Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic’s ban on direct flights to and from China has taken effect this week-end.
The last flight from China landed in Prague on Saturday, bringing back a number of Czech nationals who were evacuated from the country due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has now claimed over 900 lives in China.
Worldwide, more than 40,000 cases of infection have been confirmed, the vast majority in mainland China.
According to Czech authorities, the flights ban will remain in place indefinitely until further notice. There were until now twelve weekly direct connections between the Czech Republic and four Chinese cities. Although unrelated to the coronavirus outbreak, two Chinese airlines had announced last month they were suspending or reducing the frequency of their direct flights to and from Prague.
A number of other countries have implemented a similar ban scrapping all direct flights to and from China or denied entry to anyone – apart from their own nationals – travelling from mainland China. In Central Europe, Hungary also announced it was considering implementing a total ban on flights to and from China “if necessary”.
Late last month, the Czech Republic was the first Schengen country to temporarily halt issuing visas to Chinese citizens. No confirmed cases of infection has for now been reported in the country.
Main photo credit: CNA