Coronavirus in Czechia: New Year’s Restrictions, Vaccination Certificate Validity, and Tougher Travel Conditions

The number of newly infected individuals in Czechia has been steadily going down. However, due to the threat of omicron, the new government has announced tougher restrictions for New Year’s Eve celebrations as well as the entering and re-entering of the country for foreigners and non-vaccinated. In addition, the EU has shortened the validity of vaccination certificates to 9 months from 1 February.

Vaccination certificates

Vaccination certificates will be valid for 9 months only (unless you get a booster).

New Year’s Eve restrictions

The State of Emergency in the Czech Republic is over. However, some restrictions still apply, including for example the FFP2 mask mandate in all interiors and only being able to go to the restaurant with a valid vaccination certificate.

Some new restrictions are valid for New Year’s celebrations, from 29 December to 2 January 2022. These include:

  • Decreasing the number of attendees at events to the maximum of 50
  • All attendees in restaurants and services have to present their vaccination certificate QR code 
  • During this time, there can be a maximum of 4 people sitting at a table, unless they share one household

These event rules will change from 3 January 2022 to the following:

  • Events allowed for up to a maximum of 1000 sitting attendees
  • For non-sitting attendees, this number goes down to 100
  • There can be a maximum of 6 people sitting at a table
  • Organizers are obligated to check covid certificates

 

Changes in vaccination certificate validity

Just before Christmas, the Government announced that – due to the new omicron variant of COVID-19 – the validity of vaccination certificates will be shortened to 9 months only

Although they originally announced that this change should be valid from 1 January, the deadline has been moved to 1 February in accordance with the rest of the European Union.

In simpler terms – if you have only been vaccinated once (or twice in case of two-shot vaccines), then your certificate is only valid for 9 months come 1 February. The only way to re-validate your status as a vaccinated person is to get a booster shot

Getting a booster shot should extend the validity of your vaccination certificate indefinitely.

 

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Booster shot availability

Booster shots are currently available to anyone over 30 years of age whose 2nd shot (or their 1-shot vaccine) was administered at least 5 months ago. This age limit will change to over 18s on 4 January.

If you fulfill these conditions, you can go get your booster at any vaccination center, even without registration. If you want to make sure you have a time slot, register either here or (if you’re a self-payer) here.

Your new vaccination certificate will then be available in your Tečka app and on the vaccination website.

 

Traveling to become more complicated

If you’re a foreigner (= don’t have a Czech residency) or if you’re returning to the Czech Republic from countries with a high and very high risk of infection and do not possess a valid vaccination certificate, you will be obligated to get a PCR test between the 5th and 14th day after your arrival to Czechia as of Monday, 1 January 2022.

Until you’ve received the result of this test, you’re obligated to wear a respirator.

If you’re using public transport to return, you are obligated to get tested before you return. You also have to fill out the locator form in this case.

This obligation also applies to foreigners with a certificate of COVID-19 illness and those with a valid vaccination certificate without a booster shot. Exceptions include children below 12 years of age. Children between 12 and 18 years of age do not need a booster shot to cross the borders.

IMPORTANT: Individuals with valid vaccination certificates do not have to adhere to these conditions, aside from filling out the locator form.

 

Government to possible resume company testing

If approved by the parliament, self-testing in companies should apply to everyone twice a week aside from: 

  • employees who do not meet with others while working
  • those working from home
  • those with an official negative antigen or PCR test taken in the past 24 hours
  • health workers and social workers (who are getting tested anyway)

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Article sources: ct24
Photo source: Olya Kobruseva, pexels.com

Tereza Walsbergerová

Hello! I'm Tereza and I'm a wordsmith and literature nerd from Brno. Although I was born and raised in the Czech Republic, I know all too well from my time living in Texas what it's like to be a "stranger in a strange land." I am excited to share all kinds of information with y'all!

8 thoughts on “Coronavirus in Czechia: New Year’s Restrictions, Vaccination Certificate Validity, and Tougher Travel Conditions

  1. Hi Tereza,
    Hope all is well with you.
    I have registered for the COVID booster and come to think of a very important question.
    Government agencies recently changed the validity of the original 2 shot vaccination scheme from 1-year validity to 9-month validity.
    What can we expect the length to be of validity of this first booster shot?
    Take care and stay safe,
    Dwight

    1. Hi Dwight,
      Honestly, I can’t answer this question and I don’t think even the government or scientists know this question at this point, because we don’t know what the virus will do.

      However, we know that Israel is already doing a 4th shot, so I think that if the virus keeps mutating, the validity will have to become limited with each of those shots. It’s like with the flu shot, which you’d get every year.

      Hope you’re well!

      Best,
      Tereza

  2. Hi Tereza,

    I see for now it says indefinitely, but with all the changes in this entire issue over the last 2 years can we really believe that this one booster shot has an indefinite period of validity what with Israel already rolling out a second booster?

    Take care and stay safe,
    Dwight

    1. Hello again,
      They’re saying indefinitely for now, but like I said, I think we can expect this shot to have an expiry date as well. I can’t tell you what it will be for now. Maybe another 9 months?

      We’ll inform you here once we know.

      Best,
      Tereza

  3. Hi Tereza,

    Here is another concern to think about. Is there some website where we can read about the importance of getting the booster shot sooner than later? For example; can I wait until close to the 9-month end of my original vaccination shot(s) thus lengthening or extending the validity of the booster shot, or, would it be better to get the booster even significantly sooner than the end of my 9-month validity? My second vaccination shot was August 6, 2021 thus my 9-month validity ends May 6, 2022. So do you see my concern?

    As always, take care and stay safe,
    Dwight

    1. Hi Dwight,
      I don’t think there’s a website like this, but I personally got my booster as soon as I could (last Sunday), because of omicron.
      I’m also going to be travelling at the end of February and many countries require boosters for that now. But it’s up to you.

      Best,
      Tereza

  4. Hi Tereza,

    Why did I ask what I asked in my last message? Simple. I have registered for the booster shot but have not yet set an appointment date. In addition, this all also applies to my wife’s hesitancy of getting the booster shot.

    Take care and stay safe,
    Dwight

    1. Hi Dwight,
      I understand your hesitancy and you should do what you feel is right for you and your wife :). It’s a tough situation, getting used to the fact that we might need to get re-vaccinated every couple of months. However, this is the world we live in now, sadly.

      Maybe you can compromise and get your booster in March – mid-way to the expiry? 😀

      Take care,
      Tereza

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