Pandemic Measures Tightened In Response To Spread of Variant and Rise In Cases in Prague
Last night, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch announced the tightening of various anti-epidemic measures, mostly related to travel, immunity, and testing. This follows concerns about the spread of the Delta variant in the Czech Republic and a noticeable upturn in case numbers in Prague. Photo Credit: Vlada.cz.
Czech Rep., July 2 (BD) – At a press conference on Thursday evening, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch announced a series of measures in response to negative trends in the development of the Covid-19 pandemic. Case numbers in Prague have increased by 30-40% compared to a week ago, and concerns are growing about the possible impact of the highly infectious Delta variant on the spread of Covid-19 in the Czech Republic.
From Friday, vaccination will only be considered as proof of immunity from 14 days after the second dose. Those who have had only the first dose will once again need to present negative PCR/antigen tests if attending mass events, restaurants, and so on. This follows data suggesting that the first dose only provides around 30% protection from the Delta variant. Vojtěch appealed for stricter enforcement of entry requirements from those organising large public events, using the new Tečka app. The second dose will now be considered as a proof of immunity indefinitely.
From July 9th, a negative PCR test will be required for all arrivals, even from low-risk countries. Those who are fully vaccinated for longer than 14 days or have had Covid-19 within 180 days will be exempt from testing. Travellers from green and orange countries can take their test before departure or within five days of arrival. Visitors from red or dark red countries must self-isolate for five days before taking a test. Travel advice for countries in the black “extreme risk” category has been downgraded from a complete ban; travellers are now “strongly advised” to avoid these countries. Tunisia will be added to this category from July 5th, and the government is considering also adding the United Kingdom from July 12th, pending developments with the Delta variant.
Employers must also require a negative test from staff returning from travel to other countries, before they can be allowed back into the workplace. If the country they are travelling from is low or medium risk, they can go to work pending a test taken within five days, but must wear a respirator in the office until this time.