Czech Republic weekly coronavirus news for November 1–7, 2021

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 01.11.2021 09:42 (updated on 05.11.2021) Reading time: 15 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 01.12.2021: +21 126

Active cases: 292 975

Currently hospitalized: 6 561

Tests yesterday: 90 588

Vaccinations yesterday: 83 765

Confirmed cases total: 2 193 289

Recovered total: 1 866 997

Vaccinated total: 6 669 174

Tests total: 13 800 895

Deaths total: 33 317

COVID 19 - New cases for last
Data valid as of 04:55:36 02.12.2021
Source: https://onemocneni-aktualne.mzcr.cz

November 7, 2021

Overview Czech Covid-19 death toll crosses 31,000

The Covid-19 death toll topped 31,000 in the Czech Republic on Saturday, according to the latest data from the Czech Health Ministry. On Saturday, 5,736 new coronavirus cases were confirmed, roughly 700 more than a week ago. There are currently 2,585 Covid-19 patients in Czech hospitals, including 360 in serious condition.

As of Saturday evening, the Czech Health Ministry has registered 31,022 Covid-related deaths. Over the past few days, about 40 Covid-related deaths have been tallied daily, the same number as during the entire summer. Similar figures were last recorded in early May, before the situation improved. From June, just a few Covid-related fatalities were reported daily, and during July and August many days saw no deaths.

November 6, 2021

overview Number of Covid-19 hospitalizations quickly rising

Laboratories confirmed 9,208 new coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic on Friday, almost 800 more than on Thursday and 3,500 more than week ago. There are now 2,611 Covid-19 patients in Czech hospitals, about 1,000 more than a week ago.

The Covid-19 death toll is on the rise, too, approaching 31,000. On Friday, the Czech Health Ministry reported 30,985 Covid-related deaths in total. The Covid incidence rate, the number of new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, is now 490, 32 more cases per 100,000 people compared to yesterday.

November 5, 2021

OVERVIEW November’s daily death date triple that of October

On Thursday, tests confirmed 8,419 new Covid cases, the third-highest daily increase since the end of March. Last Thursday, there were 4,352 cases. Some 2,489 were hospitalized with Covid, the most in the last six months, while 319 are in serious condition. Deaths are continuing to increase, with 27 reported for Thursday, and Wednesday’s figure revised to 40. The toll for November is now 131. The November average of almost 33 deaths per day, compared to October’s daily average of 10.5 cases.

The incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days rose to 458 from 420 a day earlier. The reproduction number R is at 1.47. For Prague, the incidence number is 451. In the Olomouc region, where the epidemic is worst the incidence number is 718.

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RESTRICTIONS Govt. mulls mandatory vaccination for mass events

Lockdown is not planned in the Czech Republic over the Covid epidemic and it cannot be applied unless a state of emergency is declared, Chief Public Health Officer Pavla Svrčinová said. Predictions do not indicate this would be necessary at Christmas. 

At Friday's government meeting, the Ministry of Health will propose that negative antigen tests no longer be accepted for mass events of over 1,000 people, only a negative PCR test, vaccination, or proof of recovery. The Czech health minister called on employers to allow employees to work from home whenever possible.

Rules for ski resorts will be modified as of Dec. 1. Those selling tickets for ski lifts and cableways will be obliged to check for tests, vaccination, or recovery. Wearing respirators will be obligatory in cableways and in lines where ever the minimum safe distance cannot be kept in the mountain resorts.

At social care facilities, the validity of antigen tests will be cut to one day and for PCR tests to three days as of Nov. 14. The same rules are valid for other establishments and services already.

COMPLIANCE Most restaurants pass inspections

Hygienists who monitor compliance with anti-epidemic measures in restaurants and other establishments have not yet discovered many problems. Restaurateurs and guests usually follow the regulations. However, operators complain that traffic and sales have fallen this week. They attribute this to the need to prove with proof of non-infectiousness on arrival. Pubs and restaurateurs must check guests’ documents since Monday. Violation of the regulation can result in fines, up to CZK 3 million for both by visitors and establishment operators.

VACCINATION Health Ministry to specify contraindications for jab

The Health Ministry will specify the conditions for doctors to issue certificates declaring that a patient cannot get vaccinated against Covid. The ministry said in the case of Covid vaccines, allergic reactions are presented by the manufacturer as the only contraindication. For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, these include sensitivity to acetic acid, cholesterol, and sucrose. As of Nov. 1, unvaccinated adults have to pay for testing except for those who cannot be vaccinated due to contraindications. Such people have to prove the contraindication by a doctor's report.

Interest in the third, booster dose of the Covid vaccine is growing, as 318,362 people have gotten it as of Thursday, three-quarters of whom were over 60. Currently, there are 1.02 million people are eligible. The booster vaccination has been used by 28 percent of eligible people.

TRAVEL Germany will not label the Czech Republic as high-risk

Germany will continue to consider the Czech Republic an epidemically safe country, so on Friday it will not be included in the list of high-risk areas, despite previous expectations, Czech ambassador to Germany Tomáš Kafka said. The Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček warned on Monday that the Czech Republic will probably be on Germany’s list of high-risk countries from next week. A change to high risk status would mean complications, especially for the unvaccinated. Tourist travel would also be complicated for the vaccinated if they come to Germany with unvaccinated children under the age of 12.

November 4, 2021

OVERVIEW Over 30 deaths in a single day

On Wednesday, there were 9,460 new Covid cases in the Czech Republic. This was 450 fewer than on Tuesday, but 3,600 more than a week ago. There are 2,300 hospitalized with Covid, the most in the last six months, with 304 in serious condition. For Wednesday, 19 deaths have been reported, and the figure for Tuesday was revised to 31, the first time it has been over 30 since mid-May. The toll for November is now at 77. Interest in vaccination is also increasing, with 45,330 doses administered on Wednesday, the most since Aug. 20.

The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days reached 419, up from 386 a day earlier. The reproduction number R is at 1.44. For Prague, the incidence number is 431. In the Olomouc region, where the pandemic is worst, the incidence number is 633.

RESTRICTIONS Hospitals starting to limit planned care and visits

Hospitals in the Moravia-Silesia region are beginning to limit planned care. Hospitals in other regions of the Czech Republic are beginning to set up or expand Covid wards, and are also banning visits. Until further notice, visits to persons hospitalized in acute wards and in Prague's Central Military Hospital (ÚVN) are prohibited, except for urgent exceptions.

The Ministry of Health is considering adjustments to anti-epidemic measures. For example, only PCR tests, not antigen tests, could be recognized at events for a large number of people. Respirator restrictions could be toughened. Adjustments will be discussed today by the Central Management Team composed of representatives of the Health Ministry and the Army under the leadership of the chief hygienist.

COMPLIANCE Hygienists and police to check restaurants

All over the Czech Republic, hygienists and police officers today will check compliance with the Covid-19 measures. There will be one to two control groups in the field in each district. Hygiene stations are planning another large-scale inspection for this Saturday.

Hygienists will check cafes, pubs, and restaurants to see that operators are confirming patron’s documents. People who are not vaccinated, recovered, or have a negative test certificate with them when visiting the restaurant should not be served. Inspections could also focus on indoor sports grounds, fitness centers, or cultural organizations.  

IMPACT A quarter of people have been financially affected

More than a quarter of Czechs have been negatively impacted financially since the beginning of the epidemic. People with low incomes are experiencing the biggest decline. A total of about 45 percent of households have serious or minor income problems. On the contrary, one-tenth of people are better off than before the pandemic, a September survey by STEM in collaboration with KPMG shows.

November 3, 2021

OVERVIEW Number of new cases approaching 10,000

Tests on Tuesday confirmed 9,902 new Covid cases, almost 60 percent more than a week ago when there were 6,284 new cases and the most in a single day since March 23. The number of hospitalized reached 2,058, the highest since May 7. Some 288 are in serious condition. A week ago there were 790 people with Covid in hospitals, and 110 in serious condition. Interest in vaccination has also increased, with 39,000 doses applied on Tuesday.

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Some 17 deaths were reported for Tuesday, and the November toll is now 41. Over the past seven days, 115 deaths have been reported. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days reached 386, up by 34 since Monday. The reproduction number R is at 1.40. For Prague, the incidence number is 416.

VACCINATION Children 5–11 could be vaccinated in December

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 years old could start in the second half of December, according to news server Deník N. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently evaluating whether to allow Covid vaccinations for that age group in the European Union. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Nov. 2 approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech pediatric vaccine for children, with distribution in the U.S. planned already this week.

SCHOOLS Local Covid testing may end in mid-November

The local Covid testing in Czech schools may end after Nov. 15 in the districts with over 300 new Covid cases per 100,000 population weekly, according to the Central Management Team. After this date, testing will only take place if ordered by the regional public health office. This Monday, children were tested for Covid-19 at schools in eight districts. Next Monday, the testing will repeat and will be widened to another 23 districts. After that, testing will only be done if ordered by the regional public health office, based on whether any of the pupils or school staff had tested positive for Covid. The Central Management Team is to deal again with the proposal on Thursday.

TESTING Antigen tests will continue to be recognized

The Czech Republic will continue recognizing negative antigen tests for Covid-19 as a clean bill of health, as well as PCR tests, because they are recognized across Europe, chief public health officer Pavla Svrčinová said. She added that, in the future, it was possible that only PCR tests would be permitted to test school classes and in some other circumstances. Czech Television reported the Central Management Team rejected Svrčinová's proposal that only the more accurate PCR tests be used in all cases to prove that one is free of the Covid infection.

TESTING Paid Covid testing brings shift

Unvaccinated people have had to pay for Covid tests from Nov. 1, and laboratories on Monday carried out roughly one-third fewer antigen tests for Covid and one-third more paid PCR tests compared to a week ago when they were covered by the public health insurance. Also from Nov. 1, PCR tests are valid to certify freedom from infection for 72 hours, antigen tests are recognized as valid only for 24 hours.

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VACCINATION Discipline and third dose crucial, expert says

Discipline is essential to control the Covid-19 pandemic and the third dose of the vaccination is a key in the fight against coronavirus, epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar told journalists. People who were vaccinated and also had the disease are best protected against Covid. Those who have not been infected should have the third dose of the vaccination applied, he added.

Maďar warned that since the start of the vaccination the Czech Republic was still lagging behind the EU average in the share of the vaccinated. He also said he was very disappointed at restaurant personnel not wearing respirators in the Czech Republic, unlike the restaurant staff in many foreign countries.  

VACCINATION Covid vaccination reduced emergency hospitalizations

Up to 1,000 more people with the Coronavirus infection would need hospital treatment in intensive care wards, if it were not for Covid vaccination, director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS) Ladislav Dušek told Czech Television. He said the number of hospitalizations will keep increasing for some two or three weeks, and the figures might even double. However, the Czech Republic should not probably reach the 2020 level of up to 9,500 hospitalized people, out of whom 2,000 are in intensive care wards, he added.

AID Charities redirected money into Covid-affected fields

Foundation and charities in the Czech Republic have redirected money to new fields affected by Covid-19, a poll conducted among 38 major charities by the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University showed. The most charity-supported fields were distance learning, measures to overcome isolation, low-income families, the elderly, and healthcare research.

Nearly two-fifths of the entities polled also give money for other Covid issues. The same share of foundations modified the direction of their aid so that it reaches other groups in need. One-third of charity entities extended the deadlines for grant applications. One in six entities increased the amount of money available and provided some services free of charge.

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November 2, 2021

OVERVIEW Most new Covid cases since the end of March

The number of newly detected Covid cases reached 7,591, the most since March 30 and about 3,300 more than a week ago. The number of hospitalized people with Covid hit 1,813, some 185 more than on Sunday. There are 256 patients in serious condition. The death toll has risen to 30,807 since the beginning of the pandemic, with nine reported for Nov. 1. Previous figures were updated, bringing the toll for the past seven days to 138. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 over the past seven days in the Czech Republic rose to 352 from 321 a day earlier. The reproduction number R is at 1.30. For Prague, the incidence number is 386.  

TECHNOLOGY Health Ministry shuts down eRouška app

The Health Ministry has ended the operation of the mobile app eRouška, which drew attention to risky encounters with people infected with Covid-19. During its existence, it has warned over 400,000 users. Due to vaccination, other tools, and the development of the epidemic, the app is no longer needed, the eRoušky team said on Twitter. The Health Ministry decided to suspend eRouška’s operation from the end of October. "We thank everyone who became part of the network of 1.7 million people and helped protect their surroundings," the eRouška website states. About half a million users had the app active at the time of shutdown.

SCHOOLS Prague preparing for Covid testing next week

Prague City Hall is preparing to test children in schools for Covid-19 next week. The city is now dealing with the delivery of tests to city districts and schools. The municipality will also work with the state and other participants to change the method of quarantine so that entire schools do not have to close.

“The youth population is still largely unvaccinated, so the Delta mutation, which is now prevalent, is spreading quite quickly, especially in children. Prague will therefore fall into the set of districts that will be tested on Monday," City Councilor Vít Šimral said.

RESTRICTIONS Some 400 restaurants won’t check Covid certificates

Some 400 restaurants and other establishments in the Czech Republic will not check their guests' Covid certificates as this would mean discrimination based on their health status, the Croaked Dog (Chcípl PES) anti-lockdown political movement told reporters yesterday, adding that the government order is unlawful in their opinion. The movement will protest in Prague's Old Town Square on Nov. 17.

As of Nov. 1, restaurants have been required to check guests for a certificate of vaccination, recovery, or a recent test. Police and hygienists plan more frequent checks of compliance, Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček said Monday.

TRAVEL Czech Republic to be on German high-risk list

The Czech Republic will probably be included on Germany's list of high-risk countries next week, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said after Monday’s meeting of the Czech Central Crisis Staff. Hamáček said there would be changes for Czech citizens traveling to Germany. Detailed information will be released on the Foreign Ministry website, he said.

For the vaccinated and recovered, the only change is the requirement to fill in a digital entry form. The form must also be filled in by the unvaccinated who must newly undergo a 10-day quarantine upon arrival. It may be ended early by a negative test after five days. Children under 12 will not have to present any test, and their quarantine is automatically set at five days. There are exceptions for people transiting the country and making short trips near the border.

November 1, 2021

SCHOOLS School Covid testing obligatory in 31 Czech districts next week

Update: The government decided this morning that coronavirus testing for unvaccinated pupils would be obligatory at schools in 31 out of the country’s 76 districts, including Prague, as of next week. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch listed the districts on Twitter. Firefighters are preparing to deliver 575,000 antigen tests to these districts. Testing is being introduced in districts that had over 300 new infection cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.

OVERVIEW Most Sunday cases since mid-March

There were 2,749 confirmed Covid cases in the Czech Republic on Sunday, the highest Sunday increase since mid-March and 976 more than a week ago. On Sunday, there were 1,503 patients hospitalized with Covid, 221 of whom were in serious condition, marking the first time since May that hospitalizations topped 1,500. Ten deaths were reported for Oct. 31. The toll for October is 294, but that is likely to increase as figures are revised. The incidence rate of infections for 100,000 people over seven days reached 321, an increase of nine over the previous day. The reproduction number R is at 1.30. For Prague, the incidence rate is at 365.  

RESTRICTIONS Eateries and pubs must check Covid certificates

As of today, staff at restaurants, pubs, and other dining establishments must check patrons for a certificate of vaccination, recovery from Covid, or a recent test. Checks can be carried out at the table. People without proof of a clean bill of health will be denied service and asked to leave. Certificates can be electronic or paper. The new rule does not apply to food courts at malls or for takeaway service. Read our updated list of restrictions here.

COVID TESTS Validity shortened and ages changed, insurance coverage ends

Negative PCR tests are now valid for three days, and negative antigen tests for 24 hours. The age limit for children who do not have to prove vaccination, recovery, or a recent test is increased from 6 to 12 years, and for organized sports competitions, the age limit is increased to 18 years.

As of today public insurance no longer covers Covid tests. Tests will remain free only for people under 18, those vaccinated, halfway through their vaccination, and those who cannot get jabbed due to a contraindication. Free testing will be available for qualified people once a week for antigen tests and twice a month for PCR tests. Tests ordered by doctors or public health authorities will also remain free. The tests' prices are capped at CZK 814 for each PCR and CZK 201 for each antigen test.

SCHOOLS Covid testing restarts, unvaccinated teachers must wear respirators

Unvaccinated pupils in eight districts with the worst epidemic situation will start Covid-19 testing today. About 165,000 pupils in the districts of České Budějovice, Ostrava-město, Prostějov, Prachatice, Brno-venkov, Přerov, Opava, and Karviná are affected. (Update: Next week testing will take place in 31 districts including Prague.)

Pupils who refuse to test and do not have proof of recovery, must wear a face mask during lessons, keep two meters away from others during singing, and must sit 1.5 meters away in the lunchroom. Children with a mental disorder or a serious health problem have an exception.

As of today, unvaccinated teachers must have respirators in their classes. Exceptions are teachers in kindergartens and children's groups. The government has been urging teachers and healthcare workers to get vaccinated, but it is not mandatory.

VACCINATION City offers reservations for single-dose vaccine

Praguers can get the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (Jansen) vaccine without waiting in line. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib announced on Facebook that people can reserve a time at the vaccination center at Spálená Street via the reservation system or on the number 222 924 260. The single-dose vaccine is also available without an appointment at main train station Hlavní nádraží, but lines have been long due to increased interest.

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TRAVEL Denmark, Iceland, and Norway go red in new Covid travel map

Travelers without proof of vaccination or recovery coming to the Czech Republic from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein will face tightened restrictions as of Monday. These countries will move from medium-risk orange to high-risk red on the latest Covid-19 travel map released by the Czech Health Ministry. Going the other way, restrictions will be loosened for those traveling from Cyprus as the country moves from red to orange on the new map. Read our full story here.

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