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15 Mar 2020 | 09:22 PM UTC

Czech Republic: Government announces nationwide travel restrictions March 16-24 /update 5

Authorities further curb movement due to COVID-19 from March 16-24; quarantine orders remain in place



The Czech government announced more domestic travel restrictions on Sunday, March 15, to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). From Monday, March 16, through at least Tuesday, March 24, individuals in the Czech Republic are required to travel only for work, shopping, and a few other essential activities. While public transport remains operational, international travel remains significantly restricted in the country from March 16. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced that all foreign nationals will be denied entry to the Czech Republic from 00:00 (local time) on Monday, for at least the duration of the 30-day State of Emergency (SoE) declared on Thursday, March 12. While Czech citizens and residents are allowed to entry the country during this period, those traveling from countries the government considers "high risk" will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. As of Monday, the list includes Italy, China, South Korea, Iran, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and France. However, MoI representatives said that this list will be updated accordingly. Those traveling from any other country will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine if they show symptoms. Meanwhile, all foreign nationals will be denied entry to the Czech Republic during the SoE.

All Czech nationals will be banned from exiting the country during the same SoE period. Exceptions will be made for some workers in the transport industry, for citizens with a residence permit in the country of destination, and for citizens who commute abroad for work if the location is within 100 km (62 mi) of the border. Meanwhile all foreign nationals, including those with a Czech residence permit, will be allowed to exit the country but will be denied re-entry during the SoE period. 

Under the SoE, international passenger transport has been suspended, and public gatherings of more than 30 people banned. Closures will be imposed on certain nonessential businesses such as sports centers, spa services, and galleries, while restaurants will be required to close daily at 20:00 (local time). 

As of March 14, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 214 cases of COVID-19 nationwide. Further spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.