Overview: Latest changes to Czech travel map announced

The Czech Republic is tightening travel restrictions as a result of the discovery of a new Covid variant.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 11.12.2021 09:52:00 (updated on 11.12.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

The discovery of the new Omicron Covid variant has led to tightened travel restrictions in the Czech Republic and all over the world. From Monday, further changes will be made to the Czech Republic’s traffic light system for international arrivals, updated based on incidence rate data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

The latest weekly update, to take effect from Monday, will see the Azores and the Canary Islands turn orange on the traffic light map, indicating a moderate infection risk. France and Madeira will meanwhile turn dark red, although this will not affect the measures imposed on travelers arriving from those countries.

The Ministry of Health announced the changes in a press release on Friday. The Vatican remains the only European country in the low-risk green category for arrivals. Outside Europe, low-risk countries are Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Indonesia, South Korea, Canada, Qatar, Colombia, Kuwait, Macao, New Zealand, Peru, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and Uruguay.

The Canary Islands and Azores are now the only destinations on the orange list. On return from green and orange countries, travelers must fill out a passenger locator form and either present a negative Covid test before entering the Czech Republic or take an antigen or PCR test no later than five days after their arrival. The requirement to fill out a passenger locator form is no longer in effect for those traveling in a single group by an individual mode of transportation.

Red-list countries with a high risk of infection will be Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the Balearic Islands.

Dark red, very high risk countries will see France and Madeira join Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Ireland, Iceland, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Monaco, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Austria, Greece, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and all non-EU countries not listed as “green.”

Those arriving from red or dark-red countries must fill out a passenger locator form, take a PCR test between the fifth and 14th day after their return, and wear a respirator outside their home pending the result. Those using public transport must get tested before entering the country.

Testing and quarantine requirements do not apply to those vaccinated against Covid or those who can prove they recovered from Covid in the past 180 days. Due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, this exemption does not apply to arrivals from some southern African nations.

The Czech Republic accepts the vaccination status of citizens of third countries who have been administered vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or corresponding vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use. Such arrivals must present a certificate that can be verified and is included in the list of certificates on the Health Ministry' website. 

Travel from Africa

Entry to the Czech Republic is banned for third-country citizens who have stayed in any of the following eight African states for more than 12 hours in the past 14 days: Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Czech and EU citizens and long-term residents can return from these countries under strict anti-epidemic conditions.

Individuals falling into this category must present a negative PCR test and a reservation for another test to be taken within 24 hours upon entering the Czech Republic. They must then undergo another test not before the 10th day and at the latest on the 14th day after arrival. Until then, they must stay in self-isolation. FFP2 respirators must be worn at all times when going out for essential reasons.

An exemption applies to international transport workers if the reason for their entry is proven by the respective documents, and children under six if they do not attend pre-school facilities. The health ministry does not recommend traveling to these countries.

New travel rules from the Czech Republic

A number of countries have tightened conditions for international arrivals as the world reacts to the spread of the Omicron variant detected in South Africa in late November.

As of yesterday, neighboring Slovakia now requires a certificate of vaccination, a negative Covid test result or proof of previous infection for the use of long-distance public transport in the country, affecting train arrivals to the country.

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