Czech Republic ready to “normalize” travel with twenty European countries

Foto: ČTK / AP Photo / John Minchillo

The government on Monday unveiled a map of “safe” versus “high-risk” destinations eagerly awaited by travel agencies and holiday makers. As of mid-June Czechs should be able to travel to the vast majority of European states without restrictions in what is a bid to boost the tourist industry at home and abroad.

Photo: ČTK / AP Photo / John Minchillo

Map of “safe” versus “high-risk” destinations (red: high-risk, yellow: medium-risk, green: low-risk), source: Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic
With life in Europe gradually returning to normal, individual countries are slowly lifting travel restrictions and entering into bilateral negotiations to agree on the conditions under which they will be ready to allow foreign nationals entry. The Czech government on Monday unveiled a map with countries divided into three categories: “high-risk”, ” medium-risk” and ”low-risk” destinations.

The red-yellow-green distinction, based on the principle of traffic lights, was compiled on the basis of data provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and will be updated every fortnight depending on how the pandemic develops. Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček stressed that travel restrictions could still come from other countries.

“The loosening of travel restrictions as of June 15 is the first step on the road to normalizing travel with the twenty European countries that we have identified as “low-risk”, in other words “safe” destinations, and all our immediate neighbours are among them. Naturally they will need to have their say, not all of the negotiations have been concluded and if they decide to maintain some restrictions on travel, then their conditions will be valid. However this classification is a key step towards reaching agreements and coordinating our decisions.”

Photo: Marco Verch, Flickr, CC BY 2.0
The vast majority of European countries fall into the “low-risk” destinations category, meaning Czechs can travel there without restrictions, unless they are imposed by the other side. Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland have been identified as “medium-risk”, while the UK and Sweden are listed “high-risk” meaning that people who travel there will need to produce a negative COVID 19 test or undergo a 14-day quarantine upon their return.

Foreign visitors arriving from the “safe” destinations will be able to enter the Czech Republic without any restrictions, those coming from medium and high-risk countries will need to produce a COVID negative test in order to be granted entry to the Czech Republic.

Photo: katyveldhorst, Pixabay / CC0
The foreign minister emphasized that the travel map would be updated every fortnight and the situation could change for any given country depending on the health situation there, be it for the better or worse. Reciprocally, other countries could also change the conditions under which they will allow foreigners entry. Czechs planning holidays abroad have been advised to check out the ministry’s web page and keep abreast of the latest developments.

Czech citizens travelling abroad are also advised to register with the Foreign Ministry’s travel data base DROZD which will facilitate assistance in the event of problems.