Czech Covid spread shows significant signs of slowing

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 06.12.2021 09:57:00 (updated on 12.12.2021) Reading time: 22 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 25.06.2022: +237

Active cases: 3 337

Currently hospitalized: 100

Tests yesterday: 1 046

Vaccinations yesterday: 410

Confirmed cases total: 3 929 036

Recovered total: 3 885 386

Vaccinated total: 6 965 067

Tests total: 21 906 148

Deaths total: 40 313

COVID 19 - New cases for last
Data valid as of 18:28:01 26.06.2022
Source: https://onemocneni-aktualne.mzcr.cz

December 12, 2021

Overview Virus spread continues to slow in the Czech Republic

There were another 9,080 Covid cases on Saturday, the smallest Saturday increase in the last five weekends, and almost 2,000 fewer than last Saturday. The reduced spread comes after a week in which the daily number of new cases has been steadily falling. The number of hospitalized decreased to 5,766, with 1,012 in a serious condition. Hospitalizations have fallen by 800 in a week-on-week comparison. A preliminary total of 39 deaths were reported for Saturday.

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On Saturday, health professionals administered 31,302 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, with interest growing in the booster dose. On Saturday, health professionals applied 24,961 booster doses. On the other hand, the interest in the first dose is decreasing, with only 1,530 first doses given on Saturday; around a thousand fewer than the same day a week ago.

The incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days is also decreasing. Currency the rate is 871 per 100,000, down from 889 the previous day and the lowest incidence rate seen since November 18. The lowest incidence rate is in the Karlovy Vary region at 406, while the highest is in the Uherské Hradiště area at almost 1,200 per 100,000.

Variant of concern Another Omicron case suspected as spread slows

A suspected seventh case of the new Omicron Covid variant has been found in South Moravia, in a child from the town of Adamov. Together with other suspected cases of Omicron in the region and elsewhere in the country, it is feared the arrival of the new variant could pose further difficulties as the Czech Republic records a steady decline in Covid cases and hospitalizations, with the lowest Saturday total for five weeks reported today.

Omicron Slovakia confirms first cases of new variant

Slovakia has confirmed its first three cases of the new Omicron Covid variant. All three cases were in people vaccinated against Covid, who had visited countries considered at risk for Omicron. They all exhibited only mild symptoms. The new variant has already been discovered in several European countries, including the Czech Republic. The first cases in Slovakia come after the three arrivals entered isolation and responded to the requirement to register people who had visited risk countries. Slovak Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský said there is currently no need to re-evaluate Covid measures, because not enough is yet known about the Omicron variant.

December 11, 2021

vaccines Vaccine registration for children to open from Monday

The next stage in the vaccination program will see registration open up to kids aged five to eleven at midnight between Sunday and Monday. So far, Covid vaccines have only been available for those aged twelve and above. The Czech Republic is able to open up vaccines to the younger age group after a decision on the provision of vaccines for young children was made by the European Medicines Agency. Read our full article here.

December 10, 2021

OVERVIEW Least new cases for a workday in three weeks

There were another 14,229 Covid cases on Thursday, the smallest number on a working day in the past three weeks and almost 4,400 fewer than last Thursday. The daily number of new cases has been falling for eight days in a row. Some 6,321 Covid hospitalized, 1,086 of whom in a serious condition, down from 7,066 hospitalized with 1,088 serious cases a week ago. A preliminary 54 deaths were reported for Thursday. Except for the past two days, which will likely still be revised, over 100 people have died daily since Nov. 28. The seven-day toll is 692.

On Thursday, health professionals administered 95,647 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, about 2,000 more than a week ago. Interest is growing in the booster dose. On Thursday, health professionals applied 77,500 booster doses. On the other hand, the interest in the first dose is decreasing. On Thursday, it was given to 6,600 people, about 4,000 fewer than a week ago.

The incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days is decreasing. Currency the rate is 938, down from 979 a day earlier. The reproduction number R is 0.86. The incidence rate fell in most regions, with the exception of the Liberec region, where it slightly rose to 932. In six regions, it is still over 1,000. In the Zlín region, the rate is highest at 1,147. In the Karlovy Vary region, the incidence rate is lowest at 434.

Eight more Omicron cases suspected

The Omicron coronavirus variant, which has so far been confirmed in two people in Liberec, may have appeared in three other regions. Laboratories are examining eight cases, six of them from the South Moravian region and one each in Prague and the Central Bohemian region. In South Moravia, Omicron is suspected in two nurses from the University Hospital Brno (FNB), two of their children, and also in two primary school pupils in Adamov in the Blansko region. The Central Bohemian case is connected with the Dubai-Prague flight which an Omicron-infected resident of Liberec took when returning from Namibia. The Prague case is a man returning from Africa. The suspected eight cases must still be verified by sequencing.

Confirmed: Pre-Christmas school testing is on Dec. 20

Covid testing of children in schools will take place in the pre-Christmas week only on Monday, Dec. 20, chief hygienist Pavla Svrčinová confirmed in an online press conference yesterday. In the coming days, it will be supplemented by testing where there are outbreaks based on the decision of regional hygienic stations. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch earlier said that every positively tested child must still go for a confirmatory PCR test, making Monday a better option. With later testing, parents would have to take a PCR test with their children on Christmas Day or during the Christmas holidays.

EMA confirms Omicron spreads faster

The Omicron variant appears to be more contagious than previous types of coronavirus, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). They said more research was needed to see if it caused a worse course of the disease.

Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch, however, said omicron is probably no more dangerous than the Delta variant. Molecular geneticist Jan Pačes from the Czech Academy of Sciences' Institute of Molecular Genetics said immunity in those who have undergone Covid with one of the previous variants is not very good against the Omicron. The effectiveness of vaccines is expected to be reduced, but revaccination may help.

About 82 percent of those vaccinated want booster dose

About 82 percent of Czechs who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 want to receive the booster shot now, while in September it was 66 percent, the PAQ Research agency said. Among senior citizens, up to 95 percent are ready to get the third booster shot. Separate research by STEM showed that 15 percent of Czechs are resolutely against Covid vaccination and this percentage has remained unchanged for nine months. These people did not trust institutions and the media already before the pandemic. "The rejection of vaccines is often symbolical for them, it is a rejection of the whole attitude of the state to Covid-19," he said.

Czech Republic still second-worst in EU

According to the number of coronavirus infections in seven days, the worst situation in the EU is now in Slovakia with 1,328 cases per 100,000 population in seven days until Dec. 8, It was also in the top spot a week earlier with 1,403 cases. The Czech Republic remains second with 1,027 cases, compared to 1,194 a week earlier. Belgium is third again with 963 cases. A week earlier it had 1,095. Andorra still has the highest weekly incidence worldwide with 1,796 cases compared to 1,412 a week ago, based on data for the Our World in Data project.

December 9, 2021

OVERVIEW Weekly incidence rate drops back under 1,000

There were another 16,179 Covid cases on Wednesday, 4,959 fewer than a week ago. Numbers have fallen for the seventh day in a row. Hospitals have 6,478 Covid patients, which is the smallest number in December. There are 1,072 are in serious condition. A week earlier, there were 6,964 hospitalized, with 1,105 in serious condition. A preliminary 47 deaths were reported, and the seven-day toll is 705. Except for the past two days, which will likely still be updated, the daily toll has been over 100 since Nov. 28.

Interest in vaccination is growing, especially in the booster dose. On Wednesday, health professionals administered 90,649 vaccine doses, about 17,000 more than a week ago. The third dose was given to 78,266 people, the biggest number in a single day. More than 6.4 million people have complete vaccination, which is 60.2 percent of the total 10.7 million population of the Czech Republic. In the age over 12, some 69 percent are fully vaccinated.

The incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 over seven days was 979, dipping under 1,000 for the first time since Nov. 21. It was 1,025 a day earlier. The reproduction number R is 0.88. The incidence rate remains over 1,000 in six regions and fell in all but one region. The highest rate is in the Zlín region at 1,244. By contrast, the lowest rate is in the Karlovy Vary region at 447.

14:28 Three Omicron cases suspected in Brno

The Omicron coronavirus variant are suspected in two people who work at University Hospital Brno (FNB). Both employees are from are from the pulmonary department and are now at home in isolation. They had not been abroad. Omicron is also suspected in one child at a Brno primary school. The whole class has gone into quarantine. Regional Hygiene Station director David Křivánek told ČTK that the hygienists were waiting for confirmation of the samples. Two cases were previously confirmed in the Liberec area.

13:48 Booster jab wait time for people 55+ cut to five months

People 55 and over can receive a booster shot after five months as of Dec. 13, the South Moravian governor Jan Grolich said on Twitter. People 50 and older will be able to receive the booster shot after five months, probably from Dec. 20. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch confirmed the revaccination interval for people in their 50s would be shortened next week, and then for other age groups as well, adding that it was a matter of logistics.

Pupil’s pre-Christmas antigen testing likely to be on Dec. 20

Pre-Christmas antigen testing of school pupils will probably not take place on the last day of classes but on Monday, Dec. 20, as usual, outgoing Education Minister Robert Plaga said. The reason is sometimes long waiting times for confirmatory PCR tests. Schools can also opt for PCR testing instead of antigen testing on another day before Christmas. The organization of testing for pupils before the Christmas holidays could be decided at a government meeting on Monday, Plaga said.

Dušek: Covid does not spread more in schools

The coronavirus epidemic is not spreading more among children than among older age groups, According to Ladislav Dušek, the director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS). Increased testing simply captures more positive cases and traces them better. According to him, a possible extension of the Christmas holidays would not have the desired effect. "What we are seeing is only a reflection of the testing strategy. The number of newly confirmed cases is highest in the young age categories now, because we are testing there extensively, they are also easily accessible for tracing," Dušek explained. "The fact that we see half the burden in the adult population does not mean that the virus is not spreading there," he added.

Covid treatment pills coming; can be used at home

Next week, 5,760 doses of the antiviral drug molnupiravir will arrive in the Czech Republic and more will come a week later, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said on Twitter. The advantage of the medicine, which comes in tablet form, is that patients can take it at home. The drug reduces the effect of coronavirus in people who are already infected, making it less likely that infection will result in a serious case or death. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) pill for less at-risk adult patients with the first symptoms of Covid-19 at the end of November. Although molnupiravir has not yet been fully approved, the EMA said it can be used for people who can breathe on their own. The drug has already been approved in the United Kingdom. According to the manufacturer, molnupiravir halves the risk of serious complications when given early.

Novavax vaccine expected in January

Another Covid vaccine, Nuvaxovid from U.S.-based Novavax, will likely soon appear in the Czech Republic. A key component of the vaccine is manufactured near Prague by Novavax subsidiary Praha Vaccines. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been evaluating its application for conditional registration for the European market. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said the decision will likely come in January. The first deliveries should arrive in the Czech Republic shortly after. In total, the government has ordered 370,000 doses of Nuvaxovid. The vaccine is made using conventional methods and may prove popular with vaccine skeptics.

Most Czech doctors, nurses vaccinated

Some 88 percent of Czech doctors and 83 percent of nurses have been vaccinated against Covid, according to the data of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS). The booster dose has been administered to 54 percent of doctors and 36 percent of nurses. The rest of the health care workers have lower vaccination rates. About one-half of them have not been inoculated and less than one-third of them have the booster dose. ÚZIS said the professions of medical orderly and physiotherapist were among those most infected by Covid-19.

December 8, 2021

OVERVIEW 14 million vaccine doses administered

There were another 19,482 new Covid cases on Tuesday, 2,500 fewer than a week ago. The number fell for the sixth time in a row in the weekly comparison. The number of hospitalized also slightly decreased. On Tuesday, there were almost 6,700 hospitalized with 1,040 in serious condition, compared to 7,001 with 1,117 serious cases. A preliminary 61 deaths were reported, but the toll for the past seven days is 747.

On Tuesday, health professionals administered over 90,041 doses of vaccination, of which 72,804 were booster shots. The total number of applied doses has crossed 14 million.

The incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days fell to 1,025, down from 1,049 a day earlier and the smallest figure over more than two weeks. The reproduction number R is at 0.90. In Prague the incidence rate is 862. The epidemic is worst in the Zlín region, with a rate of 1,304.

11:09 Second case of Omicron variant confirmed

A second case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus has been confirmed in the Czech Republic. He is a close contact of a woman from Liberec who had the first confirmed case at the end of November. Liberec Regional Public Health Office spokeswoman Zuzana Balašová said no further measures need to be taken. "This is a close contact of the first case, which means that he was quarantined all the time and there will be no further contacts," Balašová told ČTK today. The presence of Omicron in the new case has been confirmed in a final test report. The 60-year-old woman from Liberec had traveled in Namibia shortly before returning to the Czech Republic.

Opinion divided over extending school break

The principals of some schools will extend the Christmas holidays due to the coronavirus epidemic, although the Education Ministry does not plan to do so for all schools. Some other principals no longer have extra days to allocate because they have already extended the autumn holidays or do not want to add days off because parents would have to deal with babysitting, ČTK reported. Outgoing Education Minister Robert Plaga and his probable successor Petr Gazdík have previously agreed not to extend the Christmas holidays for all schools.

Regional governors also have different attitudes. Liberec Governor Martin Půta again proposed that the children go to school for the last time on Dec. 17. Some others are leaving it up to principals. Hradec Králové Governer Martin Červíček does not want an extension. The head of the Central Bohemian Region wants to see a consensus of expert opinion.

Covid hospitalizations to rise for at least a week

The number of those hospitalized with Covid will go on rising in the Czech Republic for another week at least, while the daily number of newly detected infections will continue declining by 2,000 to 3,000 week-on-week, Health Information and Statistics Institute (ÚZIS) head Ladislav Dušek said. Nevertheless, the prognosis may change as a result of the spread of Omicron, he added. All indicators show a decline, but they remain quite high and show that the decline will be slow, he said.

"If 100-percent of the population were vaccinated, the number of those hospitalized in serious condition would be four times lower than it is," Dušek said."Another increase in the epidemic can be inevitably expected after Christmas, in January or February," he added, citing holiday parties as a cause.

Second case of Omicron variant suspected

Updated, see above. A second case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus is likely in the family of the 60-year-old woman from Liberec, north Bohemia, who was the first case of the variant detected in the country in late November. The newly detected patient's course of the disease is not serious, Deputy health Minister Martina Koziar Vašáková said. No further information was disclosed. Liberec Regional Public Health Office spokeswoman Zuzana Balašová told CTK she has no information about a second Omicron case.

December 7, 2021

Overview Total vaccination jabs will hit 14 million today

Another 15,141 coronavirus cases were reported on Monday, roughly 2,000 fewer than a week ago. There are 6.520 people hospitalized, with 1,009 in serious condition, down from 7,058 with 1,011 serious cases a week earlier. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch expects the number of hospitalized to significantly fall around Christmas. A preliminary 54 deaths were reported. The seven-day toll is 735.

Interest in vaccination continues to grow, especially in the booster dose. On Monday, almost 79,948 Czechs underwent vaccination, 15,000 more than a week ago. Of them, 63,000 had the booster dose. The 14 millionth vaccine dose is expected to be administered today.

The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days fell to 1,049 from 1,068 a day earlier. The reproduction number R is at 0.86. The incidence number for Prague is 896. The worst epidemic situation is in the Zlín region with an incidence rate of 1,335 cases. The best situation is still in the Karlovy Vary region with an incidence rate of 477. 

No further restrictions planned yet

The Health Ministry does not yet plan further measures against coronavirus infection but will monitor the situation for any changes. Although the situation in the Czech Republic is improving, the current wave is far from over. "We need to see a trend. It is not possible to judge the development of the epidemic in terms of one-day increments. That's why we say we want to wait at this point. If the declining trend was confirmed, it would not make sense to further tighten the screws," Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said.

Vojtěch says ‘humbug’ to Christmas parties this year.

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch called for the cancellation of Christmas parties. "I would like to ask all companies and organizations to abandon the organization of Christmas parties. In Norway, there was a significant spread of the disease due to similar parties. It is also in the interest of the companies that organize these parties to give up. Please cancel or postpone any meetings, parties, or similar events," Vojtěch said. He also on Twitter asked people to consider foregoing private parties as well.

School break won’t be extended

Current Minister of Education Robert Plaga and his probable successor Petr Gazdík confirmed they oppose extending the school holiday break. According to Plaga, extending the holidays does not make sense at a time when, in addition to schools, meetings during leisure and sports activities will not be restricted. Plaga said it doesn't make sense that students can't go to school, but can have Christmas parties.

Govt. extends ban on entry from part of Africa over omicron

The Czech cabinet extended the ban on the Czech entry from eight African countries due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus until Dec. 20, along with the rules of quarantine for Czechs returning from these states, the Government Office press section has announced. Originally, the ban was to expire on December 12. It applies to the citizens of third countries who stayed in either of the eight African countries for more than 12 hours in the past two weeks. The countries in question are South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, and Zambia.

All Czechs returning from these states have to quarantine themselves for 10 days at least after entering the Czech Republic. Before the entry, they have to submit a PCR test negative for coronavirus and a document proving that they have booked another PCR testing in Czechia. They have to undergo the second test in 24 hours after the arrival and stay in self-quarantine pending the test result, being allowed to leave their home only in order to buy essential items, care for their children and pay an urgent visit to a doctor. They have to wear a respirator all the time.

Single-jab vaccine recipients can get booster after two months

People who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with a single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine can get a booster dose after only two months. The Health Ministry decision took effect on Dec. 6. Those interested in the booster will receive mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna. The effectiveness of all vaccines is declining over time, most notably with the single-dose Janssen vaccine.

The ministry announced last week that it would call on people vaccinated with the substance to be revaccinated. They should receive an SMS advising them. The Janssen vaccine has been given to almost 400,000 people, of which about 236,000 received it more than two months ago.

Main train station to stop using single-shot vaccine

The walk-in vaccination center at Prague’s main train station Hlavní nádraží will stop using the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. From Dec. 8, people will be vaccinated with Spikevax from Moderna. The center will give first, second, and booster doses of Spikevax without the need for prior registration. A booster dose of Spikevax may be given to patients who have received the Janssen, Comirnaty, Spikevax, and Vaxzevria vaccines. The center accepts self-payers.

Czechia awaiting approval of Novavax vaccine

Czechia has ordered 370,000 doses of the Novavax Covid vaccine and is waiting for approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its use, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said on Tuesday. If approved the vaccine could be delivered to Czechia in January. Novavax applied for EMA approval of its vaccine on Nov. 17. The EMA may issue a recommendation for its use within a few weeks, however, approval by the European Commission is necessary for its use in the EU.

"This vaccine could be an alternative for people who for some reason, although this reason is often based on various disinformation, are not willing to get inoculated with the current vaccines," Vojtěch said.

The protein vaccine differs from Pfizer/BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson in its application of technologies used in vaccines for cervical cancer and flu. Currently, the EMA recommends the use of Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer/BioNTech against Covid. It is also assessing another protein vaccine from French firm Sanofi, which, pending approval, could be available in the Czech Republic in April or May at the earliest.

No more Omicron found, Delta still predominates

The National Institute of Public Health (SZÚ) said on Monday that no other case of the Omicron coronavirus variant has been found in the Czech Republic. The only known case was a woman from Liberec, north Bohemia, who returned from Namibia. The Delta variant and its sub-variants still prevail in a crushing majority of positive samples.

December 6, 2021

OVERVIEW Numbers continue to decline

There were 6,325 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, about 3,000 fewer than a week ago. The numbers of daily increases fell in a week-on-week comparison in five out of seven days. During the past week, some 114,302 cases were detected, approximately 14,000 fewer than a week earlier.

The number of new infections fell for the fourth time in a row in a week-on-week comparison. There are 6,338 Covid patients in hospitals, with 1,014 are in severe condition, about the same as a week ago. Forty-five deaths were reported, which will be revised. The toll for the past seven days is 707. Some 136 people died from coronavirus on Wednesday, the largest number since early April.

Vaccination is supposed to help alleviate the epidemic and the burden on hospitals. To date, healthcare professionals in the Czech Republic have administered more than 13.85 million doses of Covid vaccine. There were 21,671 vaccinations administered on Sunday, 9,000 more than a week ago. Most were booster doses, with 18,588 on Sunday. In total, more than 1.13 million people in the Czech Republic have three doses of the vaccine.

The number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days 1,068, down from 1,096 a day earlier. The reproduction number R number is 0.89. In seven Czech regions, the weekly incidence number remains higher than 1,000. In Prague, the incidence number is 913. The worst situation is in the Zlín Region, where there are 1,366 infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days.  

Pandemic wave may have peaked

Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS) head Ladislav Dušek told Czech Television on Sunday that the pandemic had just reached its peak or was already below it, in terms of new daily cases. However, he warned against the relatively risky values of key indicators. Over 1,800 people from vulnerable groups are registered among the newly infected every day, up to 30 percent of whom face serious complications. This is why the hospitals' burden will remain high till Christmas, Dušek added.

Govt. will consider tightening measures before Christmas

The Government Council for Health Risks will discuss further measures today that could help slow down the spread of coronavirus prior to the Christmas holidays and help reduce the burden on hospitals. The Health Ministry is considering, for example, limiting the number of visitors to mass events or stricter rules for respiratory protection in schools. Deputy Minister of Health Martina Koziar Vašáková said on CNN Prima News there the tightening of anti-epidemic measures before Christmas was possible. The ministry does not expect a general lockdown similarly to the one that restricted movement in the country during the previous waves of the epidemic.

Pedagogical Chamber calls for distance learning from Dec. 13

The chairman of the Pedagogical Chamber said that from an epidemiological standpoint, remote learning should go into effect as early as Dec. 13 with pupils testing for the last time on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, so that on Christmas Day children would no longer infect elderly relatives and the number of hospitalized and dead would not increase. The chamber predicts this will happen if no further action is taken in schools.

Health Minister Vojtěch recently tweeted that "According to international studies, the closure of schools does not have a major impact on the development of the epidemic and means a shortage of health workers who have to stay at home with their children." Scientists argue, however, that closing schools reduces risk by about 35–40%.

Experts: Vaccinating children may have little impact if 60+ don't get jab

Blanket Covid vaccination of children has no major importance if the population over 60 is not fully inoculated, epidemiologist Roman Prymula and the president of the Association of Regions, South Bohemia Governor Martin Kuba said on CNN Prima News. Deputy Health Minister Martina Koziar Vašáková said primarily all adults should receive the vaccine. "I'm not saying that vaccination of children between 5 and 12 is not beneficial, but I do not think that the time has come to proceed to the vaccination of the whole category if we have not finished the vaccination of the categories that are much more serious," Prymula said. Registration of children between five and 12 is to start on December 13. The Czech Republic has ordered 300,000 doses.

Volunteers helping in fight against Covid

A total of 1,303 volunteers, including about 600 doctors, have responded positively to the appeal by the group Doctors Helping Czechia since it was launched on Nov. 30, the group tweeted. The group has vowed to speed up the vaccination with booster shots. The organizers of the appeal have handed the list of the volunteers to the Central Control Staff and the Government Office.

Italy, Malta moving to higher Covid risk group of countries

Italy and Malta will move to the red group of Covid high-risk countries from the medium-risk ones on the Czech traveler's map as of Monday, which tightens the return rules from these countries for the unvaccinated, the Health Ministry announced. Other countries have also changed their position on the map, but this will not influence the regime of arrival in the Czech Republic for them. The ministry updates the map every week based on data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Only the Vatican will be among the green countries with a low risk of Covid infection in Europe.  See our full story here.

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