22nd October 2020

Government Restrictions for Crossing the Border of the Czech Republic

The state of emergency ended on May 17. 2020. Conditions for entry to the territory of the Czech Republic and quarantine measures are defined by the Ministry of Health. State of emergency was declared again from October 5, 2020 for 30 days.

  • From 15 June 2020, Czech citizens and residents returning from countries with a low and medium risk of COVID-19 contagion (green and orange in the traffic lights system) do not have to report this fact to the regional public health authority after entering the Czech Republic, no PCR test or quarantine is required.
  • The system of traffic lights for entering the Czech Republic is applicable from June 15 and shows the level of risk - red meaning requirement of a negative PCR test result for returning Czech residents or foreigners entering the territory of the Czech Republic when returning from a red country, or a mandatory quarantine. Orange meaning requirement of a negative PCR test result for foreigners entering the territory of the Czech Republic. Green meaning no PCR testing, no quarantine for returning Czech residents and foreigners with issued residence permit by the Czech Republic.
  • Overview of recommendations for traveling to other countries (COVID-19) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

 

ENTERING THE CZECH REPUBLIC is based on the TRAFFIC LIGHTS SYSTEM (green, orange, red indication for countries).

On October 22, new emergency measures took effect at 6.00 am and should lapse with the end of the state of emergency at 23:59 on November 3. All inhabitants will be limited to essential trips to work, grocery shops, doctors etc. With the exception of family members, no more than two people can meet in public places, no more than ten people can participate at weddings and funerals and no more than 100 people in groups of twenty can gather under the right of assembly.

Czech borders remain open after October 22, 2020. Border controls were not introduced. Hotels are limited to business travellers, foreigners stranded in the country by restrictions on travel, and employees required for essential services as defined by the emergency law.

Taking into account the restrictions in effect from October 22 (such as closure of hotels and accommodation facilities for tourists or limiting the group size in public spaces to a maximum of two people), it is possible to travel to the Czech Republic only for essential reasons, i.e. traveling for the purpose of tourism or visiting friends is not possible. This decision does not affect cross-border workers any new way. (Source: Ministry of the Interior)

 

As of October 5, employees and students arriving from green-zone Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Romania and red-zone Spain (excluding the Balearic and Canary Islands), as well as all other red-zone countries are obliged to submit a negative Covid test result. Arriving persons are obliged to register prior their arrival and undergo a PCR test in the Czech Republic within 5 days after the arrival. If the persons do not submit a PCR test result to the respective hygienic station within 7 days from the arrival, a necessary quarantine measure shall be ordered. (For third country nationals with long-term residence in another EU+ country, entering the Czech territory, there is the option to undergo testing in this EU+ country prior to entering the Czech Republic). 

As of September 21, the obligation for workers, students and teachers from these countries to undergo the second PCR test 14 days after entering the territory of the Czech Republic was lifted. More.

On September 21, the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior launched an online registration form for travellers arriving in the country after spending more than 12 hours in the past 14 days in a country that is not on the list of green zone countries. This obligation applies also to green-zone countries on the list marked with asterisk

For all persons, who spent more than 12 hours in the last 14 days in a red-zone country, the free movement ban in the territory of the Czech Republic is applied for a period of 10 days from the day of entry. There is also an obligation to wear respiratory protective equipment for the same period of time.

Citizens or residents of green zone third countries who stayed in the last 14 days in their territory, can enter the Czech Republic without the need to prove the purpose of entry or to limit the duration of stay in the Czech Republic. 

 

List of green zone countries as of October 19, 2020.

 

1. Czech citizens, EU+ citizens, third country nationals with residence permit issued by the Czech Republic:

If the entering person stayed in the last 14 days for more than 12 hours in a red zone country, a negative PCR test result not older than 72 hours presented at a respective regional Czech hygienic station, or a quarantine is obligatory upon entering the Czech Republic. If the entering person stayed less than 12 hours in the red zone country or stayed in a green zone country for more than 12 hours, no PCR testing, quarantine applies upon entry. This also includes transit (max. 12 hours in the territory of the Czech Republic). Entering the Czech Republic is allowed to tourists (citizens and residents) from green zone countries.

 

2. Citizens of third countries in the red zone without residence permit issued by the Czech Republic:

Are banned from entering the Czech Republic. Attention: citizens of red zone third countries are not allowed to enter the Czech territory based on visa-free travel or short-term visa issued by another EU country. Full details are attached below.

 

Find more details below.

 

Updated EU list is available here.

 

 

TRAVELING TO OTHER COUNTRIES - conditions have been regularly updated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Czech borders remain open after October 22, 2020. Border controls were not introduced.

As of September 1 until October 1, Hungary closed borders for foreigners until November 1, with exception for travellers from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia who booked their stay prior to September 1. After October 6, again, citizens of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland who have booked at least a one-day stay in Hungary before October 6 with a date not exceeding October 31, and will prove this together with a negative PCR test in English or Hungarian not older than 5 days, are allowed to enter the country. More details.

As of September 9, Germany has added the city of Prague to the list of high-risk countries. Travellers who stayed in Prague during the last 14 days arriving to Germany are obliged to undergo 14-day quarantine or provide a negative PCR test (less than 48 hours prior to entering Germany). As of September 16, the Central Bohemian region and as of September 23, all Czech regions with the exception of the Moravian-Silesian and Ústecky regions were added to the high-risk list. From September 25, whole Czech Republic is on German high-risk list. Sachsen region allowed Czech citizens and residents to enter the region without a negative PCR test result, if their stay in the region does not exceed 24 hours.

From September 12, Denmark added the Czech Republic to the list of high-risk countries. Tourists arriving from the Czech Republic are banned to enter the country. Travellers arriving to the Danish territory for relevant purposes (such as business/work/employment activity, study or for family reasons) are allowed to enter the country.

From September 14, travellers from the Czech Republic to Switzerland and Liechtenstein (with the exception of transit within 24 hours after the entry, critical infrastructure workers and commuters) are obliged to undergo a 10-day-long quarantine even in the case of a negative PCR test result.

As of September 15, the Netherlands added the city of Prague (its residents and other travellers arriving from Prague) to their high-risk list. Travellers arriving from Prague are obliged to undergo quarantine, regardless of a negative PCR test result. As of September 22, the whole Czech Republic was added to the list. More details.

From September 18, eight Czech regions and from September 23, whole Czech Republic was added to the Belgian high-risk list (with Prague on the list since September 11). More details

From September 18, the Czech Republic was added to the Slovak list of "red" countries. Anyone returning from the Czech Republic, with the exception of commuters within 30 km of the nearest border crossing, students, teachers, researchers, health professionals, farmers, social workers, critical infrastructure workers, some sportsmen and artists (official measure incl. exceptions) is allowed to enter Slovakia after registering via an e-border form. Crossing the border is allowed with a negative test result not older than 72 hours, or undergoing a 5-day-long quarantine, including a test for Covid-19. More details.

From September 18, citizens and residents of the Czech Republic as well as other travellers arriving from the country (after staying there within the previous 14 days) are banned to enter Cyprus. More details.

Czechs arriving in Finland are currently obliged to provide a solid reason to enter the country (employment, study, family) and undergo a 14-day quarantine. After November 23, two negative test results will enable incomers to enter the country. More details.

From September 28, Greece requires a negative PCR test result for Czech travellers crossing the country's border. More details.

From September 28, Austria placed Prague to the high-risk countries list and travellers are obliged to provide a negative PCR test result. More details.

From October 8, Italy requires a negative test result not older than 72 hours from Czech citizens and residents crossing the country's border. More details.

 

Details on all countries by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including current measures issued by other countries.

 

FOREIGNERS employed in the Czech Republic

 

  • Visa agenda at Czech embassies has resumed, depending on the epidemiological status in the respective countries, i.e. where the government measures in respective countries have enabled it (the situation must allow opening of visa centers with higher concentration of people, or restrictions on free movement were lifted, etc.). Updated list of embassies with visa service in operation is available here.

  • Employee cards are generally issued within Government programs of economic migration (key and scientific personnel, highly qualified personnel in all qualifications, and qualified personnel). 
  • Effective from July 13, short-term schengen visas, long-term visas and long-term stay applications must include certificate of non-infectiousness.
  • For holders of employee and blue cards entering the country after January 1, 2021, the obligation to undergo an integration course within one year will apply.
  • After the end of the state of emergency, foreign nationals were not sanctioned for staying in the Czech Republic without a valid residence permit for another 60 days (starting from May 17, 2020). Foreigners without valid visas were able to stay in the Czech Republic until July 16, the deadline was later extended to September 16 for short-term visas granted for the purpose of employment or seasonal work. On August 24, the Government approved extension of the short-term visas of foreign workers who can stay and work in the Czech Republic until November 16. This applies to the employment contracts which should expire between March 12 and November 16, 2020.
  • As of August 24, 2020 issuing of the Schengen Visas for the purpose of employment for the citizens of Ukraine was re-activated (in Lvov, Kyjev).​ More.
  • In order to ensure a smooth return of foreign nationals to the country of origin, the legality of their stay (after expiration of their permits) is certified during border control by a special stamp in the travel document at the time of departure from the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic informed all states about this procedure.
  • This measure was introduced from May 4, 2020. The stamp does not ensure entry into the territory of other states. The possibilities of transit are always determined by their own measures.
  • The validity of this measure is limited in time and applies only to persons who were legally residing in the Czech Republic at the time of the declaration of the state of emergency! Foreign nationals who want to continue their legal stay in the Czech Republic and their long-term visa or long-term residence permit expires must apply for its extension - you can find more information here.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Stay of Foreign Nationals after the End of State of Emergency.

 

Full version of obligations applicable to employment of foreigners issued by the Ministry of the Interior:


All migrant workers who have stayed for more than 12 hours in the last 14 days in countries or regions not on the list of countries with low risk of COVID-19 contagion (that is all red-zone countries, including mainland Spain, as well as green-zone countries marked with asterisk - Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Malta and Romania) are required to:

  • Before entering the territory of the Czech Republic, fill in the electronic arrival form.
  • EU citizens can also submit the result of a test performed in another EU Member State, if the result is not older than 72 hours. Third-country nationals must undergo the test and obtain result of the test in the Czech Republic (a test result from another EU Member State is acceptable only if they have a long-term residence permit or permanent residence issued by this EU Member State).

Foreign workers are not allowed to start their work in the Czech Republic without submitting a negative test result! Unfortunately, this rule is very often violated in practice. We reiterate that the state of emergency has been declared and violations of counter-epidemic rules can lead to more drastic restrictions.

Even in the case of a negative test result, it is required to restrict any free movement within the territory of the Czech Republic for 10 days from arrival - only trips to and from work and trips necessary to meet basic needs for living, urgent official matters or medical treatment are possible.

Please note that even a visit to the site of the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy at the Ministry of the Interior is not an urgent official matter unless the law stipulates it as an obligation.

Even if the test result is negative, it is required to wear respiratory protective equipment for 10 days after arrival (and then continue to wear it in all areas subject to the obligation to use such protective equipment).
 
Employers of all foreign workers are further instructed to ensure (ie make sure that foreign workers have):

  • Accommodation for the entire period of their stay in the Czech Republic, including the place where the quarantine measure will be carried out,
  • Medical care if needed or a registering health care provider.

In addition, employers of all foreign workers who do not hold a long-term residence permit (ie EU and third-country nationals holding a visa) are required to ensure for migrant workers:

  • Pay for medical care (if medical care is needed),
  • Return to the country of origin in case of loss of the purpose of stay in the Czech Republic, ie employment.

Proof of the provision of these guarantees is a condition for third-country nationals to have a visa label sticked into their passport!
 
In the event of a proper change of employer, all the obligations listed above towards the foreign worker pass on to the new employer.

In case of non-compliance with the obligations, the employer may be sanctioned for the committed violation (according to § 92n paragraph 1 letter b) of Act No. 258/2000 Coll. on the protection of public health).

 

See also information by the Ministry of the Interior. More.

 

See also a summary on the Government official website. 

 

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic can receive up-to-date summary of border measures by emailing kbendikova@amcham.cz.

Attachments:

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic