Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in the Czech Republic maintain COVID-19 restrictions as of July 17. Significant business and transport disruptions remain.

  • Alert Begins: 17 Jul 2020 03:50 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

Summary
Authorities in the Czech Republic are maintaining current restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of July 17. Border restrictions were previously lifted for travel with most of the EU and Schengen Area, the UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and Thailand. Restrictions have been reimposed with Montenegro and Serbia as of July 13, and restrictions were never eased with Sweden; travelers from these countries must present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival or self-isolate for 14 days. Travel is prohibited from all other countries, excluding for residents of countries with which travel restrictions have been lifted, close family members of Czech residents, diplomats, transport workers, and for urgent circumstances decided on a case-by-case basis.

Previously, authorities permitted most businesses and activities to resume provided strict hygiene and social distancing measures are implemented. Face masks must be worn on public transport and in enclosed public spaces; the limit on public gatherings varies by region.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could reintroduce sporadic, targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Such measures could apply to districts, neighborhoods, or even specific facilities, including schools, factories, or accommodation and office blocks. Mandatory social distancing procedures in public places and on public transport, as well as widespread voluntary "self-policing" by residents, will assist in reducing the potential for contagion, likely negating the necessity for a large-scale, blanket reintroduction of significant restrictions.

The measures taken by the Czech government are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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