British check-in at Prague Airport
Czechs wanting to fly to Great Britain will have to fill in a landing card and go through a passport inspection by British immigration officers at Ruzyne Airport in Prague. This measure has been taken based on a Czech-British agreement signed in February. The British Embassy say they wish to lessen the increasing pressure on the British asylum system. More from Lucie Krupickova:
All Czechs wanting to fly from Prague to Great Britain by any airlines will have to go through British immigration inspection before being checked-in for the flight.
As Dan Plovajko, spokesman for the Czech Airlines said that passengers will not have any extra inspections. The only change is that instead of going through the usual immigration inspection after landing in Great Britain, this will be done before getting on the plane in Prague. This measure has been implemented to deal with the perpetual influx of Roma into Great Britain. In March this year, for example, British immigration authorities received 175 asylum applications from Roma citizens arriving from the Czech Republic. Canada implemented visa requirement for Czechs in 1997 to deal with a similar influx.
The stationing of British immigration officers at the airport in Prague should prevent Britain from following Canada's lead. Spokesman for the Czech Foreign Ministry Ales Pospisil says that the measures are based on an agreement between Prague and London which was signed in February. According to this agreement, British officers are allowed to check passengers from the Czech Republic travelling to Britain in their home country. As Pospisil claims these measures will no way violate the civil liberties of the passengers, adding that the February agreement is in accordance with the official relationships between both countries.