The initial state of emergency ended on May 17, 2020. State of emergency was declared again from October 5, 2020 for 30 days, with further extensions, and was terminated on April 11, 2021. It was reintroduced on November 26, 2021 for 30 days until December 25, 2021. Conditions for entering the territory of the Czech Republic and quarantine measures are defined by the Ministry of Health.
ENTERING THE CZECH REPUBLIC is based on the TRAFFIC LIGHTS SYSTEM (the Czech Semafor - green, orange, red, dark red indication for countries).
Rules for entry and return to the Czech Republic - citizens and residents of the Czech Republic:
Rules for entry and return to the Czech Republic
- foreign nationals with a short-term visa issued after 11 May 2020 or long-term visa issued by the Czech Republic
- citizens of EU+ and foreign nationals with a long-term visa or a long-term or permanent residence permit issued by EU+
Rules for entry and return to the Czech Republic
- third-country nationals who do not have any residence permit issued by the Czech Republic or a long-term visa or long-term or permanent residence permit issued by other EU+ country
- third-country nationals who have a short-term visa issued by the Czech Republic before May 11th, 2020 or short-term visa issued by other EU+ country or travel to the Czech Republic in visa-free regime
- Vaccinated persons must be holders of a certificate on completed vaccination course against COVID-19, the template is published in the list of recognised certificates on the website of the Ministry of the Health of the Czech Republic. These persons can travel to the Czech Republic for any reason and at the same time, they can benefit from visa services at Czech embassies that are fully available again.
The state of emergency was lifted on December 25, 2021. As of December 27, 2021, the rules for entry into the Czech Republic were tightened for foreign nationals.
After December 27, 2021, foreign nationals (who are entitled to enter the country) travelling to the Czech Republic are obliged to present a negative PCR test result prior to departure. This obligation also includes vaccinated persons and persons who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months. This measure applies to all arrivals of foreign nationals from abroad regardless of the level of risk of the COVID-19 transmission (green, orange, red, dark red color on the risk map above). Persons who are not vaccinated or have not recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months, have to undergo a PCR test between day 5 and day 7 after arrival in the Czech Republic.
The obligation above does not apply to foreign nationals vaccinated with the COVID-19 booster shot, children under the age of 12 and children aged 12-18 who are fully vaccinated (booster shot not required).
The above-mentioned rules are not applicable for Czech citizens and foreign nationals with permanent or long-term residence in the territory of the Czech Republic. Decree with effect from December 27.
The obligation to wear a respirator applies to all indoor spaces (all buildings e.g. shops, outpatient health care facilities, social services facilities), public transport, international airports, theatres, concerts, etc, and to situations when the safe social distance cannot be kept.
Hotels are open for leisure purposes. Restaurants are open, with limited capacity. Cultural and sports events can be held with limited capacity. This is applicable for persons vaccinated or recovered from Covid in the past six months (a negative PCR test result is accepted in exceptional cases only). See decree applicable from January 3, 2022.
All measures in effect in English (and in Czech).
Rules on employment of foreigners and issues related to their residence during the state of emergency can be found here. (Source: Ministry of the Interior).
Guide to the Passenger Locator Form. In English.
After December 20, 2021, the rules for persons arriving from listed countries in the south of Africa due to high omicron transmission risk are no longer in effect.
TRAVELLING TO OTHER COUNTRIES - conditions have been regularly updated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Details on the situation in all countries by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including current measures issued.
RE-OPEN EU: Safely resuming travels and tourism in the EU
EC Additional safeguards on travel from outside EU
FOREIGNERS employed in the Czech Republic
- General rules
Updated list of embassies with visa services in operation is available here.
- 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.
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, 2020 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 apply (not for employees under the key and scientific personnel government program).
- 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, 2020 the deadline was later extended to September 16, 2020 for short-term visas granted for the purpose of employment or seasonal work. On August 24, 2020 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.
- 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.
December 2021 UPDATES in the QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE and KEY & SCIENTIFIC PERSONNEL PROGRAMS.
For the period from May 1, 2021 to April 20, 2022, the average gross annual wage in the Czech Republic is CZK 427,332 (CZK 35,611 / month). The amount of the gross monthly salary of a foreigner applying for a blue card in this period must be at least CZK 53,417. Details.
A modified document (Čestné prohlášení/Declaration of honor -see attachments below) is required from the start of 2021 for applications within the Government Qualified Employee Program.
On December 3, 2020, a new application form for the Key and Scientific Personnel Program and the Highly Qualified Personnel Program was introduced (but NOT for the Qualified Employee Program). The form was modified due to frequent mistakes in the selection of the relevant embassy for submission of an application. In the part of the form on applicant’s data, it is necessary to newly state the address of the applicant's permanent residence (or the address of residence if the applicant has been living abroad for a longer period of time outside the territory of his or her origin). The information on residence is determining the relevant embassy of the Czech Republic.
The place of submitting an application for a residence permit is the place abroad where the relevant embassy of the Czech Republic is located (eg Kiev, Moscow, Delhi). In this context, Czech authorities advise that when applying for a long-term visa or long-term and permanent residence permit, the rule of the so-called local consular catchment area applies. This means that the applicant can only submit an application in the state: 1) of which he or she is a citizen, 2) that issued his or her travel document, 3) in which he or she has a long-term or permanent residence permit. More.
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 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 email@example.com.