Czechs open borders, allow events with up to 500 people

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 02 2020 07:01 AM

A woman, wearing a face mask, visits the National Museum on May 18, 2020 during the International Museum Day in Prague, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. Michal Cizek, Agence France-Presse

PRAGUE - The Czech government on Monday decided to allow Czechs to travel to most European countries without submitting a negative COVID-19 test upon return.

"We can start traveling around Europe from June 15," Health Minister Adam Vojtech tweeted as the EU member's coronavirus toll reached 9,286 confirmed cases including 321 deaths.

The government, which already began easing its anti-virus measures in April, uses three colours to distinguish between European countries depending on their safety level regarding the coronavirus.

The safest -- green -- countries include the Czech Republic's neighbors such as Germany and Poland, as well as Switzerland, Finland and the Baltics.

Orange countries with a higher level of risk include Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and others. 

The two red countries with the highest risk are Britain and Sweden.

"Czechs can travel to green and orange countries without facing any restrictions when they return," Vojtech said, adding that negative tests would be required from those coming back from Britain or Sweden.

"Foreigners coming to the Czech Republic from orange and red countries will have to submit a test result," he added.

Vojtech said the government would also allow theaters and cinemas to abandon social distancing rules starting next week.

"We are also raising the maximum number of people at mass events to 500" as of the same day, June 8, he added.

The government of neighboring Slovakia similarly announced Monday that maximum turnout at public gatherings would be up to 500 people starting June 10, and 1,000 as of July through the end of the year.

It also announced that those living in the Czech Republic and Hungary will be allowed to enter Slovakia for 48 hours from Tuesday onwards, while gyms, pools, spas, casinos and indoor zoos will be able to reopen on June 10.

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