Crossings on Czech borders with Austria, Germany open Tuesday
Only random checks along the Czech borders with Austria and Germany will be performed as of Tuesday, and all road and railway crossings along these borders will reopen, the Czech cabinet decided on Interior Minister Jan Hamacek’s proposal today, his ministry has said.
Nevertheless, those entering the Czech Republic are still obliged to produce a certificate of their testing negative for COVID-19, and the entry of tourists remains banned.
“Within the loosening of [anti-COVID-19] restrictions, the checks on the borders with Germany and Austria will become targeted and random, the police will not check all passengers. The police will select the [check] points flexibly based on their assessment of the epidemiological risk in cooperation with public health officers. This is a cardinal reduction of the personnel demand the checks meant to the police and the reopening of further sites to cross the borders at,” the ministry said.
Borders can be crossed at the given places without any time limits. The airports in Brno-Turany, Karlovy Vary, Ostrava-Mosnov, Pardubice, and Prague-Kbely will reopen for flights within the Schengen area. Until now, only the Prague-Ruzyne airport has been open for international flights.
Those crossing the border elsewhere than on the given crossings and those intentionally avoiding a border check may be fined up to 50,000 crowns.
A violation of the Health Ministry’s measures such as the duty to produce a negative COVID-19 test or stay in quarantine, or illegal entry into the Czech Republic carries a fine up to one million crowns.
Another relaxation of the border regime is scheduled for June 8 when COVID-19 tests will no longer be required from the people returning from no-risk countries from the epidemiological viewpoint, Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) said last week.
At present, the no-risk countries include Austria, Slovakia, and Croatia. On the contrary, risk countries would be Spain, Italy, and France, Vojtech said.
Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek (CSSD) later also mentioned Greece and Bulgaria as no-risk countries.
Petricek said last week after a video conference with his Slovak and Austrian counterparts that Czechia and Austria concurred on border opening even to tourists by mid-June without the duty to submit a negative coronavirus test or undergo quarantine after a return.
A similar model has been offered to neighboring Slovakia, but the countries will still negotiate about this, he added.
The foreign ministers would also like to invite Hungary to the talks that might open its borders with Austria and Slovakia on the same day.
PM Andrej Babis (ANO) said it would be ideal if the borders between Czechia, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, and Hungary fully reopened at the same time on June 15 and if people were able to travel to all these countries in the same way as before the pandemic.
According to the Czech police data, from March 16 to May 15, the police checked 1,552,000 cars leaving the Czech Republic and 1,637,000 arriving, while banning 14,000 persons from departing and 24,000 from entering the country.