[12.03.2020 13:33 UTC] Daniela Lazarová
State of emergency declared, border restrictions from Friday night
The Czech government has declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus epidemic. Following a five hour government session on Thursday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced extensive measures to fight the spread of the virus.
A special regime will be introduced on the country’s borders with Austria and Germany from midnight on Friday. Under those restrictions people will only be able to enter or leave Czech territory via 11 border crossings.
Foreigners from high-risk countries will be banned from entering the country and Czech nationals will be prohibited from travelling to high-risk destinations.
Foreigners will not be able to enter the Czech Republic from Germany and Austria.
The Interior Ministry will stop issuing all visas until further notice.
Czechs abroad will be able to return to the Czech Republic. Those returning from high-risk countries will be automatically quarantined.
Pubs and restaurants will have to close by 8pm. Gyms, swimming pools and other sports facilities, clubs, galleries and libraries will be closed as well as eateries in shopping malls.
In addition the Czech police are now being deployed to check whether people who have been ordered into quarantine are staying indoors. Among the more than 1,200 people quarantined are two Czech senators who recently undertook a working trip to Italy.
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