Covid-19 treatment pill approved for use within the EU

A regularly updated article with all the latest developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic for Jan. 24–30. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.01.2022 09:59:00 (updated on 31.01.2022) Reading time: 23 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 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

Latest COVID Statistics

Confirmed cases on 18.04.2024: +7

Active cases: 161

Currently hospitalized: 11

Tests yesterday: 201

Vaccinations yesterday: 14

Confirmed cases total: 4 759 293

Recovered total: 4 715 610

Vaccinated total: 6 982 250

Tests total: 22 705 706

Deaths total: 43 522

COVID 19 - New cases for last
Data valid as of 05:28:01 19.04.2024

January 30, 2022

Overview Czech Republic sees first week-on-week drop in new cases since Jan. 10

The number of Covid-19 cases in the Czech Republic dropped in a week-on-week comparison for the first time since January 10 on Saturday, according to the latest data released by the Czech Health Ministry this morning. A total of 18,268 new cases were reported yesterday, 77 fewer than a week ago.

The number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 has also dropped below 2,000 once again, but remains about 450 more than a week ago. Saturday's total of new cases includes 3,156 suspected reinfections, bringing the total number of reinfections to nearly 100,000 since the start of the pandemic.

Prague continues to report the highest incidence rate in the Czech Republic, at 2,861 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days. The surrounding Central Bohemian Region follows at 2,658 cases per 100,000 people. The Vysočina Region reports the lowest incidence rate at 1,767 cases per 100,000 people over the past week.

January 29, 2022

Overview Czech Republic sees second-highest number of new Covid-19 cases

The Czech Republic reported the second-highest number of new coronavirus cases since the start of the epidemic, according to data released by the Health Ministry this morning. Friday's 47,220 new cases represents a week-on-week rise of nearly eighty percent.

The number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 also continues to rise, though the number of patients in serious condition has been falling. On Friday, there were more than 2,100 patients in Czech hospitals for the second day in a row, but the number of patients in serious condition fell to 184, 34 less than a week ago.

The total number of new cases on Friday includes 8,000 suspected reinfections. That represents around half of the record number of reinfections reported Thursday, though Thursday's total also included data from previous days.

The recent rise in new cases is a result of the latest omicron variant of Covid-19, which has been detected in 98 percent of positive coronavirus samples from recent days. Going by recent trends in the Czech Republic, the latest variant appears to be far more contagious, but not as serious, as previous strains.

Pfizer's Covid pill approved for use in EU by European Commission

Paxlovid, a Pfizer-produced pill for the treatment of Covid-19 that can prevent serious symptoms and hospitalization, has been approved for use within the EU by the European Commission. The approval is the first step for the drug to be dispersed to EU member states, though it is yet unclear when the drug might make its way to the Czech Republic.

Paxlovid has been approved for use in the US and UK since December, but has been limited in availability. Unlike other drugs used in the treatment of Covid-19, it is ingested orally as opposed to intravenously, which makes it ideal for home use and can ease the burden on hospitals.

According to European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kriakides, the approval is "a key step in bringing the most promising therapeutics to citizens and a strong, second line of defence against the pandemic after vaccination."

January 28, 2022

OVERVIEW Record number of repeat infections

There were 34,740 newly confirmed coronavirus infections on Thursday, compared to 26,935 a week earlier. Yesterday also saw a record 16,248 repeat infections in those who tested previously positive, which are not included in the daily increase in those infected. The number of people hospitalized rose to 1,967 from 1,664 a week ago, but serious cases fell to 192 from 236.

The daily number of deaths is declining. A preliminary 14 deaths were reported for yesterday, and 122 people have died in the past seven days, a third less than in the previous week. The toll for January is 800.

On Thursday, 38,259 people received a vaccine dose, which was 30 percent less than a week ago. Some 31,585 were booster shots and 4,650 completed the initial vaccination. Altogether, about 3.7 million people received a booster dose, more than half of those fully vaccinated.

The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days rose to 2,030 from 1,957 a day earlier. The incidence number grew in almost all regions. The exception was Prague, where it fell from 2877 to 2818 cases. Prague is still the highest of all regions. It is the lowest in the Vysočina region with 1,486 cases.

14:30 PCR tests confirm twice as many infected students

Monday’s PCR tests in schools confirmed 16,627 cases of Covid infection, twice as many as last week, the Health Ministry said. The tests detected 15,178 infected students and 1,449 teachers. The growth is due to the dominance of the Omicron variant, whose proportion in the new infections is now over 98 percent. The PCR method confirmed the results in about 59 percent of those testing positive by antigen tests. On Monday, roughly 1.1 million students and 183,000 school employees were tested. The number of tests remains roughly the same in the individual rounds, the ministry said.

Registration for Novavax vaccine starts Feb. 1

It will be possible to register for vaccination with the Nuvaxovid vaccine from Novavax as of Feb. 1. Vaccination will probably start in the first week of March, Health Minister Vlastimil Válek said. An estimated half a million people could undergo the vaccination.

The vaccine, which uses more traditional protein-based methodology, is approved for people 18 and over. A key component of the vaccine is produced near Prague. "I think it is suitable for all those who are worried about the more modern mRNA vaccines," Válek said. The vaccine is given two doses 21 days apart. So far the country has ordered hundreds of thousands of doses and can order more based on interest.

Govt: Pandemic law to end this year

The government has agreed the validity of the pandemic law should end this year, Prime Minister Petr Fiala told Czech Radio. He said he hoped that in connection with the development of the Covid epidemic, the government would no longer need the legislation, but it had to be prepared. Fiala said a discussion of other changes could not be ruled out. The government at first proposed that it should be possible to adopt urgent measures under the pandemic law for an unlimited time. Earlier this week, the government’s proposal was blocked in the Chamber of Deputies by the opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD). The amendment will now be discussed on Feb. 1.

Discriminatory PCR testing dropped as Omicron becomes widespread

The Czech Health Ministry has canceled, as of next Monday, detailed discriminatory PCR testing of samples for the presence of some of the variants of coronavirus because Omicron has become widespread. The cancellation will increase the overall capacities of testing, the ministry has announced. Currently, all samples from people with Covid symptoms have been subjected to discriminatory testing. The discriminatory PCR test is a repeated test of a sample during which the results are compared with the course of the tests that show different coronavirus variants and are kept in an international database.

Covid was leading cause of death in first half of 2021

In the first half of 2021, some 17,200 people died of Covid as the leading cause of death in the Czech Republic, a 67 percent rise as against the previous half-year. In the first six months of last year, 76,700 people died in the Czech Republic, over one-third more year-on-year. Covid was the cause in 23 percent of deaths. Covid has become the most frequent death cause then, the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) reported. The Health Ministry statistics say more than 37,000 Covid-infected people have died in the Czech Republic since the epidemic outbreak in March 2020.

Czech Republic’s Covid incidence in 12th place in EU

According to the number of coronavirus infections per 100,000 in seven days, Denmark is still worst in the EU with 5,327, up from 3,724 a week ago. Slovenia is second at 4,128. It was fourth a week ago. Portugal stayed in third place with 3,776, a week ago was also the third. The Czech Republic had 1,957, making it the 12th most-affected EU country. It was in 18th place a week ago. The highest weekly incidence worldwide is in Andorra, at 6,645.  

Pfizer’s Covid treatment pill fast tracked for approval

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended the approval of Pfizer’s oral Covid treatment pill Paxlovid for use in the EU. It is recommended for adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of the disease becoming severe. Paxlovid is the first antiviral medicine to be given by mouth that has been recommended in the EU for treating Covid. The European Commission will now fast-track the decision-making process to authorize the marketing of Paxlovid.

January 27, 2022

New Covid cases top 50,000 for first time in Czechia

The daily number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday exceeded 50,000 for the first time during the epidemic, reaching 54,685, setting a new record for the third time in a row. This was up from 26,001 a week earlier. Yesterday’s figure does not include 4,945 reinfections.

Compared to last week, the number of people hospitalized with the Covid also increased on Wednesday, by 12 percent to 1,879. The number of seriously ill patients continued to decline, compared to the previous Wednesday, their number fell by about a quarter to 201. A preliminary seven deaths were reported. The seven-day toll is 115. The toll for January is 810.

The daily number of vaccinations continues to fall, with 37,720 doses administered on Wednesday, including 31,218 booster shots. Some 4,356 people completed their initial vaccination.

The reproduction number R is at 1.45. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days is 1,957, up from 1,689 a day earlier. It is highest in Prague, at 2,868, and lowest in the Vysočina Region at 1,374.

15:30 Válek: Measures could ease on March 1 if the epidemic develops well

Health Minister Vlastimil Válek said the current anti-epidemic measures will ease either from March 1 or April 1, depending on the development of the epidemic. So far it is better than expected, he told reporters. Up to 80,000 new cases per day can be expected this week, and the wave should break next week, he said. The current measures will still be sufficient, he added. "We will wait until the second week of February to see how the situation develops," he added. If at the end of the second week of February it turns out that the predictions are valid, Válek will come up with a plan for easing the current system.

Vaccination certificates older than nine months to expire Feb. 15

The validity of certificates for the two-dose Covid vaccine or its single-jab equivalent will be reduced to nine months in the Czech Republic as of Feb. 15, but this will concern adults only, Health Minister Vlastimil Válek said. Under previous rules, the nine-month validity of the vaccination should have come into effect as of Feb. 1. The ministry will send a text message to some 100,000 people who were vaccinated before May 7 who have not received the third dose yet. The same validity model will apply to vaccination certificates across the EU and corresponds to recommendations of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).  

People after a positive PCR test will not be tested for 30 days

After a positive PCR test for Covid, people will not have to take another test for 30 days at work or school or go to quarantine. (People still must follow the rules for isolation and quarantine following the initial positive result.) The regulation takes effect Monday, Jan. 31, and will affect everyone who is currently in isolation. "From the date of the [positive] test, there is de facto 30 days with little or no risk of them becoming reinfected. And there is zero risk that they will have a serious course," Health Minister Vlastimil Válek said.

Students of higher vocational schools to be tested regularly

Covid testing in schools will be extended to higher vocational schools from Monday, Jan. 31. Education Minister Petr Gazdík announced on Twitter. The tests will be delivered to these schools by the Education Ministry similarly to other types of schools. Employees at the schools are currently tested twice a week. That will change to once a week. Primary and secondary school students are currently tested once a week by antigen tests.  

Govt. bans prison visits over Covid again

The Czech government yesterday approved the Health Ministry's proposition to temporarily ban prison visits over as of Jan. 27 due to the spread of Covid. The last such restriction was in force by April 2021. The ministry proposed banning visits through an extraordinary measure valid from Jan. 27 to Feb. 13, which corresponds to the estimated peak of the Omicron wave. The ban would apply to prisons, detention centers, and similar facilities for Czech nationals and foreigners. Inmates often have chronic illnesses and fragile immunity, and many are unvaccinated. There is a high risk that widespread infections in prisons would have a significant impact on the health system, the Health Ministry said.

Fiala: Compensation to be approved at a later govt. meeting

Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the government will approve additional compensation for entrepreneurs at the next government meeting or the one after that. The cabinet ministers are continuing to discuss compensation for closed Christmas markets, for example. "This has had a really big impact on a number of entrepreneurs who have focused their activities and, ultimately, their earnings on those Christmas markets and who have been significantly affected by the decision," he said. Businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic and related measures can now benefit from already existing programs, Fiala said. The additional programs were proposed by the previous government.

13 percent of companies reduce operations due to Covid quarantine

Some 1.3 percent of employees tested positive for Covid in companies, according to a survey by the Confederation of Industry and Transport. It has results from 196 companies, where almost 150,000 employees were tested in two rounds. PCR tests, which some companies use, did not confirm Covid about 30 percent of the time. Over 13 percent of companies have had to reduce operations due to the high number of employees in isolation or quarantine. In total, according to data from the Ministry of Health, companies reported over 22,000 positive self-tests in the first week of testing.

January 26, 2022

OVERVIEW New cases approaching 40,000 a day

The increase in the number of Covid cases in the Czech Republic broke the record for the second time in a row on Tuesday, with 39,614 were newly infected. This was up from 28,494 a week ago. The figure does not include reinfections, which were at 2,459.

The number of hospitalized even increased slightly compared to the previous week. There were 1,781 people with covid-19 in hospitals on Tuesday, 41 more hospitalized a week ago. However, the number of seriously ill people continued to decline, with 200 serious cases compared to 275 a week earlier. A preliminary five deaths were reported, and the seven-day toll is 121, and the toll for January is 831.

Vaccinations have been declining for more than two weeks. On Tuesday, 36,182 people received the vaccine, which was almost two-fifths fewer than a week ago. Some 30,375 were boosted doses, and 3,761 completed vaccination. Altogether, about 3.6 million people received a booster dose, more than half of those fully vaccinated.

The reproduction number R is at 1.37. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 over seven days hit 1,689, up from 1,585 a day earlier. The highest incidence rate is still in Prague at 2,618 and the lowest in the Vysočina Region at 1,063 cases.

14:30 High volume of positive tests delaying SMS notifications

People who test positive for Covid might experience a delay in receiving an SMS with instructions for self-tracking and starting quarantine. The large number of positive test results is slowing down the Health Ministry’s information systems, Smart Quarantine said on Twitter. People who know they have a positive test are asked to quarantine before the SMS arrives. Due to the spread of the Omicron variant, the current numbers of tests and their positive results are the highest since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic in March 2020.

12:40 Lower house to discuss extending pandemic act on Feb. 1

The Chamber of Deputies will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 1, to discuss the amendment to the Pandemic Act. The discussion of the government draft at the current meeting was blocked by deputies of the opposition SPD movement, the opposition ANO movement also has reservations about it. The government wants the lower house to approve a pandemic amendment quickly since parts of the current law concerning expire at the end of February.

The amendment has already been discussed by the lower house’s Health Committee, which, with the consent of Health Minister Vlastimil Válek, recommended limiting the validity of the basic part of the law until the end of November. The government originally proposed that anti-coronavirus emergency measures could be issued under the pandemic law indefinitely.

Lower house approves bill for distance learning

Expedited legislation passed by the Czech Chamber of Deputies yesterday would allow school principals to declare up to 10 days off or introduce distance learning amid widespread staff shortages brought on by coronavirus quarantine or isolation. The bill enables parents of children under 10 to collect nursing benefits during distance learning or days off granted by principals. Education Minister Petr Gazdík told the Chamber of Deputies the legislation was intended to prevent across-the-board school closures due to the Covid pandemic. The legislation must still be debated by the Senate and signed by the president.

Govt. to discuss new rules for positive PCR tests

At today’s government meeting, Health Minister Vlastimil Válek will propose that people who have a positive PCR test for Covid will be exempt from all further testing in the next 30 days. "We are preparing to simplify the isolation system, in agreement with experts we have come to the conclusion that after the disease, due to the way Omicron behaves, when a person ends up in isolation, we actually take him as a person who cannot become infected for 30 days," Válek said. He would like to end the current system of testing staff and schools in mid-February if the epidemiological situation allows.

Different quarantine rules for schools and work

For the quarantine of pupils and teachers after contact with infected Covid, different rules currently apply than for employees of companies after antigen testing. While company employees can use a negative PCR test to end quarantine after antigen testing, classmates of a sick student must remain in quarantine for at least five days, the Ministry of Education confirmed. The rules were set by the chief hygienist. Preventive antigen testing of employees now takes place twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Schools test once a week on Mondays.

Bartoš: Govt. will decide on compensation for entrepreneurs soon

The chairpersons of the government's five-party coalition and ministry representatives are negotiating the launch of the Covid 2021 and Covid Uncovered Costs compensation programs for entrepreneurs that were prepared by the previous government. They should decide on the specific form and amount of support in the coming days, Regional Development Minister Ivan Bartoš said on Twitter. The trade unions have repeatedly called on the new cabinet to provide assistance to entrepreneurs limited by anti-epidemic measures. Restaurateurs, event organizers, and entrepreneurs focusing on inbound tourism are in a critical situation.  

Almost a quarter of employers offered incentives for vaccination

During last November and December, 23 percent of employers offered incentives to urge employees to get vaccinated against Covid. Over half of these companies offered their employees paid days, a third offered financial remuneration, and a fifth offered something from an internal benefits program. In contrast, 67 percent of employers did not offer workers any benefits associated with the Covid-19 vaccination. The remaining ten percent were still considering it, according to a survey by Grafton Recruitment.

EU wants to base travel on Covid passports, not color maps

Starting Feb. 1, European Union countries should judge people traveling across borders mainly by their Covid certificates and not by the epidemic situation in the area they come from. The European Council yesterday day approved a non-binding recommendation from the European Commission. So far, the 27 EU members have based their travel restrictions on European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) color maps. Based on the new recommendation, they should use this data only for information and judge people according to Covid passports. For regions with a very high number of infected, states should order preventive quarantine for people who are not vaccinated or have not suffered the disease.

January 25, 2022

OVERVIEW New daily record for Covid cases

There was a new record of 30,350 confirmed cases on Monday, up from 20,239 a week ago. The daily increase does not include cases of recurrent infection in people who have previously tested positive. Some 3,195 were re-infected on Monday, which was three-fifths more than a week ago. The previous record was 28,494 on Jan. 18.

Hospitalizations are starting to increase. There were 1,695 Covid patients in hospitals with 207 in serious condition, up from 1,537 patients and 197 serious cases a day earlier. In a week-on-week comparison, Monday’s hospitalizations are about 7 percent lower, though. A preliminary 14 deaths were reported. The seven-day toll is 134 and the toll for January is 820.

Vaccine shots were given to 35,979 on Monday, including 30,690 booster shots. Altogether, about 3.6 million people received a booster dose, more than half of those fully vaccinated. The reproduction number R is 1.46. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days rose to 1,585 from 1,491 a day earlier. The highest incidence is in Prague at 2,588 cases and the lowest in the Vysočina region at 958.

14:00 Chamber of Deputies’ discussion of pandemic law extension delayed

The Chamber of Deputies will not discuss the amendment to the pandemic law today due to an objection from the right-wing Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement. The Chamber of Deputies had planned to discuss the draft quickly this afternoon in an expedited regime. The parties of the governing SPOLU coalition will now have to convene an extraordinary meeting of the lower house to discuss the amendment. This meeting will probably take place probably next Tuesday. SPD chairman Tomio Okamura told reporters that he objected to the amendment making the pandemic law permanent, rather than having an expiration date, among other issues.

Czech lower house to vote on amending pandemic law

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech Parliament, will decide Tuesday on an amendment to the pandemic law, which was already supported by the House Health Committee. "We need a tool to be ready for the autumn wave," Health Minister Vlastimil Válek told the health committee. A substantial part of the pandemic law expires on Feb. 28, but the government wants to extend the law’s effectiveness indefinitely and also extend the authority to issue emergency measures. The amendment more clearly defines what extraordinary measures the government can take to curb a pandemic, as steps based on the current law often faced challenges in courts. If the amendment is approved by the lower house, it will then go to the Czech Senate.

Almost 12,000 young people register for booster on first day

A total of 11,837 people aged 12 to 18, whose registration for an anti-COVID booster jab started yesterday, registered by 5 pm, the Smart Quarantine project announced on Twitter. An SMS message with the information about the launch of the registration has been sent to about 100,000 people of this age who completed vaccination more than five months ago.

People aged 12-18 will be given the adult strength Pfizer/BioNTech booster vaccine. Vaccination of this age group started in July 2021. Out of the country's roughly 621,500 teenagers in this age, some 337,500 or 54 percent, have been fully vaccinated so far. Although registration for a booster jab has officially started yesterday, some 1,200 received the booster already before, mostly people aged 16 and 17. Doctors applied it, for example, to the children whose health condition posed a high risk of a serious course of Covid.

Omicron accounts for 95 percent of cases in Czechia

The Omicron coronavirus variant was detected in 95 percent of examined samples in the Czech Republic in the past week, the National Institute of Public Health (SZÚ) said. The new BA.2 sub-variant, which is unrelated to Omicron, has appeared in 173 cases. So far, there is no information that it causes a serious disease or that the infected need hospitalization, the SZÚ said. From the total volume of the samples, they account for about 4 percent. The new BA.2 sub-variant is dominating in Denmark and Sweden.

Prague launches campaign to promote booster shots

Prague City Hall has launched another wave of vaccination campaigns to respond to the declining interest in booster doses and also to vaccination with the third dose being available for children over 12 years of age. At the same time, Prague draws attention to the need for regular testing and responsible behavior to reduce the spread of the disease. The campaign was established in cooperation with the City of Prague and advertising agency DDB Prague. The individual visuals of the campaign work with diminutives of words that symbolize the familiar symptoms of covid-19, such as cough, runny nose, fever, and fatigue, which are demonstrably reduced by the boosting dose. The emphasis is on the final effect of the booster vaccine, not the initial symptom.

Many theaters canceling live performances

The Bez zábradlí Theater in Prague has canceled its schedule until the end of March, except for one special event. Due to Covid, some members of the ensemble are in isolation or quarantine, there is also a fear people will be afraid to visit the theater. "Although government measures to combat the pandemic no longer prohibit mass cultural events, the Bez zábradlí Theater is going through the most difficult period of two years of fighting the pandemic and its consequences," spokesman Nikol Kouklová said.

Due to the effects of the pandemic, other Prague theaters are also adjusting the program. The Vinohrady Theater announced last week that it was canceling all performances until further notice. Cancellations have also been reported by Švandovo divadlo, the Na Zábradlí Theater, municipal theaters, and some Brno theaters. Venues of the National Theater remain in operation.

January 24, 2022

OVERVIEW Most Sunday cases since start of the pandemic

Sunday saw 12,889 confirmed Covid cases in the Czech Republic, the highest increase on Sunday since the beginning of the epidemic. A week earlier, there were 7,243 cases. The numbers released by the Health Ministry do not take into account the cases of recurrent infection of a person who had previously tested positive for coronavirus.

However, the number of hospitalizations continues to decline. There were 1,448 Covid patients on Sunday, which is the least since Oct. 28. Some 190 cases are serious. A week ago, 1,669 people were hospitalized with 309 serious cases. The number of deaths is also falling; 130 people with Covid died last week, which is 45 percent fewer than the previous week. A preliminary four deaths were reported for Sunday. The toll for January is 746.

On Sunday, 6,142 people got inoculated, about 50 percent fewer than a week ago, with 5,039 coming for a booster dose. Altogether, over 3.5 million people have the third dose.

The reproduction number R is at 1.57. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days has risen to 1,491 from 1,438 a day earlier. The highest incidence number is still in Prague at 2,506 and the lowest in the Vysočina region at 895 cases.

Booster registration for children 12 and older has begun

Children over the age of 12 can register for a booster vaccination shot as of today. Vaccination will be possible at vaccination centers and pediatricians' offices five months after the previous vaccination has been completed. Only some vaccination sites can vaccinate children under the age of 16, but 16 and 17-year-olds can visit any vaccination site, including those without prior registration. Young people aged 12 to 17 will be given the same strength Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine as adults. All adults can get a booster dose since the beginning of January.

Vaccination with 'traditional' Nuvaxovid to start at end of February

Vaccination with the new Nuvaxovid vaccine from Novavax will begin at the end of next month. The vaccine is made with more traditional methods and may attract some of the approximately one-third of the Czech population that has so far avoided vaccination. "There is a group of people who are afraid of 'genetically engineered' mRNA vaccines from Pfizer or Modern. I have good news for them, we will be vaccinating with the Novavax vaccine from the turn of February and March," Health Minister Vlastimil Válek told Czech Television yesterday. The Nuvaxovid vaccine contains components made in the Czech Republic.

Nuvaxovid is created by a more traditional method. The vaccine contains a spike protein that is also present on the surface of the coronavirus. If a vaccinated person comes into contact with the virus, the immune system will recognize the virus by the spike protein and be prepared to defend against it.

Health minister: Covid wave to come to head this week

The Covid epidemic will come to a head this week, with up to 80,000 cases of the infection daily, Health Minister Vlastimil Válek told Czech Television on Sunday. The numbers of the infected will decrease in schools and the epidemic will start shifting to the elderly population, Válek said. He said he presumed at the start of next week, the number of new cases daily would reach 50,000, and later the week, it may be as high as 80,000. Valek said he would be happy with such figures. Some experts warned before that at the peak of the epidemic, there may be up to 200,000 newly infected daily. Válek said in Prague, the epidemic had started to slow down.

Vaccine certificate validity to be reduced as of Feb. 1

 As of Feb. 1, vaccination certificates will no longer be valid after 270 days, or approximately nine months, the Health Ministry reminded people on Twitter. “Don't want Tečka to turn red unexpectedly after Feb. 1? Go for a booster dose! From Feb. 1, the validity of the certificate of completed vaccination is reduced to 270 days. If you have a longer time since vaccination has been completed, Tečka will turn red. Register at,” The ministry tweeted.

Health Ministry pays over CZK 1 million over Covid lawsuits

The Health Ministry has had to pay CZK 1.1 million for lost lawsuits due to anti-Covid measures, daily Mladá fronta Dnes reported. The ministry faced 226 lawsuits due to Covid measures, of which 169 won and 57 lost. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled against the ministry 15 times between April and July last year, stating in its verdicts that the ministry systematically ignored its judgments. Among other things, the money paid by the ministry will go to the plaintiff’s lawyers.

Czech travel map unchanged, new Slovak restrictions

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.

The Vatican remains the only European state to be listed as low-risk green on the Czech map. Non-European states including Bahrain, Chile, Indonesia, Colombia, South Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Macao, New Zealand, Peru, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, and Uruguay are also listed as low-risk green.

 As of January 19, Slovakia has implemented a new classification known as OP+ that consists of vaccinated people with a booster dose, vaccinated people with a negative test, and some other categories. Entrance to hotels, wellness facilities, fitness centers, and participation in events is limited to people with this classification only. Entrance requirements to the country have not changed. Read more in our full story.

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