Family vacations from Czech Republic 2021: These countries don't require negative tests for kids

While there are exemptions from Covid testing for children at some destinations, tests might still be required by airlines.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 14.06.2021 14:26 (updated on 14.06.2021)

Planning vacations is difficult this year, and even more so for families as the travel rules for adults and children are different. Several popular destinations allow children accompanied by an adult to enter without a negative Covid testing, though the ages vary.

Rules also change from day to day, so it is best to confirm what is needed in advance as well as right before the trip, and to use official sources such as government websites of the destination.

The Czech News Agency (ČTK) complied a list of which ages need negative tests, based on information from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and travel agency Čedok. It is primarily for families from the Czech Republic and other EU states. People traveling with non-EU passports such as from the U.S. or UK may face different rules. In most cases, people with long-term Czech residency should face the same rules as EU citizens, but some travelers have reported difficulties.

Croatia, Spain, and Tunisia allow children up to 12 to enter without a negative test. For Austria, the age limit is 10 years old. For Greece, it is 6, and for Bulgaria and Turkey it is 5. Italy only exempts children up to 2 years of age.

As of June 6, Germany removed the Czech Republic from the list of high-risk countries. Czech tourists, including people with long-term residency, no longer have to prove themselves by a test, undergo quarantine or register before arrival, with the exception of air transport.

But even though the destination countries may not require a negative test for children, the airlines still might, and each airline has its own rules. Czech Airlines and Smartwings, for example, require negative Covid tests from children 5 and over, regardless of what the destination required. A list of requirements is on the Prague Airport website, though it is best to confirm the rules directly with the airline.

Most families, though, do not plan trips on their own but use a travel agency, Matěj Dvorský, director of travel portal Skrz.cz told ČTK. The agency should monitor the rules and keep the client up to date on what testing certificates will be required for both adults and children.

The Invia travel agency said 40 percent of its clients are now people with children. The preferred destinations are Tunisia and Turkey, agency spokeswoman Andrea Řezníčková said.

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She said people traveling with children choose Turkey and Tunisia because of their relatively short flight, hotel resorts with activities for children such as swimming pools, and children's activity programs. As for European destinations, Greece, Bulgaria, and Croatia are popular.

Skrz.cz’s Dvorský said many families will remain in the country this year due to difficult travel conditions.

"Especially large families are statistically more likely to have false positives on any of the [Covid] tests. … This would be costly if they had to remain in quarantine in a foreign country," he said.

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly updates travel information about countries on its website. (Remember, the Czech government’s traffic light maps for travel concern what is needed to return to the Czech Republic, not what the destination requires. Be sure to look at the section regarding what each country’s entry rules are.)

A detailed overview of the conditions of entry into individual countries has also been prepared by travel agency Čedok. “Clients most often turn to us with questions about the conditions of entry to individual foreign destinations, valid measures and also the rules for return,” travel agency spokeswoman Eva Němečková said.

Exceptions for negative Covid tests for children

  • Croatia: up to 12 years
  • Spain: up to 12 years
  • Tunisia: up to 12 years
  • Austria: up to 10 years
  • Greece: up to 6 years
  • Bulgaria: up to 5 years
  • Turkey: up to 5 years
  • Italy: up to 2 years

Source: Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Čedok

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