In the year 2000, my partners and I launched the PETERKA & PARTNERS law firm in Prague, Czech Republic. Over time we developed an ambitious idea - to create an integrated regional law firm, which at first seemed almost impossible. However, after years of dedication and hard work, we became a strong alternative to the global giants and local law firms active in the CEE region through their networks or best friends.
On November 17, 2020, a new Protective Measure of the Ministry of Health regulating the entry of persons to the Czech Republic came into force. The new measure is in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and coordination at the EU level. The consequent epidemiological measures and restrictions are applicable both to Czech citizens returning to the Czech Republic and to all foreign nationals.
A mechanism for evaluation of the epidemiological situation of individual EU+ countries (in addition to EU Member States - the UK, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican are considered EU + countries) is a novelty. Based on established criteria, the list of countries with a low risk of Covid-19 incidents will be updated regularly. Countries are divided into three categories: green , orange and red. The list is defined by a Notice of the Ministry of Health and includes green and orange countries as those with a low risk of Covid-19 incidents. All countries that are not included in the list shall be automatically considered to be red countries (including countries outside the EU+ countries).
It must be expected that rules for entry into the Czech Republic and into those on the list of countries with a low risk of Covid-19, and within particular categories, may change in a very dynamic manner. Therefore, reviewing up-to-date information is strongly recommended before travelling to the Czech Republic.
Entry of foreign nationals to territory of Czech Republic
Citizens of other than EU+ countries that are not on the list of countries with a low risk of Covid-19 incidents, and those who are temporary or permanent residents in such “third countries” are prohibited from entering the territory of the Czech Republic.
Exceptions are granted to:
a) foreign nationals with a long-term or permanent residence permit in EU+ countries and countries with a low risk of Covid-19 incidents;
b) holders of a valid long-term visa, a long-term, temporary or permanent residence permit card for residence in the territory of the Czech Republic, issued by the Czech Republic, and foreign nationals who were issued a short-term visa by the Czech Republic after 11 May 2020;
c) family members of Czech citizens as well as of EU+ country citizens residing in the territory of the Czech Republic;
d) foreign nationals whose entry is in the interest of the Czech Republic and the purpose of the entry is sufficiently proved;
e) persons working in international transport who are able to prove the purpose of the entry;
f) diplomats and officials of international organizations registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
g) persons entering the territory in urgent emergency cases if the purpose of the entry is sufficiently proved; and
h) foreign nationals who have a demonstrable permanent partnership with a citizen of the Czech Republic or with an EU+ country citizen with a temporary residence certificate for a stay of over 90 days or with a permanent residence permit in the Czech Republic, who accepted the obligation to secure accommodation, medical care and its payment and the return to the home country if the purpose of his/her stay in the territory of the Czech Republic is terminated, lives demonstrably in the same household with him/her and has been admitted to the territory of the Czech Republic pursuant to this point based on a confirmation issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, foreign nationals, including those travelling from EU+ countries or green territories, may travel to the Czech Republic, besides the abovementioned conditions, only in absolutely necessary cases, in accordance with the general free movement restriction applicable to all persons in the Czech territory currently in force (e.g., trips to one’s place of residence, work, study, essential family visit, etc., which means that it is not possible to enter for the purpose of tourism or the visiting of friends).
Obligations upon entry to territory of Czech Republic
All persons (both foreign nationals and Czech citizens) who entered the territory of the Czech Republic: (a) if exhibiting any signs of the onset of an infectious disease must immediately report this fact by telephone or by another means of remote access to their registered provider of medical services; and (b) must undergo, when crossing the state border, a medical examination in order to be checked for symptoms of an infectious disease, and if symptoms of an infectious disease are identified, they must provide medical staff with the cooperation necessary for the taking of a biological sample for the purpose of testing for the presence of Covid-19.
Travelling from red-category territories
All persons (both foreign nationals and Czech citizens) who stayed for more than 12 hours during the last 14 days in the territories of those countries which are not on the list of countries with a low risk of Covid-19 incidents, i.e., those in the red category, must: (a) report this fact prior to entering the territory of the Czech Republic by filling in the electronic Public Health Passenger Locator Form and send it to a competent regional Public Health Office and present the certificate on filling in the said form upon request during border control or a residence check; and (b) undergo the RT-PCR test within 5 days after entry into the Czech Republic at their own expense unless quarantine is ordered in individual cases, or unless, in the case of EU+ country citizens or residents, a negative RT-PCR test not older than 72 hours obtained in another EU+ country is submitted immediately after entry into the territory of the Czech Republic. Exceptions are granted to:
(i) persons working in international transport who are able to prove the purpose of the entry;
(ii) citizens of EU+ countries and foreign nationals with permitted long-term or permanent residence in the European Union who are transiting across the Czech Republic for up to 12 hours or who are travelling to the Czech Republic for urgent health, family, business or work reasons for a period of time not exceeding 24 hours;
(iii) diplomats and officials of international organizations registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provided that their stay in the country does not exceed 14 days;
(iv) persons below the age of 5;
(v) citizens of the Czech Republic, citizens of EU+ countries and their family members residing in the territory of the Czech Republic and foreigners with residence permits for a stay of over 90 days issued by the Czech Republic who travel with a tour operator or via travel agency but only in regions with a low risk of Covid-19 incidents;
(vi) cross-border workers, pupils and students who for the purpose of work performance or education on a regular basis at least once a week justifiably cross the state border with the Czech Republic from or to a neighbouring state.
All persons who stayed for more than 12 hours during the last 14 days in the territories of those countries which are not on the list of countries with a low risk of Covid-19 incidents, i.e., those in the red category, are prohibited from freely moving around the territory of the entire Czech Republic during their stay in the territory of the Czech Republic, or for a period of 10 days in the case of foreign workers, students or pupils, or until they present the result of an RT-PCR test, or until the termination of the quarantine measure, with the exception of the following:
(i) trips to work and movement involved in performing a job, and trips taken to perform business or other similar activities, including trips to educational institutions and any movement involved in performing this activity;
(ii) trips absolutely necessary to procure the basic necessities of life, to take care of children or to take care of animals; the use of necessary financial and postal services; refuelling vehicles;
(iii) trips to medical facilities and welfare facilities;
(iv) trips taken to take care of urgent official matters;
(v) trips back to one’s place of residence; and
Travelling from orange-category territories
Foreign nationals travelling from countries with a low risk of Covid-19 incidents, in the orange category, for work or study purposes are obliged to submit a negative RT-PCR test result prior to entry to the workplace or an educational institution in the Czech Republic. Foreign nationals travelling to the Czech Republic from countries in this category for other purposes, and all Czech travellers, may enter the territory of the Czech Republic without any obligations in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the moment, the following countries and territories are in this category: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Greece, Sweden, Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and Canary Islands (Spain).
Travelling from green-category territories
Travellers (both foreign nationals and Czech citizens) from countries with a low risk of Covid-19 incidents, in the green category, may enter the Czech Republic without any notification or RT-PCR test obligations in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the moment, the following countries are in this category: Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and the Vatican.
This document reflects the status as of November 18, 2020.
This document is for informational purposes only and may not be considered a legal opinion or advice on how to proceed in a particular case.