Poland, Luxembourg and San Marino to be in the dark red category. The Ministry of Health also reacts to the incidence of a new variant

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). The list will take effect on Monday, 29 November. Poland, Luxembourg and San Marino will now be in the dark red category. France, Monaco, Portugal and Spain will move to the red category. The Ministry of Health also stipulated the conditions for returning from countries where the new variant of coronavirus is spreading.

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, Hong Kong, 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 with have a moderate risk of contagion (orange category). This category include Malta and Italy.

When returning from green, orange, red and dark red 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 (red category). This category currently includes Finland, France, Cyprus, Norway, Monaco, Portugal incl. the Azores and Madeira, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain incl. the Canary and Balearic Islands. The same rules as for returning from dark red countries apply to returning from countries in the red category.

The category of countries with a very high risk (dark red category), contains Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Croatia, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Latvia, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Austria, Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia and other third countries outside the EU. Persons returning from red and dark red countries must complete an arrival form and take an antigen or PCR test 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 14 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.

The testing policy when returning from countries other than the listed countries of south Africa does not apply to persons who are at least 14 days post-full vaccination (14 days after the second dose in the case of a two-dose schedule, 14 days post-vaccination in the case of a single-dose schedule) or to those who have had 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 Organization 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 complete conditions for returning to the Czech Republic from abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic are available here

In connection with the emergence of the new coronavirus variant B1.1.529, persons who have been in South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia for more than 12 hours in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter the Czech Republic from Saturday 27 November.  If they are citizens of the Czech Republic, the EU or holders of long-term residence permits in the Czech Republic, they may enter the Czech Republic, but they are required to comply with the following measures: they must have a negative RT-PCR test result before travelling to the Czech Republic, another RT-PCR test within 24 hours of arrival in the Czech Republic and a third one no earlier than day 10 but no later than day 14 after arrival in the Czech Republic, they must maintain self-isolation in the meantime and they are required to wear an FFP2 respirator for necessary trips outdoors.  These measures also apply to persons who have been vaccinated and those who have contracted Covid-19 in the last 180 days, On the contrary, workers in international forwarding are exempted, if the reason for entry is substantiated by the proper document, and children under 6 years of age if they are not visiting a preschool facility.

At the same time, the Ministry of Health strongly advises against travel to these countries, as the risk of contracting this mutation must be minimized.