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Most foreigners must get tested prior and after arrival to Czechia and self-isolate

Starting on Friday 5 February, new stricter conditions for people entering the Czech Republic will come into effect.

The current course of the Covid-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic has led to a tightening of conditions for people visiting the country. The new rules will come into effect on Friday 5 February 2021 and will remain in force until revoked. Entry conditions are governed by the risk level of the country from which a person travels to Czechia or where the person has stayed before. A list of countries according to the Covid-19 risk levels is published by the Ministry of Health. A simple map and a more detailed table specify the applicable measures. Medium-risk countries are marked in orange; high-risk countries are marked in red; and countries with a very high risk of infection are newly marked in deep red.

“The new protective measure enacted by the Ministry does not forbid anyone from entering the Czech Republic. All persons may travel in the country, subject to conditions specified by the relevant government regulation. This also applies to students who wish to attend an exam or stay for the spring semester,” explains Kateřina Kvítková, head of the legal department at MU Rector’s Office.

Students who need to attend exams should know that if they cross the border at least once per week or if they plan on staying in the Czech Republic for less than 12 hours, the new entry conditions will not apply to them. They will be able to enter Czechia as before, that is without obligatory testing. The new measure enacted by the government does not change anything on the conditions for the entry of these persons.

“However, those visiting for a period longer than 12 hours will face new difficulties. They have to first check the conditions under which they can enter the country and what to do afterwards,” said Kvítková, adding that this information is summarised in a table prepared by the Ministry of the Interior.

In case of arrival from medium-risk countries (orange), visitors are required to fill in the arrival form, have a negative result certificate from an antigen test taken within the last 24 hours or PCR test taken within the last 72 hours and submit the result to the university.

When arriving from a high-risk country (red), visitors must fill in the arrival form, enter the country with a negative result certificate from an antigen test taken within the last 24 hours or PCR test taken within the last 72 hours and take a PCR test again within 5 days of entering the country. “Until a person can present a negative result certificate from a PCR test, they must remain in self-isolation and are required to wear an FFP2 respirator or a surgical mask when leaving their accommodations. The negative result certificate must then be presented to the university,” she added.

The strictest measures apply to persons entering Czechia from countries with a very high risk (deep red). Such people must have a filled-in arrival form and a negative PCR test result not older than 72 hours. Another PCR test may be taken 5 days after arrival at the earliest. Even if the second PCR test result is negative, these persons must remain in self-isolation for a period of 10 days and wear an FFP2 respirator or a surgical mask when leaving their accommodations.

At present, most European countries except for Finland, Norway, Iceland and Greece are classified as countries with a medium risk or higher, which may pose difficulties to students arriving for the spring semester. For more detailed information on the instructions concerning arrival in the Czech Republic, the students can use the Masaryk University app.

“International students arriving from countries other than Finland, Norway and Iceland must make arrangements for self-isolation. Masaryk University is prepared to provide accommodations to students with a reserved room in the dormitories who are subject to mandatory self-isolation. We will inform them of the conditions for these accommodations by e-mail,” said Kamil Kulíšek, director of MU Accommodation and Catering Services. He added that students will present negative test results, including the results of the check-up test, at the place where they are accommodated.

“Students who are not accommodated in our dormitories must upload the test results in the appropriate application in the MU Information System,” added Kvítková.

The Czech Republic has tightened regulations concerning accommodations in hotels and other hospitality services. People may stay in such facilities only for work-related reasons. Other students without reserved accommodations in MU dormitories should contact their coordinators at Masaryk University, where they will learn more about the possibilities for self-isolation after arrival in Czechia. 

The above conditions for travelling to the Czech Republic also apply to foreign workers and Czech citizens returning from abroad. They should report a positive test result or a contact with a person who has been positively tested for Covid-19 through the appropriate INET application.