Foriegn Ministry wants borders with all neighboring countries open by mid-June
The Czech Foreign Ministry wants the borders with all neighboring countries to reopen as of mid-June and they’re conducting talks with bordering countries now, while the biggest progress has been achieved with Austria, Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told CTK today.
Petricek said he would like people to travel without the duty to be COVID-19 tested or start a quarantine upon return in the summer.
“By the end of May and beginning of June, we should present a clear schedule on the reopening of borders with our neighbors,” Petricek said.
The original plan of reopening the borders with Austria and Slovakia reckoned with June 8, but given the development of the epidemiological situation, one can imagine an earlier date, he added.
The border with Germany may reopen on June 15. “When it comes to Poland, this will also be possible by mid-June at the latest, but there the talks are just at the beginning,” Petricek said.
This week, the diplomats are scheduled to hold talks over the border reopening.
On Tuesday, the foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria will meet to discuss the last details for the lifting of the coronavirus limitations, Petricek said.
“The talks with Austria and Slovakia are also to ensure the possibility of traveling not only for economic reasons but also for tourism without the testing duty,” he added.
However, it is premature now to say whether the countries will take the step, Petricek said.
On Wednesday, there will be talks with Germany. They are also underway with Greece as it is interested in Czech tourists coming to its islands in the summer, Petricek said.
However, the risk of infection by tourists from risk countries must be taken into account, he added.
Petricek said he would also meet Czech epidemiologists and discuss the conditions when tourists return to the Czech Republic.
“I am convinced that if the situation keeps developing both here and in the neighboring countries like in the past weeks, we should believe that there will be no major complications. Perhaps people will not have to spend either 14 days in quarantine or to produce expensive tests in a complicated way,” he added.
The Czech government agreed today that additional border crossings would open on May 26, only random border checks would take place and a confirmation of a negative coronavirus test would still be required, Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) has said on social media.
Originally, the government wanted blanket checks to take place on the Czech border until June 13, but over the weekend Hamacek said the government was debating a faster lifting of the limitations.
Blanket checks on borders with Czechia have already been lifted by Austria, which reopened all of its border crossings with Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary.
The novel coronavirus checks at the Austrian border are also performed at random.
At present, there is the duty of producing a negative COVID-19 test or to start a quarantine upon return from abroad.