The Czech Republic re-closed its borders on October 22, restricting all international tourism and prompting further lockdowns.
The border closure announcement was made by the government of the Czech Republic just after the country recorded an all-time high of 15,000 cases in a 24-hour period.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this public statement on their website:
“On 21 October 2020 the Government of the Czech Republic decided on the ban to the free movement of all persons in the territory of the Czech Republic.
As a result of the crisis measures issued by the Government of the Czech Republic it is not possible to travel to CZE for the purpose of tourism or visiting friends.”
The ban on tourism will come into effect on October 22 and remain until at least November 3, where it will be reviewed again for potential extension.
Update November 9:
New temporary entry requirements for Czech Republic are in place, starting November 9, and they are still restricting ALL non-essential travel into the country, even from EU nations.
They have created new green, orange, red, lists of countries that can visit, along with who needs to bring a PCR test, but still only consisting of EU/EU+ nations, and ONLY for essential reasons, tourism not being one of them.
Seeing as these restrictions will likely change again, here is where you can find the essential traveler info for Czech Republic during the tourism ban.
The Czech Republic is the 2nd EU nation and the 3rd European nation to re-close borders for tourism, after both Ukraine and Hungary issued similar lockdowns in September. Ukraine has since reopened again for tourism after being closed for 30 days, but Hungary extended their closure and will stay shut for at least 60 days.
Essential travelers will still be permitted to enter, but only if they fit into these specific categories:
- Business travelers
- Essential family travel (like reuniting with spouses or urgent family needs)
- Medical reasons
- Attending a wedding or a funeral (not exceeding 10 pax)
Tourism is NO longer an approved reason for entry for any foreign national looking to visit the Czech Republic.
Not only is tourism now restricted, but anyone currently inside Czech Republic have another lock-down to face. The current restriction of movement and lockdown protocol includes:
- No gatherings of over 2 people, exception of household members
- Restricts movements into public places for necessities only and asks residents to stay home as much as possible
- Businesses to keep employees home if possible
- The closing of hotels for touristic purposes
- The closing of non-essential services and stores
- The wearing of masks in all indoor and outdoor spaces at all time, including in cars if travelling with someone outside your household
Earlier in the summer, when the Czech Republic had flattened its curve and reopened borders for tourism, the Prime Minister praised the citizens of Czechia, promising the worst was over and they would never have to deal with these types of restrictions again.
Now, as the fastest and highest surge in cases ever to sweep the country, PM Andrej Babis has himself renouncing those statements.
“We have no time to wait,” Babis explained this week. “The surge is enormous.”
“I am sorry for the new restrictions that will impact lives of business owners, citizens, employees. I am also sorry for having de facto ruled out the possibility of this happening because I could not imagine that this would happen,”
The Czech Republic first re-opened borders to 25+ EU nations on June 15th, and then to a list of 15 third-party countries in July. Most of those approved countries could enter without testing or quarantines, with a few exceptions as the summer progressed.
The Czech Republic is a major European destination that normally receives around 20 million tourists every year. Further border closures and lockdowns are devastating to Czechia’s economy, prompting anti-lockdown protests across the nation with violent endings.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories
Article Originally Published on October 24, with updates on November 9