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Czechs, Slovaks open border for short visits

/ 01:16 PM May 26, 2020

Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Andrej Babis. Photo by Aris Oikonomou / AFP

PRAGUE — The Czech Republic and Slovakia will reopen their border this week for those traveling to the other country for up to 48 hours, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said Monday.

“This will be possible without tests or quarantine” starting Wednesday, he added in a message posted on Twitter.

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The Czech Republic and Slovakia formed a single country until 1993. Babis himself was born in the Slovak capital of Bratislava.

Both countries have fared well in the current pandemic, with Slovakia posting the lowest death toll per capita in the EU and the Czech Republic keeping its COVID-19 figures down as well.

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The Czech government will also open border crossings with Austria and Germany on Tuesday but will still require negative COVID-19 tests from those entering the country.

“We have negotiated similar conditions on the other side of the border with our German and Austrian colleagues,” Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said.

The interior ministry said blanket border checks would be replaced by random ones and added it would still not allow tourists into the country.

Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech said the government was working on other measures to ease the travel restrictions adopted in mid-March.

“We would like to introduce them next week,” he added.

Vojtech said EU citizens could now come to the Czech Republic “on business or to visit their family for a maximum of 72 hours if they submit a negative coronavirus test.”

The country is also accessible to non-EU citizens who do seasonal jobs there, on condition they have tested negative.

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Czech restaurants, bars, hotels, castles, zoos and swimming pools have been open since Monday, when the government lifted many anti-virus measures.

Czechs also no longer have to wear face masks outside their homes, except in shops and on public transport.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, Czech Republic, Europe, Slovakia
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