Czech Ministry of Health has ordered compulsory 10-day quarantine for travelers coming from the United Kingdom. Restriction applies from today at 3.30 pm. The quarantine can be terminated no earlier than the fifth day with a negative PCR test.
The measure was taken over concerns about a new, infectious strain of the coronavirus.
S ohledem na riziko spojené s novou mutací viru, která byla prokázána ve Velké Británii, zavádíme od dnešního dne povinnou domácí karanténu pro všechny osoby, které tam v posledních 14 dnech pobývaly alespoň 24 h a nyní se vrací do ČR.
— Ministerstvo zdravotnictví (@ZdravkoOnline) December 20, 2020
“Given the risk associated with a new virus mutation that has been demonstrated in the UK, we are introducing mandatory home quarantine for everyone who has been in the United Kingdom for at least 24 hours in the last 14 days,” said the Czech Ministry of Health.
“This strain of the virus is thought to spread more easily and more quickly and is also harder to detect,” the Czech government said in its warning.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was in “close contact” with U.K. officials about the new strain, and that it would update governments and the public “as we learn more about the characteristics of this virus variant.”
The Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria on Sunday banned flights from the U.K. and Germany considered limiting such flights to make sure the new strain of coronavirus does not establish a strong foothold on the continent.
Italy also plans to suspend flights to and from the U.K. “There are a great many questions about this new mutation and if it is not already on the mainland,” said Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio.
“The longer this virus spreads, the more opportunities it has to change,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19. “So we really need to do everything we can right now to prevent spread, and minimizing that spread will reduce the chances of it changing.”