Finland, Latvia and the Azores Islands to now be assigned to the dark red category of countries ranked according to risk of contagion. Poland and Germany will be red

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, 10 January. Given the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant, stricter rules have been stipulated for the entry of foreigners to the Czech Republic. Finland, Latvia and the Azores Islands are to now be assigned to the dark red category of countries ranked according to risk of contagion. Poland and Germany will now be in the red category. Romania will be yellow.

The category of countries with a low risk of contagion (the green category) includes the Vatican City State. Of the non-European countries or parts thereof, it includes Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Indonesia, Colombia, Korea, Canada, Qatar, Kuwait, Macau, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Peru, the United Arab Emirates, Rwanda, the Oriental Republic of Uruguay and Taiwan.

The next category contains countries or territories which have a moderate risk of contagion (orange category). The only country currently in this category is Romania.

The traffic light system also includes the category of countries with high risk (red category). This category currently includes Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Hungary and Austria.

The category of countries with a very high risk (dark red category), contains Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, Croatia, France, Finland, Malta, Italy, Lichtenstein, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Norway, Monaco, Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, Portugal incl. Madeira and the Azores Islands, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain incl. the Balearic and Canary Islands and Switzerland and other third countries outside the EU.

Czech citizens returning from red and dark red countries must complete an arrival form and take an antigen or PCR test even before returning to the Czech Republic, 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 7 days after arrival in the Czech Republic. 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. This obligation also concerns fellow passengers and family members of Czech citizens who have been issued a temporary residence permit in the Czech Republic, and European Union citizens that have been issued confirmation of temporary residence in the Czech Republic or foreigners with a long-term or permanent residence permit in the Czech Republic.

The conditions of testing when returning from abroad do not apply to Czech citizens and foreigners with residence permits who have completed vaccination or have recovered from covid-19 in the past 180 days. The obligation to complete an arrival form remains in effect  regardless of the category of the given country.

In order to prevent the spread of the new omicron variant, foreigners who do not have a residence permit in the Czech Republic will be required to have a negative PCR test result before entering the Czech Republic.  This includes foreigners who have completed vaccination or have had covid-19.

The only exception is for foreigners vaccinated with a booster dose if they have been vaccinated in a country whose certificate is recognized by the Czech Republic – a list of these countries is published on the website here. Another exception applies to children under 12 years of age.  A special regime applies to children aged 12-18, where children fully vaccinated (without a booster) are also exempt from the pre-entry test.  Unvaccinated persons or persons who have not recovered from the covid-19 disease must subsequently undergo an RT-PCR test between the 5th and 7th day after entering the Czech Republic and wear a respirator at all times when leaving their residence or accommodation until the result of this test is available.

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 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 Czech Republic also accepts certificates from countries where vaccination with an EMA-approved vaccine is taking place, vaccination coverage rates are higher than in the Czech Republic, the country provides credible and verifiable pandemic data and cooperates in the framework of international organizations in the fight against the pandemic.

At the same time, the Ministry of Health strongly advises that citizens limit travel, as the risk of spreading covid-19 mutation must be minimized.

The complete protective measure and other information about travelling is available on the website of the Ministry of Health here.

Information about travelling is provided by the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (only in the Czech language) and as concerns cross-border movement by the Website of the Ministry of Interior.