Security checks at Prague Castle have ended

The announcement comes after almost seven years of the strict measures, which have often caused queues outside the castle.


Written by ČTK Published on 17.04.2023 13:09:00 (updated on 17.04.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Comprehensive security checks at Prague Castle, the seat of Czech heads of state, have ended as most door frame metal detectors at the checkpoints will be removed, according to President Petr Pavel.

Pavel has repeatedly criticized the current situation where visitors to the castle have to undergo security checks, and Interior Minister Vít Rakušan has suggested a compromise in the form of random checks.

"One frame will be left at each entrance for practical reasons," said Police President Martin Vondrášek. "This is considerably less demanding than other police detection devices."

The decision to lift the security checks comes after a year-long debate, which was initially sparked by concerns over the accessibility of the castle for Praguers and tourists. The Presidential Office had argued that the checks were necessary to ensure the security of visitors.

Rakušan recently suggested that the security frames could potentially be preserved only at selected places inside the complex, and the entire castle area would be monitored. However, the situation changed when Russia attacked Ukraine and started a war, leading to a delay in implementing the changes.

"No one in the security community knew what this would bring," added Vondrášek, speaking of the war.

During the regular security risk assessment last autumn, it was not possible to cancel the checks due to illegal migration, the Czech EU presidency in the second half of 2022, the upcoming Advent period, and the January presidential elections, Vondrášek explained.

However, now that these security risks have been eliminated, the police have decided to implement complete checks of all cars entering the castle area, random checks of visitors, and more effective use of CCTV. Preventive patrols will also be conducted at all castle courtyards.

Rakušan has pledged to cooperate on the project, which aims to remove the barriers to vehicles in their present form. Police officers will have information from security cameras for random checks at the Castle, and it will be up to them whether to carry out checks,  Vondrášek said. He also noted that the police wanted to keep their equipment at all entrances due to the possibility of a change in the security situation.

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