Travel from the Czech Republic to the US resumes Nov. 8: Here's what you need to know

The change comes as Covid cases spike in the Czech Republic. What will a worsening pandemic mean for future of travel to the States?

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 02.11.2021 16:23 (updated on 08.11.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

For U.S. citizens living in the Czech Republic or Czechs with family living in the States, the Biden government's decision to reopen the country to vaccinated EU travelers could mark the end of a long period of travel anxiety.

In a cruel twist of fate, though, concerns are growing about a significant increase in Covid cases being recorded in the Czech Republic, just as the U.S. prepares to welcome foreign travelers.

Vaccinated travelers from Schengen Zone countries such as the Czech Republic will be allowed back into the U.S. from November 8. This is part of a major policy shift for worldwide travel to the U.S., which allows the resumption of travel for business, personal or leisure reasons.

What will the reopening next week mean for travelers from the Czech Republic and which documents will you need to prepare in advance of a trip? Vaccines will prove key to travelers reaching the U.S. again.

“To travel, all non-immigrant Czech visitors will need to provide paper or digital proof that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with a WHO-approved vaccine and provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure,” Griffin Rozell, spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Prague, told Expats.cz.

Children between the ages of 2 and 18 do not need proof of vaccination, but do need to provide a negative Covid-19 test; children under the age of two do not need a test or vaccine.

U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are eligible to travel to the U.S. but are not fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative test taken one day before their flight departure. Czech citizens who are not vaccinated but who have American family members are not exempt from the worldwide vaccination requirement unless they also have U.S. citizenship or LPR status.

Accepted Vaccines for entry to the U.S. are FDA-approved or authorized types, as well as WHO emergency-use-listed vaccines.

This policy change to favor vaccinated travelers will bring relief to anyone who has faced travel challenges due to an until-now strict ban on entry to the States. But could rising case numbers in the Czech Republic mean the rules will change?

According to Rozell, the intention behind the current policy change in the U.S. is to do away with country-by-country restrictions, so a worsening pandemic situation shouldn’t see Czechs excluded from the U.S.

“This new global travel system replaces the existing country-by-country restrictions, putting in place a consistent approach worldwide. While we cannot speculate about future developments due to the global pandemic, we are planning to fully implement this policy beginning November 8, and travelers from the Czech Republic should plan accordingly.”

Griffin Rozell, Spokesperson, U.S. Embassy Prague

The new system also does away with the need for most Czech visitors to the U.S. to apply for a National Interest Exception from the U.S. Embassy in Prague. Travelers to the U.S. from the Czech Republic will not have to request such an exception; while exceptions to the vaccine requirement will be handled by the U.S. Center for Disease Control, so the Embassy in Prague will no longer play an active role in the travel process. Answers to other travel-related questions can be found on the Department of State website.

The U.S. rule change means separated families, business travelers and others can once again look forward to making the trip Stateside. And despite the Czech Republic’s particular Covid circumstances, it is hoped travelers will no longer have to worry about rising case numbers leading to new restrictions, leaving them free to plan their trips with relative peace of mind.

The U.S. Embassy Prague will host a Facebook live travel Q&A with its Consul General on Friday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. Access the event here.

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