Spain to be removed from the list of countries with low risk of COVID-19 contagion on 24 August. A negative test or quarantine will be required upon returning from the country

The Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic has updated its list of countries with a low risk of COVID-19 contagion based on available data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and an evaluation of the epidemiological situation. There will be no significant changes effective from Monday, 17 August. Spain will be removed from the list effective from 24 August. People returning from Spain after 24 August will have to be tested for COVID-19 or go into quarantine. New rules will also apply to the employers of workers from Belgium and Malta. 

From Monday, 17 August 2020, there will be changes only with respect to the obligations of employers of foreign workers. A test upon the arrival of employees from Belgium and Malta will newly be required. This obligation also applies to employees arriving from Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Spain. However, the measure will no longer apply to Portugal and Sweden. 

This rule also applies to countries not on the list of countries with a low risk of COVID-19 incidence (most countries outside the EU). It applies to citizens who have spent more than 12 hours in the given countries in the past 14 days. If these people do not submit a test, they cannot be allowed to enter the given employer’s facilities and workplaces. There is an exception for people only transiting via the Czech Republic and who are not staying here for more than 12 hours. 

The need for foreign workers from some countries to have a negative COVID-19 test is a response to the increased number of cases of infection occurring among foreign workers. The epidemiological situation will be reviewed again in one week. 

From Monday, 24 August 2020, there will be changes applicable to Czech citizens and foreigners arriving in the Czech Republic from Spain. The country will be removed from the list of countries with low risk of COVID-19 contagion. Immediately after returning to the Czech Republic, travellers will be obliged to contact the respective regional public health authority (based on their permanent residence) via telephone or other remote means, and immediately undergo a RT-PCR test for SARS CoV-2 at their own expense. The result must be reported to the given public health authority within 72 hours from their entry to the Czech Republic. 

Until then, these people must wear protective respiratory equipment. Their free movement will also be restricted, but they may travel to work and move around at their place of work, travel to educational institutions and move around as part of the performance of this activity, travel for business or similar activities, travel for essential purposes, to ensure child care, to ensure pet care, to use the necessary financial and postal services, to purchase fuel, travel to healthcare facilities and social services facilities, travel to handle urgent official matters, travel back to their place of residence, and travel to attend funerals. However, people returning from Spain may still use public transit and taxi services. 

If a person does not take a test, they must undergo 14 days of quarantine. 

People who travel to the Czech Republic from the autonomous community of the Canary Islands are however exempt from this measure. People who have spent less than 12 hours in Spain and children under five years of age are also not required to take a test. 

The recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health for stays at seaside destinations remain valid. 

All citizens should: 

  • avoid places where there are large numbers of people congregating indoors (bars, restaurants, night clubs, etc.), 
  • maintain social distancing of at least 2 metres – indoors and outdoors, 
  • use a face mask when travelling via public transport, 
  • observe proper hand hygiene – especially before meals or after travelling via public transport, 
  • if there are different or stricter conditions in the given country, we strongly recommend observing them. 

A list of countries based on the risk of contagion is available here. Additional information on travel to and from countries outside the EU can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs