Bulgaria, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Spain and Switzerland now in the red category, Croatia and Germany will be orange. Israel and the USA to move to the dark red category

The Ministry of Health has updated the list of countries ranked by the risk of contagion on the basis of available data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which will take effect on Monday, 23 August. The traffic light system regulates the categories of countries to which respective anti-epidemic measures apply when returning to the Czech Republic. Bulgaria, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Spain (except the Balearic Islands) and Switzerland will now be in the red category. Croatia, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands and Germany will be added to the orange category. Changes have also been made in the black category, which will be smaller. Israel and the USA will move to the dark red category. Henceforth, vaccination using a vaccine approved by the EMA or a corresponding vaccine on the WHO list will also be recognized for citizens from third countries. Arrivals of family members to the Czech Republic will also be eased.

The category of countries with a low risk of contagion (the green category) includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and the Vatican City State. From among the non-European countries or parts thereof, it includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Macau, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Taiwan. From Monday, 23 August, Montenegro, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, North Macedonia and the United States of America will be removed from this list and moved to the dark red category.

The next category contains countries which have a moderate risk of contagion (the orange category). This category of countries includes Croatia, Luxembourg, Latvia, Austria, Italy, Finland, Malta, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Slovenia and the Portuguese island of Madeira.

When returning from green and orange countries, it is necessary to complete an arrival form. Before entering the Czech Republic or at latest 5 days after entry, it is necessary to take an antigen or RT-PCR test.

The traffic light system also includes the category of countries with high risk (the red category). This category currently includes Andorra, Bulgaria, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Lithuania, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Estonia, France, Greece, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain incl. the Canary Islands, and Portugal incl. the Azores. As of 1 July, the same rules as for returning from dark red countries apply to returning from countries in the red category.

This category, with a very high risk of contagion (the dark red category), includes the other countries, including Cyprus and the Spanish Balearic Islands from among the EU member states. Persons returning from red and dark red countries must complete an arrival form and take an antigen or PCR test even before returning, if they are using public transport to travel. These persons are also obliged to undergo a PCR test no sooner than 5 days and no later than 14 days after arrival in the Czech Republic. Until then, they must remain in self-isolation. When travelling to the Czech Republic using individual transport, a test is not required before commencing travel, but a RT-PCR test must be taken no sooner than 5 days and no later than 14 days after arriving in the Czech Republic. Until then, self-isolation is required.

The conditions of testing and self-isolation when returning do not apply to persons fully vaccinated at least 14 days earlier (14 days after the second dose in the case of a two-dose vaccination scheme, or 14 days after the one dose in the case of a one-dose vaccination scheme) or those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 180 days. The obligation to complete an Arrival form remains in effect.

The vaccination of third-country citizens who have completed vaccination from a non-EU country with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency or its equivalent vaccine approved by the World Health Organisation for emergency use is also newly recognised. These persons must also have been issued a verifiable certificate, which is published in the list of certificates on the website of the Ministry of Health.  This may also include vaccinations from countries for which an implementing act has been concluded and they issue a certificate under the EU COVID regulation. The complete conditions for returning to the Czech Republic from abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic are available here (only in the Czech language).

Another new feature is the possibility for family members of citizens of the Czech Republic or other EU Member States to come to the country and apply for a visa.

Due to the worsening epidemic situation in non-European countries, the conditions for returning to the Czech Republic may change in selected countries.

The Ministry of Health strongly discourages, unless absolutely necessary, travel to countries with an extremely high risk of the spread of these mutations (the black category) due to the possible spread of new variants of the virus. Specifically, this refers to Brazil, Colombia, Mozambique, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru and Tanzania (including the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba). However, even when returning from these countries, persons who were fully vaccinated at least 14 days earlier or those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 180 days are only obliged to complete an arrival form and need not undergo testing or self-isolation. Others must undergo a PCR test before travelling to the Czech Republic, and remain in self-isolation for 10 days concluded with a negative PCR test.

A list of countries according to risk of infection can be found here.