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Travelling to the Czech Republic - new rules from February 5, 2021

New rules and conditions for entering the territory of the Czech Republic apply both to arrivals of foreign nationals and to the returns of Czech citizens and residents to the Czech Republic.

OVERVIEW: New travel rules valid from 5 February 2021

Due to the unfavourable development of the pandemic and concerns about the spread of new coronavirus mutations, new rules for travel to the Czech Republic and for the return of Czech nationals have come into force since Friday, 5 February 2021.

1. GENERAL CONDITIONS

What categories have foreign countries newly been divided into based on the risk of infection?

Ministry of Health Protective Measure (pdf, 41 kB) distinguishes between five categories of countries:

  • low-risk countries (green)
  • medium-risk countries (orange)
  • high-risk countries (red)
  • very-high-risk countries (dark red)
  • extreme-risk countries (black)

The so-called traffic light system for travel has fixed criteria and is therefore automatic and predictable. The Czech Republic is proceeding in accordance with EU recommendations. At the same time, the division of countries into individual categories will continue to be regularly updated.

What are the conditions for returning to the Czech Republic from individual categories of countries?

  • LOW RISK (green): Travellers can come to the Czech Republic from these countries without any restrictions.
  • MEDIUM RISK (orange): Travellers from these countries (both foreigners and Czech citizens) must fill in an arrival form before travelling to the Czech Republic and undergo an antibody or PCR test not older than 24 hours (in the case of an antibody test) or 72 hours (in the case of a PCR test) at the beginning of the journey and have a written confirmation of the result.
  • HIGH RISK (red): Travellers from these countries (both foreigners and Czech citizens) must fill in an arrival form before travelling to the Czech Republic and undergo an antibody or PCR test not older than 24 hours (in the case of an antibody test) or 72 hours (in the case of a PCR test) at the beginning of the journey and have a written confirmation of the result. Subsequently, they must submit a second PCR test (an antibody test is not sufficient) performed in the Czech Republic, no later than 5 days after arrival. The result must be immediately submitted to the appropriate hygiene station electronically. Self-isolation is required until a second negative test is submitted. It is also mandatory to wear a facemask everywhere outside the home 10 days after arrival.
  • VERY HIGH RISK (dark red): Travellers from these countries (both foreigners and Czech citizens) must fill in an arrival form before travelling to the Czech Republic and undergo PCR test (an antibody test is not sufficient) not older than 72 hours at the beginning of the journey and have a written confirmation of the result. Subsequently, they must submit a second PCR test performed in the Czech Republic, the soonest on the 5th day after arrival. The result must be immediately submitted to the appropriate hygiene station electronically. Self-isolation is required until a second negative test is submitted (in practice five-day quarantine is ordered). It is also mandatory to wear an FFP2 respirator (or a respirator of the same or higher efficiency) everywhere outside the home 10 days after arrival. 
  • EXTREME RISK (black): All citizens of the Czech Republic and foreigners residing in the Czech Republic are prohibited from entering countries with an extreme risk of contracting COVID-19 caused by new mutations of the virus. This does not apply to citizens of these countries and to journeys which, due to their nature, cannot be postponed and which have been notified in advance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Those who violate the prohibition risk being fined under the Public Health Protection Act.

Note: The testing period is calculated from the time the test was taken to the start of the journey. For example, confirmation of a negative PCR test must not be older than 72 hours before departure from the destination.

Which countries are in which categories from 5 February 2021?

  • LOW RISK (green): Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vatican, Iceland
  • MEDIUM RISK (orange): Finland, Greece, Norway, Denmark; Azores (Portugal)
  • HIGH RISK (red): Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Romania, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland; Balearic Islands (Spain) and Canary Islands (Spain)
  • VERY HIGH RISK (dark red): Dark red countries include all countries not listed in the previous categories.
  • EXTREME RISK (black): Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini (Swaziland), South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania (including Zanzibar and Pemba), Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In which category are countries that are not members of the EU or the Schengen area?

Countries that are not members of the EU or the Schengen area and are not explicitly listed in another category (Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand) are classified as "dark red".

Portugal and Spain are in the dark red group. What about the islands that belong to these countries?

Island areas – the Azores (Portugal), Madeira (Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain) – are assesed separately based on epidemiological data from the region. You can find current classification above.

Are there any exceptions to the new travel rules?

Exceptions continue to apply to commuters, international transport, and transit through the Czech Republic. Necessary trips abroad without subsequent testing obligations will now be allowed only if they do not exceed 12 hours. You can find all the exceptions in the Ministry of Health Protective Measure (pdf, 41 kB).

Do these travel rules also apply to people travelling with tour operators?

Yes, the new travel rules also apply to people travelling with tour operators from 5 February 2021. In this respect, the rules are the same for both individual travellers and those travelling with tour operators.

What conditions apply to trips to foreign countries?

Each country has its own travel rules, just like the Czech Republic. The Czech traffic light system has no bearing on them – it only determines the conditions for travel to the Czech Republic. Information on the conditions for travelling to individual countries can be found in the Signpost (for European countries also in the Traveller's Map).

Who can I contact if I haven't found the answer to my questions here?

If you have specific questions, you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs information centre for travel abroad at +420 224 183 200. The staff are ready to answer questions from the public on weekdays from 8:00 – 16:00. If you or a loved one is in an emergency abroad, contact the emergency line of the relevant embassy, which is open 24 hours a day.

The general rules are laid out in the table below:

2. ENTRY AND STAY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Travel to the Czech Republic continues to be limited, particularly for the short-term travel, due to the pandemic. Only essential travel to the Czech Republic is allowed.

It is not possible to travel for the purpose of tourism or visit of friends.  Current measures include the following: Hotels and accommodation facilities have been closed (for tourism), stay at public places is limited, there is a night curfew, etc.   

The rules for entering the territory of the Czech Republic and quarantine measures are  defined at the Protective Measure aiming to provide protection from introduction of the disease COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (further referred to as "Protective Measure")  which can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.  

Foreign nationals without a residence permit in EU cannot currently travel to the Czech Republic, eg. for tourism or other purposes. Visa-free foreigners can travel to the Czech Republic only in extraordinary urgent cases as defined at the Protective Measure, in other cases it is necessary to apply for long-term visa/stay for the particular purpose (eg. study). Information on visa applications.

 Information on entry of foreign nationals to the territory of the Czech Republic to be found on the website of Ministry of Interior or Step-by-step guide on quarantine measures

 

3. TRANSIT THROUGH THE CZECH REPUBLIC

As stated by the Protective Measure (see above) EU citizens and foreign nationals with permitted long-term or permanent residence in the European Union can transit across the Czech Republic for up to 12 hours without the need of a PCR test or any qurantine measures.

 

4. ENTRY OF PARTNERS OF CZECH/EU CITIZENS

Foreign nationals who are in a partnership with a citizen of the Czech Republic or with a citizen of the EU with temporary residence in the Czech Republic and who do not need a visa for a short-term stay of up to 90 days, can arrive in the Czech Republic on a visa-free basis based on a confirmation for entry issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. More details to be found here

 

5. USEFUL LINKS and CONTACTS

Email hotline for inquiries related to the entry into the territory of the Czech Republic: cestovani.covid19@mvcr.cz  or you can contact the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Albania: tel. +355 4 223 4004, email: tirana@embassy.mzv.cz

Information on entry of foreign nationals to the territory of the Czech Republic to be found on the website of Ministry of Interior 

Current situation of COVID-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic - Ministry of Health

Statewide information line on COVID-19 in the Czech Republic - 1221