Hungary, Sweden and Madeira to move to the dark red category of countries ranked by risk of contagion
The Ministry of Health has updated the list of countries ranked by risk of contagion on the basis of available data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). From Monday, 15 March on, Hungary, Sweden and Madeira will be moving to the dark red category. Finland and Monaco will be moving to the red category. Portugal will, on the contrary, be orange.
When returning from countries in the dark red category, which Hungary, Sweden and Madeira are now included in, it will be obligatory for travellers to complete an arrival form and submit a PCR test result before entering the Czech Republic. The PCR test must have been taken no more than 72 hours before starting to travel. It will then be obligatory to take a second PCR test in the Czech Republic, no sooner than 5 days after arrival. Until the second negative test is submitted, self-isolation is required. This is a category of countries with a very high risk of COVID-19 incidence. This category includes countries in the European Union and third countries which are not included in any of the other categories.
Finland and Monaco will now be included in the red category. The category already includes Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, France (except overseas territories), Italy, Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Latvia, the Netherlands (except overseas territories), Poland, Austria, Romania, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the Canary Islands. Before returning from these countries, it is obligatory for travellers to submit the result of an antigen or PCR test and to complete an arrival form. Once again, the antigen tests may be at most 24 hours old and the PCR tests 72 hours old. At the latest 5 days after their arrival, every traveller is also obliged to undertake a PCR test. Until then, they must remain in self-isolation.
Travellers returning to the Czech Republic from countries in the orange category must complete an arrival form before returning and also submit the result of an antigen test (no more than 24 hours old) or PCR test (no more than 72 hours old). Apart from Portugal, this category already includes Denmark, Norway, the Azores and now also the Balearic Islands.
For countries in dark red, red and orange categories, employees and students are also obliged to submit the test results to their employer or the school where they study.
On preventive grounds, persons returning from countries in the orange, red and dark red categories are obliged to wear a surgical mask, ideally a respirator, for a period of fourteen days everywhere outside their homes. Even when moving around outdoors.
The traffic light system also includes the category of green countries where none of these obligations apply. This category currently includes Iceland, Vatican City and, from the non-EU countries, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.
Given the incidence of new mutations of the COVID-19 disease and the community transmission across Europe, the ECDC recommends that all persons postpone their travel unless absolutely essential. The Ministry of Health is also reacting to the occurrence of the South African mutation of the coronavirus. Due to the possible spread of this variant of the virus, effective as of 26 February, the Ministry of Health has prohibited travel to countries with an extremely high risk of the spread of this mutation. This specifically concerns Botswana, Brazil, Swaziland, the Republic of South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
A list of countries according to the risk of infection can be found here.