Press Advisories

14. 3. 202013:22

The government has taken further extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

Czech citizens and foreigners resident in the Czech Republic are not allowed to leave the country starting at midnight from Sunday to Monday, 16 March, with certain exceptions. At the same time, a similar ban will also apply to foreigners who would like to come to the Czech Republic and do not have permanent or long-term temporary residence. Together with other preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus, this was decided by the government of Andrej Babiš at an extraordinary meeting on Friday, 13 March 2020.

The ban on entry into the Czech Republic, which will take effect from 16 March, 00:00, applies to all foreigners, except to those who have permanent residence in the Czech Republic or more than 90 days temporary residence and persons whose entry into the Czech territory is in the Czech Republic's interest. From the same date, Czech citizens and foreigners living in the Czech Republic are forbidden to travel abroad. An exemption from these measures may be granted by the Minister of the Interior, for example for lorry drivers, locomotive drivers and train crews or crews of transport aircraft, as well as for citizens commuting to or from the Czech Republic for work, for locations within 100 kilometres of the state border. For details, see the website of the Ministry of the Interior at

"Today's government session was convened to adopt further important measures to ensure the health of our citizens and to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in our country," said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

The government has therefore decided that the mandatory fourteen-day quarantine regulation following a return from abroad will, in addition to Italy, also  apply from 13 March at 12.00 to other selected high-risk countries, which are currently China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Austria. , Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark and France. The current list of countries can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health:

Quarantine will affect adults and children who are Czech citizens and foreigners with permanent residence or temporary residence in excess of 90 days in the Czech Republic. As in the case of a return from Italy, they are required to contact a GP or paediatrician in a contact-free manner, and the latter are required to issue a 14-day quarantine decision.

Again, this measure does not apply to lorry and bus drivers, transport aircraft crews, locomotive drivers, train crews and wheeltappers, ship's captains and crew members and crews of highways authority wagons who transit or provide transport across high-risk areas. These, however, should behave with the utmost caution.

Ministers have also modified the rules for road freight transport. The ban on Sunday truck driving over 7.5 tons on Czech roads is lifted until further notice.

The government has also supplemented an existing extraordinary measure by banning the attendance of the public at selected premises. With effect from 14 March 2020 at 6:00, the ban will also apply to swimming pools and tourist information centres. Indoor and outdoor sports grounds may be used only on condition that no more than 30 people can occupy them at any one time. As of 14 March 2020 6:00, retail sales at market places and street markets are also prohibited.

The government has also considered the situation in prisons and has decided that with effect from 14 March 2020 there is a ban on visits to those in detention, to convicts and inmates for the duration of the state of emergency in prisons and security detention facilities. Any exemption will be from the Minister of Justice. At the same time, the government will allow prisoners and inmates to receive more packages and make more telephone calls.

As part of the declared state of emergency, the government also imposed on full-time students of tertiary professional schools and universities in educational disciplines focused on social work and social pedagogy, social pedagogy, social and humanitarian work, social work, social legal work, charity and social activities or in any programme focusing on social work, social policy, social pedagogy, social care, social pathology, law or special education work the obligation to secure the provision of care in social services facilities. The government will announce any specific engagement of students on a operational basis in cooperation with the governors and the Mayor of Prague.

Ministers have also approved an amendment to the Government Decree laying down, for the purposes of the Criminal Code, what are considered to be contagious human diseases, contagious animal diseases, contagious plant diseases, and pest crops. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has been added to the list. This means that anyone who deliberately spreads the coronavirus is at risk of prosecution.

The government has also approved the release of CZK 500 million from the government budget reserve for the benefit of the Ministry of Health. The Ministry will use these funds to secure the operational purchase of necessary protective equipment and other equipment necessary to manage the COVID-19 epidemic. “We discussed priorities with the Minister of Health for a long time. It is necessary to define who needs respirators, there is a need to introduce crisis distribution. Masks have been purchased and we will be discussing this in greater detail on Monday. The Minister of Health has been given the task of keeping us informed in detail on a de facto online basis. These are primarily the ambulance services and fourteen key hospitals that have an infections ward,” said Prime Minister Babiš.

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