The COVID-19 situation in the Czech Republic is slowly getting worse once again. In reaction, the Ministry of Health has come up with several new restrictions. These include the return of respirators in the workplace from 25 October, and the shortening of validity for both antigen and PCR tests, stricter checks of the O-N-T system in restaurants, and the end of free testing for non-vaccinated individuals from 1 November.
The Czech government amended the law about foreigners living in Czechia, valid from 2 August 2021. These changes include for example the obligation to purchase comprehensive health insurance solely from the insurance company PVZP for the first five years of their stay, the renaming of a residence permit document for EU citizens, administration fees of 200 CZK for residence permits and their extensions, and new identification documents for third-country citizens containing biometric data.
Due to the growth in the delta variant of COVID-19 infections, the government has decided to amend the O-N-T system (the vaccination-disease-test system). Specifically, one dose of the two-dose vaccines will no longer be sufficient to travel and use services from 9 July. Blanket testing in companies has ended, but some testing will still be required. Two different mobile apps were launched to help display and check one’s COVID-19 status.
While the vast majority of the COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed, some matters still need clarification. You can especially get confused if you’re an expat in Czechia, since some of the official Czech coronavirus websites have not yet been translated into English. For example, do you know which certificates you need to present for which activities? And where to actually get these certificates?
The government has decided to relax some of the last restrictions valid in Czechia. These changes will come into effect on 26 June. Travel will become significantly easier in Europe for summer holidays. Third-country citizens may be able to enter Czechia if they’ve been vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine from 1 July. On the same date, vaccine registration will open for children over 12 years of age.
Foreigners living in Czechia who do not have public insurance should finally be able to register for their COVID-19 vaccine. This should be possible from 11 June. People may be allowed to wear surgical masks in shops and on public transport as of 1 July. The European Union has approved the so-called “COVID-19 pass”. It should launch at the beginning of July.
As of 8 June, teachers, students and preschool children will no longer have to wear masks during class and exams. Employees sharing one office can also take off their respirators. The number of people who are allowed to gather for events and sports has gone up. The government has also decided that as of 21 June, people from all of the EU and Serbia will be allowed to enter Czechia.
From 1 June, the Czech Republic is launching QR codes that will allow people vaccinated in the country to access their vaccination certificates. Travelling from the Czech Republic to other countries and vice versa, arriving in Czechia, will be much easier. The current situation will allow people who have received the first coronavirus vaccine dose in the Czech Republic at least three weeks before this Monday, 31 May, to enter seven countries, namely Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia. Croatia should join the list of countries accepting vaccinated people from Czechia soon, too.
The government decided that restaurant interiors should open this upcoming Monday, on 31 May. This decision happened in reaction to the Supreme Administrative Court’s verdict regarding this issue. Aside from restaurant interiors, music clubs, casinos, swimming pools, saunas, and wellness centers will also open on the same day.
Monday, 24 May will mark more restriction relaxations in Czechia. High school students will be allowed to return to schools in full regime. Universities will also be allowed to reopen. On the same day, hotels and other types of accommodation will resume their business as well and indoor gyms and sports areas will be able to welcome up to 30 people at a time.