In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Czech government has declared a 30-day State of Emergency effective immediately. Among other things, it introduces a complete ban on travel, coming into effect on March 16. Below is a list of what measures are already in place or will come into effect within the next few days.
As of midnight, Friday, March 13, foreigners from ‘high-risk’ countries are banned from entering the Czech Republic, with the exception of those who have temporary residence over 90 days or permanent residence in the Czech Republic.
The “high risk” states are: China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Denmark and France. As of March 16, all foreign nationals – with the exception of those who have temporary residence over 90 days or permanent residence in the Czech Republic – will be banned from entering the Czech Republic for the duration of the 30-day State of Emergency declared on March 12.
This measure will not affect cross-border workers, truck and bus drivers, pilots and emergency services employees.
The Interior Ministry will stop issuing all visas until further notice.
As of midnight Friday, a special regime will be introduced at the country’s borders with Austria and Germany. People will only be able to enter or leave Czech territory via 11 border crossings.
Until midnight Sunday, Czech citizens cannot travel to the 15 ‘high-risk’ countries listed above.
As of Sunday, Czechs and foreign nationals with permanent or long-term residence in the Czech Republic will be barred from leaving the country. Unlike Czech citizens, foreign nationals with temporary or permanent residence will be allowed to travel to a high-risk country – but they will not be allowed back during the State of Emergency.
For more information related to travel during the state of emergency, visit the website of the Ministry of Interior: https://rozhl.as/3We
Pubs and restaurants will have to close by 8pm. Gyms, swimming pools, music and social clubs, entertainment centres, public libraries and galleries, as well as eateries in shopping malls, will be closed. Also banned are all events with more than 30 people.
Both indoor and outdoor market places will be closed. No limitations have been set so far for shopping malls and supermarkets.
All primary and secondary schools, as well as universities, are closed for an indefinite period. Kindergartens remain open for the time being.
Czech police are now being deployed to check whether people who have been ordered into quarantine are in fact staying indoors.
The Interior Ministry has issued an appeal urging the public to use whatever protective gear they have against the coronavirus. People who have masks or respirators should wear them, especially when shopping or using public transport, and those who don’t should cover up with a shawl, wear glasses to protect their eyes and if possible make their own linen masks at home. People in Prague are not allowed on trams, busses and the metro without some form of protection – either a mask or shawl to cover their nose and mouth. Other cities have issued similar instructions.
General practitioners who lack facemasks and respirators have been advised not to attend to patients and restrict their activity to providing on-line services and e-prescriptions. Even doctors who have protective gear may not see you without an appointment. If you feel you have coronavirus symptoms or any other pressing health problems contact your GP or respective hygiene office. People have been asked to put off visits to the doctor is at all possible.
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