Health minister: Czech border to remain closed until June

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The Czech border is certain to remain closed until June, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said after yesterday’s cabinet meeting, adding that a decision to open the border depends on the situation in other countries.

In a sign that some restrictions are easing, as of Tuesday, Czechs are now permitted to travel abroad if they have a valid reason for it, such as a business trip or a need to visit a doctor or family member.

“Easing travel restrictions will be the last step we will take, and we don’t know when will this happen. Certainly not earlier than in June, but even then, there will be some limitations. And when it comes to traveling anywhere you want to, it might not happen this summer. It will depend on the situation in other countries,” commented Health Minister Vojětch on the plan to gradually allow people to travel abroad.

As an example of why some restrictions have to stay in place, he mentioned the situation in Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which are all still greatly suffering from an epidemiological point of view.

The Czech government introduced the first ban on cross-border travel to some high-risk countries on March 14. Two days later, the restriction on  travel abroad was extended to all countries.

Although individuals could leave the Czech Republic for important matters, police authorities registered them at the border crossings, and they would have to remain in a 14-day quarantine after their return home.

With the new easing of travel restrictions, rescue staff and farmers who have to travel abroad for less than 24 hours for work reasons, will not have to head to enter quarantine when they return home.

The new rule will also apply to those who have to travel abroad for a short period to see a doctor or a vet, go to a funeral or court, or to take care of a family member.

The rules have also changed for those who commute to another country to work on a daily basis. Before Tuesday, they had to secure accommodations abroad and stay there so that they could attend work, but now they will be allowed to return to the Czech Republic after 14 days of working abroad followed by a two-week preventive quarantine.

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