Czech Republic bans unvaccinated American tourists
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Editor’s note: This post was updated on Aug. 25, 2021
Two months later, the U.S. is back on the Czech Republic’s list of very high-risk countries for COVID-19 transmission, which means unvaccinated Americans are temporarily barred from entering the country as tourists as of this week.
Thanks to the continued rise of COVID-19 cases in the United States, the Czech Republic has restricted entry to vaccinated American visitors only, thereby prohibiting unvaccinated travelers from visiting for nonessential reasons, such as tourism, the Czech Ministry of the Interior announced on Aug. 20.
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The measure applies to “any citizens of third countries that are not listed as countries with a low or extreme risk of COVID-19 under a special protective measure of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic and third-country citizens who have temporary or permanent residence in those third countries.”
The Czech Republic’s MOH designates very high-risk countries as those that have a value of 500 or greater based on their two-week cumulative COVID-19 case rate, their testing positivity rate and the testing rate for the preceding week, which must be at least 300 per 100,000 persons. Israel was also added to the high-risk list this week.
“These countries shall also include those Member States of the European Union in which the community spread of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus predominates,” the protective measure reads. Certain exceptions apply, including to third-country permanent residence holders in the Czech Republic and to foreign nationals who have been in a low-risk country for at least 14 days before entering the Czech Republic, among other specific individuals, detailed in the measure.
The new guidance does not affect vaccinated travelers from the U.S., who can continue to visit the Czech Republic as tourists by presenting proof of vaccination to show at least 14 days have elapsed since their final dose. Vaccines currently accepted are AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Additionally, travelers must complete a Passenger Form online, per the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C. A negative COVID-19 test is no longer required for entry for vaccinated persons.
Incoming unvaccinated passengers from the U.S. who meet specific entry exemptions are required to submit proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure for the Czech Republic (antigen test is not accepted). Upon arrival, these passengers must quarantine until receiving negative results of a PCR test taken on day five.
Unvaccinated children between the ages of 6 and 12 may also travel with vaccinated parents but must undergo a PCR test upon arrival and quarantine until receipt of negative test results. As of July 31, pre-testing requirements do not apply to this age group.
Since June, the country had been accepting vaccinated and unvaccinated American tourists alike, while requiring a negative COVID-19 test to visit certain establishments, including hotels, restaurants and museums.
“There is no direct flight between the US and the Czech Republic,” says the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C. “Please check first with transit countries whether you will be allowed to travel to the Czech Republic and back to the USA.”
Featured photo of a COVID-19 testing station in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, by Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images.
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