send its proposals.

The autumn wave could be caused by a still unknown variant. “The number of positive people will increase and, of course, unvaccinated people will die unnecessarily,” he added. “In the autumn, we will have to move from a pandemic solution to a medical one, where we will have to purposefully vaccinate those [at risk] groups, similarly to the flu, every year,” the minister said. Vaccination for the elderly will be essential, he added.

March 16

New infections continue to rise

There were 10,715 new Covid cases on Tuesday, compared to 10,485 a week ago. Laboratories reported 1,938 suspected reinfections, approximately the same as last week. Some 2,212 patients are hospitalized with Covid, and 121 are in serious condition. A week ago there were 2,453 patients and 162 in serious condition. On Tuesday, health professionals applied 3,113 vaccine doses, the lowest weekday figure of this year. Most were booster shots.

The reproduction number R is at 1.01, meaning the pandemic is spreading slightly. The number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days rose to 508 from 505 a day earlier. The only region with an incidence rate below 400 is Karlovy Vary, at 373, while the Plzeň region has the highest number, 648. In Prague it is 577.

Daily number of new cases not expected to improve in March

Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS) director Ladislav Dušek said that all indicators show that the burden of the infection in the population stopped decreasing and the daily numbers of new Covid cases are not likely to go down in March. He said Covid figures stopped falling due to the highly contagious Omicron variant and its BA.2 subvariant and its capacity to infect people who had contracted Covid in the past or those who had been vaccinated. Nevertheless, he expects the number of hospitalizations to keep receding. He estimates that some 200 patients will arrive at hospitals and 20 at intensive care units daily in the next 10 days.

Over 3.7 million Covid cases since start of pandemic

Over 3.7 million cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the Czech Republic since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic in March 2020. It reached 3,707,588 due to the addition of 10,175 cases this morning. The figure does not count reinfections. The Czech Republic has a population of 10.7 million. The growth rate of the infection began to grow significantly last November and then this year in January and February when laboratories twice reported over 50,000 infections per day. A record 57,243 cases were added on Feb. 1 this year, after which the numbers began to decline. Figures have now started to rise again.

March 15

Highest increase in new cases in two weeks

There were 10,829 new Covid cases on Monday, compared to 10,387 a week ago. It is the highest figure in the past two weeks. Suspected recurrent infections grew by 77 to 2,064. Hospitalizations are also rising again. There are 2,220 patients, an increase of 184 in the past two days. Some 116 cases are serious. A week ago there were 2,532 patients and 176 serious cases. The reproduction number R is at 1.01. The number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days rose to 506 from 501 a day earlier. In Prague, the incidence number is 571, up from 557 a day earlier.

BA.2 variant now at 37 percent of cases

While the numbers of new cases had been decreasing since early February, they started growing again last week. On Monday, the National Health Institute (SZÚ) said that the Omicron virus subvariant BA.2 is spreading in the country. Some 37 percent of the thoroughly examined samples that tested positive for Covid are BA.2 now. Due to this subvariant, the epidemic stopped slowing down in other European countries as well. The BA.2 variant spreads more easily than the original Omicron variant, BA.1.

March 14

No respirators except in transport and some health facilities

The duty to wear a respirator remains valid only in public transport and at health and social care facilities as of today. A respirator must be used on trains, trams, buses, cable cars, taxis, and taxis. A respirator is also required in homes for the elderly and disabled. Mouth and nose protection is no longer needed elsewhere, based on a Health Ministry's directive approved by the cabinet.

Last week, Health Minister Vlastimil Válek said that if the favorable epidemiological development continued, the remaining respirator requirements would be completely lifted in April.

Exemptions from the respirator duty include pre-school children, people with mental disorders, patients in hospitals, residents in social facilities, and public transport drivers. A respirator is also not required from the people who have a doctor's confirmation that their health condition prevents them from wearing it. It is also not obligatory for people while eating or drinking.

Restrictions for hospital visits end

Restrictions on visits to hospitals and social facilities end as of today. Visitors no longer have to show proof of vaccination or a recent Covid test. There are no more restrictions on attending birth. Covid testing for unvaccinated employees at health care faculties also ends.  

Pandemic starting to expand again

On Sunday, there were 2,742 confirmed new Covid cases, compared to 2,574 a week ago. The number of suspected recurrent infections, though, fell by 30 to 431 cases. The reproduction number R is 1.01, meaning the pandemic is starting to spread again. Each infected person now transmits the virus to 1.01 people. The number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days rose to 501 from 500 a day earlier. The incidence number is currently the lowest in the Karlovy Vary region, at 345. The worst situation is the Plzeň region at 667. In Prague, it is 557.

Fewest hospitalizations since January

There are 1,906 Covid patients in hospitals, the fewest since Jan. 23, and 110 serious cases. A week ago, there were 2,219 patients and 164 serious cases.

Fewest vaccinations since New Year’s Day

Interest in vaccinations continues to decline. Only 189 people underwent vaccination on Sunday. This year, there were fewer vaccinations only on New Year’s Day. Of those vaccinated, 165 came for the booster dose and 12 completed vaccination, while 13 applicants were vaccinated for the first time on Sunday.

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