Travel restrictions to ease for Czechs as of mid-May
As of mid-May, travel across the borders will be easier for Czechs who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The government has already agreed to relax the existing measures with several European countries.
In addition to the Central European countries which have agreed to relax travel restrictions, the Czech government wants to negotiate this with Croatia, Greece and Bulgaria, which are among the most popular holiday destination for Czech tourists.
The EU Covid passport, which will testify that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, received a negative test result or recovered from the disease, should come into force from July 1.
However, agreements with some countries to facilitate travel at least for those Czechs who are fully vaccinated, could come into force prior to that date. Some countries are also relaxing their border regimes.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced on Thursday that the Czech government has already agreed to relax the existing measures with Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, adding that this could happen in mid-May.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek met with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg to discuss, among other things, the easing of travel between the two countries.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Kulhánek said they wanted to allow Czechs to travel to the neighbouring country sooner than July 1:
"Our goal is to have a Europe-wide solution and we would like to have it completed by July 1. However, we want to have an agreement with our neighbours in advance so that at least those who are vaccinated can travel freely."
Mr Schallenberg said Czechs should be able to travel freely to Austria this summer, adding that travel within the European Union will depend on the willingness of countries to recognise each other’s documents.
In addition to mutual agreements with neighbouring countries, some EU countries are also relaxing their border regimes.
The German parliament on Thursday approved a government plan to ease anti-epidemic measures for people who are vaccinated against coronavirus or have already had the disease.
This also applies to Czechs and other foreigners, who can avoid mandatory quarantine on arrival by presenting a certificate in one of the world's chief languages. A day earlier, Italy announced that it will also abolish such measures for all foreigners from EU countries, starting mid-May.
On Friday afternoon, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek is due to attend a meeting with his counterparts from the other V4 countries. Among other things they will be negotiating free travel between the Visegrad countries, that is the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, before the introduction of the European certificate.
Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Czechs are quite optimistic about the prospect of summer holidays abroad. Travel agencies have already sold thousands of tickets to seaside destinations, such as Greece, Egypt, Spain or Turkey.