Summary
Following an increase in infections, authorities in the Czech Republic are further tightening certain coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related restrictions on Oct. 14. Gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, will be limited to six people. Restaurants, bars, and similar establishments will be closed; however, takeout is permitted until 2000. Hotel restaurants, weddings, and funeral receptions are exempt. In addition, all music, dance, gaming halls, other social clubs and discos will be closed. Schools, except for preschools, will be closed and move to online learning modules. These measures will be in place until at least Nov. 2.

Previously introduced measures will remain in place. Casinos and indoor sports facilities, including indoor swimming pools and wellness centers, remain closed. Weddings and funerals will be limited to 30 people, while demonstrations will be limited to a maximum of 500 people. On Oct. 5, authorities declared a 30-day state of emergency in response to an increase in COVID-19 infections. The use of protective face coverings remains mandatory in all 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. Such travelers who have spent at least 12 hours in the last 14 days in a country classified as high-risk must fill out an electronic arrival form before departure; they will also need to produce either 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 before 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 those with urgent circumstances are 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.

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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