No quarantine needed after risk contact from Feb. 19

A regularly updated article with all the latest developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic for Feb. 7–13.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 07.02.2022 09:59:00 (updated on 13.02.2022) Reading time: 21 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.

Latest COVID Statistics

Confirmed cases on 05.07.2022: +538

Active cases: 7 048

Currently hospitalized: 213

Tests yesterday: 1 228

Vaccinations yesterday: 28

Confirmed cases total: 3 937 410

Recovered total: 3 890 038

Vaccinated total: 6 965 760

Tests total: 21 932 423

Deaths total: 40 324

COVID 19 - New cases for last
Data valid as of 17:28:01 06.07.2022
Source: https://onemocneni-aktualne.mzcr.cz

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

Feb. 13, 2022

Overview Number of Covid cases continues to fall in week-on-week comparison

The Czech Republic reported 10,953 new Covid cases on Saturday, about 13,000 fewer than a week ago, according to the latest data released by the Czech Health Ministry this morning. The number of suspected reinfections also significantly fell, from almost 4,000 a week ago down to 1,816 yesterday.

The number of patients hospitalized with Covid has also dropped. On Saturday, there were 3,484 coronavirus patients with Covid in Czech hospitals, 400 fewer than on Friday. A total of 238 patients are in serious condition.

The incidence rate throughout the country has continued to fall as well. There are currently 1,506 Covid cases per 100,000 people over the past week. The country's South Moravia region reports the highest incidence rate, at 1,807 cases per 100,000 people, while Karlovy Vary has the lowest rate at 1,126 cases per 100,000 people over the past week.

No quarantine needed after risk contact from Feb.19

A five-day quarantine after coming in to contact with someone who later tests positive for Covid will no longer be mandatory after Feb. 19, according to Health Ministry spokesperson Ondřej Jakob. Additionally, the currently five-day quarantine for individuals who test positive for Covid will be increased to seven days on the same date.

"In our view, quarantine after a risk contact no longer makes sense at this time," Jakob told local media. "Naturally, if the situation worsens, we are ready to react and adopt the relevant measures," Jakob said.

The move to extend the length of quarantine for those who test positive comes as the country no longer requires a negative test to leave quarantine. Those who test positive for Covid but display no symptoms may leave quarantine in a week after the positive result, and those with symptoms may leave quarantine after showing no symptoms for two additional days. Should an asymptomatic person test positive again within 30 days of the original test, they do not need to enter another quarantine.

Feb. 12, 2022

Overview Number of Covid cases drops for fourth straight day

The Czech Republic reported 22,118 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, about 6,600 fewer than the previous Friday, according the the latest data provided by the Czech Health Ministry. The number of patients hospitalized with Covid in the Czech Republic reached 3,785 on Friday, a week-on-week increase of about ten percent. Among those patients, 247 are in serious condition.

The Czech Republic's incidence rate has fallen to 1,627 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, the lowest it has been since January 24. The country's South Moravian region reports the highest incidence rate, at 1,914 cases per 100,000 people, while the Karlovy Vary region reports the lowest incidence rate at 1,252 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

While the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Czech Republic is on the decline, so too is the number of tests performed. There were about 96,000 Covid-19 tests performed in the Czech Republic yesterday, a week-on-week decrease of nearly 50,000 tests.

Feb. 11, 2022

OVERVIEW Fewest new cases on a weekday in three weeks

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There were another 22,663 Covid cases on Thursday, the lowest number on a workday since Jan. 17. The number of detected infections has fallen three times in a row in the weekly comparison, and Monday’s growth was less than 100 cases. This week, there were 118,965 Covid cases. Last week had almost 50,000 more in the first four days.

There are 3,708 people hospitalized with Covid and 246 are in serious condition. Last week there were 3,224 Covid patients with 204 in serious condition. The number of hospitalized has started to grow because the infection is shifting to the elderly, primarily threatening the unvaccinated. The number of the dead is also higher. In January, some 33 people a day were dying, but this week, the number of the victims has been always over 40 with the exception of Thursday, with a preliminary 25 victims, which will be updated. The seven-day toll is 311 and the toll for February is 430.

Interest in vaccination is falling. On Thursday, health professionals inoculated 15,424 people, the smallest number on a workday this year. The booster dose was administered to 11,737 people. Only 736 people received the first dose and 2,977 completed vaccination.

The reproduction number R is at 0.74, The incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 over seven days fell to 1,689 from 1,829 a day earlier. The incidence rate fell in all the Czech regions. It is the highest in the South Moravia region at 1,958. By contrast, the incidence rate continues to be the smallest in the Karlovy Vary Region, at 1,299. Prague is third-best with 1,526.

13:45 No changes to travel map again

The travel map will not change on Monday for the second week in a row, the Health Ministry announced. Most European countries are in the category with a very high risk of coronavirus infection. Strict conditions for foreigners arriving in the Czech Republic continue to apply. The conditions for return do not apply to Czech citizens and foreigners with a residence permit who are vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid in the last 180 days. However, the obligation to fill in the arrival form remains. The ministry updates the list of countries each week based on data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC),


12:47 Testing shows Covid receding in schools

Monday’s testing for Covid-19 in schools showed a declining number of cases in pupils and teachers. The infection was confirmed by PCR tests in 10,018 people, while 15,413 were infected in the previous week. The number of tested people decreased in the week-on-week comparison. About 864,000 students and about 136,000 school staff were tested on Monday. Last week, around 1.03 million students and 166,000 workers took the tests. However, according to the Health Ministry, the results confirm that the spread of the Omicron has reached its peak. 

Senate rejects Pandemic Law amendment

The Senate rejected the controversial amendment to the pandemic law, which would mainly extend the possibilities to issue anti-epidemic measures and prolong the law's validity until the end of November. It would also legalize imposing quarantine or isolation by a short text message. Senators objected to a possible anti-constitutional character of some provisions and they also criticized the approval of the amendment in summary procedure in the state of legislative emergency in the Chamber of Deputies. The lower house will now have to debate it again and may vote on it next week.

PM Fiala promises better pandemic law after Senate's veto

The Senate's decision to reject an amendment to the pandemic law is feedback, but Czech citizens need a better legal framework to control the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said in response to the upper house decision today. In the days to come, the coalition government will come up with a new strategy, Fiala said.

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said the government was disappointed that they have failed to convince the Senate. “I am sorry that it did not approve the law, but I respect it. This is part of real democracy where the government is no ‘automaton for power,’” Rakusan said. Health Minister Vlastimil Válek stressed that he needed a legal framework for anti-coronavirus measures in senior homes and health care facilities roughly until mid-March and that without the valid pandemic law, he would have to ask the cabinet to declare a state of emergency.

Schools won’t have to report Covid cases to health officers

Czech schools will no longer be obliged to inform the public health office about their Covid infected students and staff and their risk contacts as of Feb. 19 when the mandatory blanket testing for coronavirus at schools ends, the Health Ministry said on its website. Parents will not have to tell the school that their child tested positive for Covid either. But if a child with Covid symptoms comes to school, the school will be still obliged to separate such a child from the others under the law and call on the parents to pick the child up.

Hospitals admit some 600 Covid patients daily

Some 600 new Covid patients end up in Czech hospitals on a workday, a similar figure as last December, but the number of those at intensive care is rising at a considerably slower pace of some 40 to 50 a day, Health Ministry data shows. In total, there are more than 3,700 patients with Covid-19 in Czech hospitals, but less than one-tenth of whom need intensive care. After a temporary decline, the numbers of Covid hospitalizations are rising again and are the highest since Christmas Eve. "Omicron will be with us at least until mid-March. We have managed the main wave, now the infection is spreading among seniors." Health Minister Vlastimil Válek tweeted.  

Dušek: Omicron wave has peaked

The peak of the current Covid wave has passed in Czechia, Ladislav Dušek, the head of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS), said on Radio Impuls. However, the situation differs in individual regions and age groups. The infection is culminating among the elderly these days, which may result in an increase in hospitalized patients in the coming days.

"The first [areas] affected, Prague and the adjacent districts of the Central Bohemia, are already declining, on the contrary, many other regions grew strongly a few days ago, even during the weekend, and only now is the wave breaking," Dušek said. He added that numbers were still growing among seniors. "We must expect that the impact on health care will continue in the coming days," he said.  

Feb. 10, 2022

OVERVIEW Numbers for new cases fall but hospitalizations rising

Updated at 12:30; the Health Ministry webiste had technical problems

Tests on Wednesday confirmed 29,059 cases of coronavirus, compared to 43,326 a week ago. The number of recurrent infections also decreased, at 5,001. There are 3,615 people hospitalized with Covid, including 227 in serious condition. A week ago there were 3,177 patients with 216 in serious condition.

A preliminary 18 deaths were reported. The seven-day toll is 296 and the toll for February is 378. In January, there were an average of 33 deaths per day; in February, the number has risen to 40 deaths per day, and twice was over 50. Vaccinations continue to drop, with just 15,219 for yesterday including 11,299 booster shots. Some 3,221 people completed vaccination.

The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days began to fall sharply this week, reaching 1,829, down from 1,963 a day earlier. A week ago it was at 2,377. The incident rate is falling in all regions. The highest is in South Moravia at 2,094, while Karlovy Vary region is still relatively the best, at 1,416. Prague is at 1,667.

Maximum attendance at events increases as of Feb. 19

The upper limit of 1,000 seated viewers of mass events and 100 participants in other events remains valid until Feb. 18. The number of seated participants can exceed 1,000 and may be raised to 50 percent of the remaining capacity from Feb. 19 to 28. For other events where people are not seated, the limit will rise to 500 as of Feb. 19. The duty to wear respirators in public interior spaces will remain valid. The number of people allowed at events as of March 1 depends on the development of the pandemic and the Omicron variant. "Should it follow the scenario estimated by experts, we all have a big hope that as of March 1, it will be possible to reduce even the remaining measures," Czech Prime Minister Fiala said.

Proof of vaccination no longer required except for travel

As of today, people do not have to show certificates of vaccination or recovery when using services and entering mass events in the Czech Republic. The government decided to cancel these requirements on Wednesday. However, certificates are still needed for travel abroad, and from mid-February, their validity will be limited to nine months from the completion of vaccination. They can be extended by a booster dose.

Senate to discuss amendment to Pandemic Act

The Senate will discuss the government amendment to the Pandemic Act today. The draft expands the possibilities of issuing anti-Covid measures and will allow people to be quarantined or isolated in a short text message. Unlike in the original version of the draft, the act now has a fixed expiration date. Some senators claim parts of the pandemic amendment may be in conflict with the Czech Constitution. While the Senate's Health Guarantee Committee recommended approval, the Constitutional and Legal Committee rejected it. President Miloš Zeman has said he would sign the bill if it passes the Senate in its current form.

Válek: Pandemic alert could end in March

Health Minister Vlastimil Válek said that at the next session of the Chamber of Deputies, the government would announce the date of the end of the pandemic alert. The next lower house session starts Feb. 15. The end of the alert may happen already during March when the last anti-epidemic restrictions will be relaxed. The pandemic alert regime allows the Health Ministry to issue blanket anti-epidemic measures under the pandemic law. "I assume that we will be able to lift the last restrictions during March. Then the time will come to put an end to the state of pandemic alert," Válek said.

Christmas market vendors can seek compensation

Sellers at the Christmas markets will be able to draw compensation from the new Covid Advent Markets program. The Ministry of Industry and Trade will provide details for applying within two weeks, Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela said. Details of other compensation programs are still being finalized, he added.

'Work quarantine' ending

The possibility of using work quarantine for staff in medical, social, and other facilities will end as of Feb. 18. The measure was intended to reduce staff shortages in critical areas when the Omicron wave was at its peak. It allowed people to work under strict conditions after a positive antigen test if they showed no symptoms. They would still have to go into isolation after a positive PCR test. Testing for unvaccinated staff will continue after Feb 18.

Only interior, defense ministers to command Central Crisis Staff

 The Central Crisis Staff (ÚKS) will have a clear leadership again as the government decided that the interior minister will lead it except for cases of military-related situations and threats when the defense minister will take command. The prime minister may attend the ÚKS meetings. "Over the past years, the staff lost its importance and other structures of managing the pandemic were created," Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said. Under the new rules, the head of the State Health Institute will not be among ÚKS members. By contrast, people at the helm of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMÚ), the State Institute for Nuclear Security, and the Presidential Office will newly join the staff.

Over two dozen people seek damages for vaccine side effects

Some 27 Czech residents have applied for financial compensation due to health problems after being vaccinated against Covid. They are seeking between CZK 90,000 and CZK 100 million each. The Health Ministry stated it had already rejected seven of the 27 claims. The others are still pending. So far, none of the applicants has received compensation. Those people whose claims were rejected can file legal proceedings but, according to the ministry, no one has done so yet. At the beginning of February, State Institute for Drug Control recorded a total of 11,729 reported suspicions of adverse effects after the Covid-19 vaccination.

Feb. 9, 2022

OVERVIEW New cases fall significantly compared to last week’s record

On Tuesday, there were 37,627 confirmed Covid cases, down from last week’s record 57,232. Another 6,674 had a relapse, a decrease of a third in the week-on-week comparison. There are 3,553 people hospitalized with covid, of which 214 are in severe condition. A week earlier, there were 3,024 hospitalized with 217 in serious condition. A preliminary 21 deaths were reported. Some 54 people died with Covid on Monday, the most since the first week of January. The seven-day toll is 228 and the toll for February is 331.

On Tuesday, 15,315 people came for the vaccine, at least on a weekday this year. Of those, 11,646 people had a booster. Only 719 underwent the first vaccination, and 2,993 completed vaccination.

The reproduction number R is at 0.82. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days decreased in all regions of the Czech Republic. In six of them, it still remains above the limit of 2,000. The worst situation is in South Moravia, where it is 2,202. This is followed by the Liberec Region with an incidence of 2,152. The Karlovy Vary Region is still relatively the best, where the incidence number is 1,580. Prague is now third-best with 1,812.

14:15 Only respirators will be required as of March 1

Only the duty to wear respirators will be valid in the Czech Republic as of March 1, Prime Minister Petr Fiala told reporters after the government meeting today. As previously announced, the government today also decided to cancel the checks of Covid certificates proving vaccination or past coronavirus infection in restaurants, services, and culture and sports events, and virtually everywhere else they had been required. "We will also gradually raise the number of visitors at culture and sports events in view of the fact that very few restrictions will be in force as of March 1. Actually just the wearing of respirators," Fiala said. The development of the number of Covid infections and hospitalizations corresponds to the experts' predictions, he added.

No need to show Covid certificates after midnight

From midnight tonight, the obligation to show Covid vaccination or recovery certificates at restaurants, accommodation facilities, swimming pools, fitness facilities, cultural venues, mass events, and other places will end. "The certificates will have to be presented basically nowhere," Health Ministry spokesman Ondřej Jakob said on Tuesday. The obligation to wear respirators indoors or the numerical limitations of participants in mass events will continue to apply. Further details will be announced after today's government meeting. The Tečka app will continue to function as the certificates are needed for travel and in other EU countries.

Govt. to discuss further relaxation

The Czech government is set to discuss further loosening of Covid restrictions at its meeting today as well as at next Wednesday’s meeting. The pace of relaxation will depend on the development of the spread of the pandemic which is again receding. The government still asks people to follow hygiene rules, wear respirators, and respect distancing. The government will also approve compensation for entrepreneurs who lost money due to restrictions on their activities. The role and composition of the Central Crisis Staff will also likely be changed.  

Vaccination centers limiting hours

Due to lower interest, some vaccination centers are restricting the operation. Prague's Thomayer Hospital and the vaccination center at the Vyšehrad Congress Center will no longer vaccinate on weekends. The vaccination center in the shopping center in Černý Most closed on Tuesday. The one in Prague’s main train station Hlavní nádraží closed last week.

Employers report 124,000 positive tests

Employers have reported over 124,000 positive tests for Covid so far. Tests this Monday showed 12,161 cases so far. However, Monday's number may still rise, as companies have two days to report positive results from their workers. This number is significantly lower than a week ago when there were almost 20,000 positive tests. Compulsory testing began on Jan. 17 and will end on Feb. 18. Preventive tests in schools will end on the same day. Results of self tests are not counted in the Health Ministry’s daily figures.

Czechia is the 13th most affected country

In the Czech Republic, 3,311,152 people have become infected with Covid so far, or about 310,000 per million inhabitants. Czechia is thus the 13th most affected country in the world in terms of the relative number of infected, and from the beginning of January, it was seventh.

Feb. 8, 2022

OVERVIEW Hospitals see highest number of Covid patients this year

The Czech Republic saw 29,576 Covid cases on Monday, almost the same as last week’s 29,545. A further 5,365 people relapsed, slightly more than on the previous Monday. Hospitals were treating 3,413 coronavirus patients, the highest number this year, with 216 in serious condition. Last week there were 2,833 patients with 209 in serious condition.

A preliminary 23 deaths were reported. The seven-day toll and the February toll is 264. the daily toll has been rising, Except for yesterday, which will be revised when more data comes in, over 35 people have died from Covid every day this month.

The demand for vaccination is decreasing. On Monday, 15,969 vaccine doses were administered, including 12,255 booster doses. Only 674 people received their first dose and 3,083 completed vaccination. Some people had the single-dose vaccine, so the first dose also completed vaccination.

The reproduction number R is 0.90, showing that the pandemic is starting to recede again. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days is 2,145 the same as the day before. The incidence rate decreased in nine Czech regions and increased in five. It is the highest in South Moravia at 2,280 and the lowest in the Karlovy Vary region at 1,691. Prague is in the lower third at 2,078.  

12:16 Requirement to show Covid certificates ends at midnight on Feb. 9

According to the Health Ministry, the new rules abolishing the need to show Covid certificates will take effect at midnight between Wednesday, Feb. 9, and Thursday, Feb. 10. The government will discuss the specifics of the rules at its Wednesday meeting. According to the ministry's interpretation, the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) decision takes effect at the same time. The NSS said it was illegal to require proof of vaccination or recovery in restaurants, accommodation facilities, and at mass events. The government later announced that it will extend the rule to all other establishments and services. The obligation to wear respirators indoors and the limitations on the number of participants in mass events will continue to apply.  

Govt. to approve further lifting of Covid restrictions

The Czech government will approve a further relaxation of the anti-epidemic restrictions this and next Wednesday, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said after a meeting of the Central Crisis Staff (ÚKS). However, despite improvement of the pandemic situation, he called for cautiousness. People should still be careful, Rakušan said. He called for the observance of the basic rules, such as wearing respirators, distancing, and sanitary measures, including the use of hand sanitizers. "I would also like us not to give up the vaccination and the reason," he said. The role and composition of the Central Crisis Staff will also likely be changing.

SZÚ: BA.2 variant suspected in 1 percent of cases, Omicron in 95 percent

The Omicron coronavirus variant made up 95 percent of all Covid infections in the Czech Republic in the past week, while the BA.2 variant was in about 1 percent of the positive samples analysed in detail, the National Health Institute (SZÚ) said in a press release. Whole-genome sequencing has confirmed the BA.2 variant in 18 cases so far. In the past week, it made up about 1 percent of the suspected positive tests, not yet been confirmed by sequencing, the SZÚ said. In the past month, 1,707 samples have been tested by the whole-genome sequencing, and Omicron was in 85 percent. The results of the sequencing analysis are delayed by two weeks after sampling.

Czech Republic in lower third for vaccination in Europe

 According to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), the Czech Republic is at the worst third compared to European countries when it comes to vaccination. Most countries in Western, Northern and Southern Europe are better off than Czechia. In the Scandinavian countries, which have been repealing anti-epidemic measures in recent days, vaccination coverage is much higher, especially with a booster dose. In Denmark, 81 percent of the population is vaccinated, in Sweden 74 percent and over 45 percent of the population has been boosted in both countries.

In the Czech Republic, only 64 percent of the population is vaccinated and 36 percent have booster shots. interest is waning in booster shots. Sociologist Daniel Prokop said people 55 and over with lower education in particular have not had the booster, even though some express interest, and the government has not addressed the issue.

Feb. 7, 2022

OVERVIEW New cases under 10,000 for first time in three weeks

On Sunday, fewer than 10,000 Covid cases were added to the Czech Republic for the first time in three weeks. Laboratories detected 9,960 infected, some 14,874 fewer than last Sunday. Another 1,489 people had a relapse, which was also a week-on-week decline. Over the past week, laboratories in the country have confirmed a total of 229,530 infected. That's fewer than the previous record week, which had nearly 249,000 cases.

There are 2,973 Covid patients in hospitals, with 192 in severe condition. Last week there were 2,371 Covid patients with 197 in serious condition. The number of hospitalized had been above 3,000 since Tuesday but dropped under on Saturday and Sunday. A preliminary 10 deaths were reported. The seven-day toll is 234, compared to 155 a week earlier, and the toll for February is 200. Just 2,225 vaccine doses were administered on Sunday, including 1,826 booster shots. Some 315 people completed vaccination.

The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days is decreasing. It was 2,145, down from 2,284 a day earlier. It is highest in the Hradec Králové region, at 2,296, and lowest in the Karlovy Vary region at 1,738. Prague is in the middle with 2,101.

12:!8 Principals can now declare extra days off, distance learning

School principals can now announce special leave or distance learning for up to 10 days if they cannot provide education at school due to the lack of teachers. The law, signed by President Miloš Zeman last week, was published in the Collection of Laws on Sunday and came into force today. In the event that principals declare special leave or distance learning, parents of children under the age of 10 are entitled to a nursing benefit. According to current rules, until Feb. 28, employed parents can receive an allowance of 80 percent of the daily earnings base or at least CZK 400 per day for the entire period of school closure. After the end of February, it drops to 60 percent of the income base for nine days.  

Zeman promises to sign pandemic amendment

President Miloš Zeman told CNN Prima News he would sign the government's pandemic amendment. He was in favor of the lower house’s amendments to the draft concerning time limits the validity, lower fines, and new quarantine or isolation rules. He added that if the amendment had originally had that form, the obstruction in the lower house would not have been so significant and demonstrations against the law would have been less numerous. Zeman condemned the actions of protesters who erected a gallows. The Senate is scheduled to discuss the amendment on Thursday, and if it approves it, it will be sent for the president’s signature.

Czech doctors treat post-Covid syndrome with laser therapy

Doctors in a hospital in Kolín have been using laser therapy to treat people with post-Covid lung disease. They have treated 180 patients, and all but 10 have shown improvement, according to news server iDnes. Doctors have long been using MLS (multiwave locked system) to treat muscle pain, swelling, and inflammation. Czech healthcare professionals were among the first in Europe to start using it to treat post-Covid syndrome and pneumonia caused by Covid.  

Travel map unchanged

Conditions for traveling to the Czech Republic will remain unchanged through the next week as all European countries remain high-risk red-or very high-risk dark red on the latest Covid-19 travel map, released by the Foreign Ministry on Friday. Tightened entry restrictions for foreigners without a Czech residence permit remain in effect. While restrictions in the Czech Republic remain unchanged, some other countries in Europe including the UK, Denmark, and Lithuania are beginning to ease their travel requirements and domestic Covid-19 restrictions. See our full story here.

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