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Coronavirus restrictions Czech Republic Open borders News

Czechia closes its borders to foreigners

European nations are taking drastic measures to stop the spread of coronavirus

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: iDNES.cz, Czech News Agency

Starting last Friday at midnight, foreigners are no longer permitted to enter the Czech Republic except for essential travel such as work or study trips. In this case, the so-called travel traffic light, which has so far governed the conditions of travel into the Czech Republic, no longer applies.

Most European countries are in the red category, indicating a high level of risk. These are states that have a proportion of positive coronavirus tests of more than four percent and more than 250 cases per 100,000 population in the last two weeks.

According to the resolution, the Czech Cabinet prohibited the stay of foreigners in the Czech Republic except for the trips to work and school along with necessary visits to family or loved ones, trips to medical facilities, and social services facilities, or for certain events such as weddings or funerals.

People who have spent more than 12 hours in red-zone countries in the last two weeks must fill in an arrival form before returning to the Czech Republic. Within five days of entering the Czech Republic, they must take a PCR test, the result of which must be submitted to the regional health department within seven days of arrival.

Upon return, the PCR test result from any EU country can also be submitted, but must not be older than 72 hours. This obligation does not apply to children under the age of five.

When traveling to the Czech Republic from orange-colored countries, only long-term foreign workers, but not commuters, must submit a negative test for COVID-19. As of Monday, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Hungary, Norway, Austria, Greece, and the Canary Islands are included in this group.

Of the European countries, only the Vatican is in the green category of the traffic light, while others like Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand are also labeled green.

Meetings, accommodation, and markets also restricted

The government has also tightened the rules for the free movement of people and accommodation on business trips from midnight on Friday to Saturday. The operation of ski lifts and cable cars has been restricted, and markets are also banned.

The government also recommended limiting visits to relatives. People are allowed to travel to their cottages and chalets but only members of one household are allowed to stay there. The government has ordered that people limit contacts with non-household members to what is strictly necessary and strongly recommends that people stay only with members of their own homes and use the FFP2 respirator when dealing with others.

Hospital visits will also not be possible. Exceptions remained for the presence of a third party during childbirth, visits to people with limited disabilities or pediatric patients, and those in hospice.

Antigen tests will now be reimbursed from health insurance once every three days, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced. So far, it has been once every five days.