Government to set rules for COVID passports, agreed with extending the protection period after recovering from COVID-19 from 90 to 180 days

From Monday, the protection period of persons recovered from COVID-19 will be extended from 90 to 180 days and may be used in situations where it is required as one of the alternatives enabling an entry or provision of service. Also the first dose of vaccine received at least 21 days prior will be accepted. Changes in the relevant extraordinary measures of the Ministry of Health were approved by the government at its extraordinary meeting on Friday, 21 May 2021.

The recovery from COVID-19 is one of the alternatives of the v-t-d system (vaccination, test, disease recovery) that are demonstrated, for example, by employees at the employer, children at school, clients in spas or accommodation services or persons returning from abroad in order to avoid a COVID-19 test. So far, the recovery may be used as proof for ninety days from the first positive COVID-19 test. From Monday, 24 May, this period will be doubled, i.e. 180 days.

To this end, where required by the extraordinary measures of the Ministry of Health, the COVID-19 vaccination with the first dose in a two-dose vaccination scheme will be newly acknowledged if at least 21 days have passed since the first shot.

Another change in the extraordinary measures, approved by the government and taking effect on Monday, is the removal of the ban on using changing rooms in schools and educational establishments.

The government discussed a bill amending the Acts on Public Health Protection and on Extraordinary Measures During the COVID-19 Epidemic. The amendment should introduce into Czech legislation rules for issuing certificates to natural persons, certifying the fact that their holders have been vaccinated against COVID-19, have recovered from COVID-19 or were tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus or its antigen. The establishment of the legal framework will be required by the upcoming immediately applicable regulation of the European Union, so-called Digital Green Certificate.

In order for the so-called COVID passport to be issued also in the Czech Republic, it is necessary to extend the scope of data from basic registers and agenda-related information systems, which the public health protection authorities can use in performing their tasks in the prevention of occurrence and spread of infectious diseases. The bill also explicitly authorises the Ministry of Health to define in an extraordinary measure the situations where such certificate can be used. The government intends to ask the Parliament to discuss this bill in an accelerated procedure, in the legislative emergency mode.

The cabinet discussed the mandate of the Prime Minister for a meeting of the European Council to be held on Monday and Tuesday in Brussels. The summit topics will include combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the climatic package of the European Commission or relations with Russia and with the UK. Deliberations will continue on the Digital Green Certificate that should be launched for EU citizens in the course of June.