The Czech government has declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
Events and services
Restaurants, cafes, and other hospitality/catering venues will be permitted to open between 6am and 8pm only, from March 13th. It is banned to go to restaurants and bars between 8 pm to 6 am.
Refreshments at shopping malls will be banned altogether.
Gyms, swimming pools, and other sports facilities, clubs, galleries, and libraries will also be closed as well as eateries in shopping malls.
“We are also banning theatre, music, film and other performances, sports, cultural, religious, community, dancing, traditional events and other meetings,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis said.
Anyone organizing weddings during this period are asked to keep the number of attendees to maximum 30, though funerals may be attended by up to 100 people. The ban does not affect the operation of shops, public transport, or courts and other public authorities.
The ban on gatherings does not apply to companies, said Interior Minister Jan Hamacek.
Transport and travel
No entry for foreigners to the Czech Republic from risk countries (from Friday at 23:59): the government has banned foreigners from 18 risk countries (as of 16:00 on Thursday, March 12) to enter the Czech Republic areas, this include Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.
The only exception is foreigners with temporary residence in the Czech Republic and foreigners with permanent residence (NOT student visas or long term residence permits). This list may be updated in the future, as the government updates their own list.
Foreigners from high-risk countries will be banned from entering the country and Czech nationals will be prohibited from travelling to high-risk destinations.
Exceptions for entry to the country will be allowed for several professions, such as truck drivers, to ensure that the supply chain will not be interrupted.
No entry to risk areas (from Friday 23:59): the government simultaneously banned Czech citizens and foreigners with temporary or permanent residence in Czech Republic to travel to risk areas, specifically Germany and Austria. The only exception are people who commute to work across the borders.
Czech Railways will cancel international transport from Friday midnight. Until Friday it is possible to use buses or trains, but from Saturday midnight only cars will be allowed to enter the country. “All Czech citizens abroad will be allowed to return,” said Hamáček.
In addition, the Czech police are now being deployed to check whether people who have been ordered into quarantine are staying indoors.
The Ministry of Interior has prepared an information sheet for foreigners, updating rights and obligations with the new guidelines.
The Czech Republic has 116 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus on Thursday afternoon, with no deaths.
The state of emergency will last 30 days.
The government has suspended issuing visas and residence permits.
If you have arrived from an area affected by coronavirus outbreak within the past 14 days, read the advice of the National Institute of Public Health (in Czech).
Further details are available at the WHO website.
What is COVID-19
Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19 disease. According to currently available information, its incubation is up to 14 days (average of 5 to 6 days). It is transmitted especially in contact with infected people. The main symptoms are fever above 38°C, dry cough and shortness of breath. Please find more information at www.who.int.
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