Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Friday, March 13, that all foreign nationals except those with residency or short-term permits of over 90 days will be banned from entering the Czech Republic effective 00:00 (local time) on Monday, March 16, to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The entry ban is due to remain in place for at least the duration of the 30-day State of Emergency (SoE) declared on Thursday, March 12. While Czech nationals and permanent or temporary residents are not included in the entry ban, the government announced that all individuals returning to the Czech Republic from "high risk" countries will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. The countries considered "high risk" include Italy, China, South Korea, Iran, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Norway, Denmark, and France. Equally, all individuals - Czech nationals and foreign nationals alike - will be banned from exiting the country during the same period. Exceptions will be made for some workers in the transport industry, and for citizens who commute abroad for work if the location is within 100 km (62 mi) of the border.
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 150 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.
Copyright and Disclaimer