To fight the coronavirus outbreak, the government has strengthened the requirements for establishing infection-free status and announced mandatory tests for people returning to the Czech Republic from abroad. People will not be able to return to work after a vacation overseas unless they pass a test. The adjustments will take effect on Friday, July 9th, due to the spreading of the coronavirus delta variant.
As before, one dose of covid-19 vaccination will not be sufficient to demonstrate infection-free status, but two weeks after the second dose will be enough. “This will undoubtedly be reflected in all visits to restaurants, concerts, services, and other locations. After two weeks, everyone who received two doses will be considered protected. Others will have to be tested,” said Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (ANO).
In countries where necessary, infection-free status can currently be demonstrated by proof of infection within the last 180 days, a negative antigen or PCR test, and a vaccination certificate. Until now, a 22-day gap between doses was considered acceptable. Experts, however, argue that this is insufficient protection, and, for example, only 33% of people are protected against the so-called delta version.
After the 9th of July, testing will be required upon arrival from overseas. The mandatory test before returning to work after vacation will only apply to foreigners; a similar requirement for Czech vacationers was rejected by the government’s Legislative Council, according to Vojtěch. Employers will not be permitted to hire workers who have not passed the test, except those who have been vaccinated. Others will be governed by the current dangers of the country from where the person comes, which may include self-isolation.
At the same time, the government has revised its stance on so-called “black” countries on the traveler’s map that pose high coronavirus risks. People will no longer be prohibited from traveling there, but there will be a strong travel alert. There are currently 17 countries, including Russia, listed today, and Tunisia, that will be listed on July 5th. The government did not include the United Kingdom on the list today.