Hungary and Austria to move to the orange category of countries

The Ministry of Health has updated the list of countries with a low risk of contagion on the basis of available data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). From Monday 25 January, Hungary and Austria will move to the orange category. Czech citizens will be able to travel from these countries without restrictions.

Hungary and Austria will now be moved to the orange category of countries, which currently includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Greece and the Canary Islands. When returning from these countries, foreigners who work or study in the Czech Republic must submit the results of a PCR test before entering their workplace or the educational institution where they are studying.

However, we note that based on the decisions of local authorities, entry to Hungary and Austria is currently only permitted in limited cases and upon meeting strict conditions for staying in these countries. Detailed information is available on the website www.mzv.cz.

Most European countries are still in the red category. Travelers who have spent more than 12 hours in these countries in the past 14 days are obliged to complete an arrival form before returning to the Czech Republic. Within 5 days from entering the Czech Republic, the given individual must undergo a PCR test and the result must be submitted to the respective regional public health authority within 7 days from arrival. 

After returning, they may also submit the result of a PCR test from any other EU country which is no more than 72 hours old. This obligation does not apply to persons under 5 years of age. Until the result of the test is known, those persons concerned should act with caution and restrict their contact with vulnerable population groups, in particular with senior citizens. They should also consider working from home if the nature of their job allows.

The traffic light system also regulates the category of green countries where none of these obligations apply. Given the current epidemiological situation across Europe, the only European country classified in this category at present is Vatican City.

The parameters and criteria of the “traffic light” system are based on evaluation of the epidemiological criteria and indicators in each country.

Since 20 December 2020, free movement in the Czech Republic has been restricted for persons travelling from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The main reason is the incidence of a new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Incoming travel from Great Britain, including flights, is permitted for all persons, but they are obliged to undergo an antigen test or PCR test with a negative result beforehand. The first test must be taken in Great Britain no more than 72 hours before commencing travel. A second test (PCR test) must be taken in the Czech Republic. Given the incubation period of the illness, the PCR test must be taken between the fifth and seventh day after returning. Until then, the affected persons are restricted from moving freely about the Czech Republic.

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