Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Czech Republic to tighten coronavirus-related restrictions nationwide from Sept. 18 following an increase in infection rates.

Alert Begins 17 Sep 2020 07:18 PM UTC
Alert Expires 05 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

Summary
Beginning Sept. 18, authorities in the Czech Republic will tighten the county's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions nationwide following an increase in infection rates in the country. Per the most recent restrictions, no more than 10 people are allowed to be standing in the same indoor space. If more than 10 people are present at an indoor event, seating must be assigned and protective face coverings must be worn. This measure applies to restaurants, bars, and similar venues, while exhibitions and markets are exempt from this measure. These establishments must close from 0001-0600. The use of protective face coverings remains mandatory in all in schools and other indoor areas, while on public transportation, and for all events with more than 100 people.

Travelers from EEA countries - with the exception of Spain - as well as persons arriving from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, and the UK - are allowed to enter the country without restriction. Travelers returning from Spain can take a COVID-19 test immediately upon arrival and submit the results to the relevant regional hygiene station within 72 hours. Such individuals are required to limit their movements to include only work-related activities, education-related activities, procurement of essential goods and medical services, and taking care of animals or children until the results are known. If the test is positive, a 14-day self-isolation period is mandatory. Travel is prohibited from all other countries. Exceptions to the travel ban include residents of countries where 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.

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
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.

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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