Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Czech Republic tightens certain coronavirus disease-related restrictions from Sept. 24 following an increase in infection rates.

Alert Begins 24 Sep 2020 10:02 PM UTC
Alert Expires 09 Oct 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 have tightened some the county's coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related restrictions - primarily on large gatherings - following an increase in infection rates. Under the most recent directives, the size limit for mass events held indoors at venues that are split into different sections has been reduced to 1,000 people; the limit for outdoor events at such venues has dropped to 2,000 people. The size limits for gatherings held in undivided open-space locations are 500 and 1,000 persons, respectively. Adequate assigned seating must be provided for all indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and outdoor events of more than 50; protective face coverings are mandatory at all such events. Certain gatherings, such as meetings of legislative bodies, courts of law, exhibitions, markets, and fairs are exempt. These measures will be in force through at least Oct. 7.

New regulations also require that catering establishments, such as restaurants, bars, and cafes, remain closed between 2200-0600. The use of protective face coverings remains mandatory in all in schools and other indoor areas, including on public transportation.

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. All travelers who have spent at least 12 hours in the last 14 days in a country classified as high risk must fill outan electronic arrival form before departure and either produce proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken in an EU or EEA country within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, or take a COVID-19 test within five days upon arrival and submit the result to the relevant regional public health office within seven days after arrival. Individuals who take the test upon arrival are required to limit their movements to include only work- or education-related activities, procuring essential goods and medical services, and taking care of animals or children until the results are known. Individuals whose test results are positive must self-isolate for 14 days. 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, persons in a relationship with a Czech citizen or resident, diplomats, transport workers, and for urgent circumstances decided on a case-by-case basis.

Authorities could ease, tighten, extend, or otherwise amend restrictions at any time depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

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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