Prague, Czech Republic – A few days after the Czech Republic unveiled a 5-step phased out plan to ease anti-coronavirus restrictions over the next two months, the government is now considering whether or not to allow Czechs to travel abroad this summer.
Czechs discuss summer travel abroad to “safe countries”
Taking stock of the “considerable pressure” they were under to open up at least a few “holiday channels” out of the country, deputy-Health Minister Roman Prymula said that the government will examine options in the coming weeks.
According to the country’s leading epidemiologist, the Czech Republic might allow citizens to go on holiday in a few countries considered as “safe destinations”, where the epidemiological situation is better or the same – including Slovakia and Croatia, the two most popular holiday destinations for Czech holidaymakers.
Prymula, who faced a backlash some weeks ago when he presumed that Czech borders could remain closed for the next two years, nevertheless reminded that this move would require the approval of the respective countries. Interior Minister and head of the Central Crisis Staff Jan Hamacek added that the government will have to discuss the issue with experts before making any decision.
The Czech Republic banned the entry of foreigners and exit of Czech nationals from the country as part of the state of emergency declared early March. The rules have now been slightly relaxed, allowing anyone living in the Czech Republic to leave the country for “substantiated reasons”. Anyone coming back in the Czech Republic, however, must still undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Czech Republic plans lockdown exit strategy
On Tuesday, the Czech government unveiled a 5-step plan to relax anti-coronavirus measures and progressively open up shops and businesses between now and early June.
While some have praised the Czech Republic’s cautious approach despite its relatively low number of new cases and apparent success in containing the outbreak, business leaders have come out against the government’s plans.
The head of the Czech Association of Trade and Tourism Tomas Prouza described the phased-out reopening of businesses as “unreasonably slow”, while the Association of shopping malls, which stand to be among the last businesses to reopen on June 8, also condemned the plan as “discriminatory”.
On Thursday, the Czech Republic had more than 6,303 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection. 166 patients have died from the disease so far.
All the latest coronavirus updates in Central Europe right here.