Thursday, March 12, 2020

Czech State of Emergency

It's been a crazy last couple of weeks.  On 1 March we had the first three confirmed cases of coronavirus here in Czechland.  As of 5 March, all flights are banned to and from Italy, South Korea and Iran.  Flights to and from China were already banned back in February.

It's also not allowed to export respirators and hand sanitiser from Czech Republic.  

On 7 March, there is a strict 14-day quarantine for people coming from Italy.  I know lots of people who were there recently skiing on holiday.  The fine for not following the quarantine is 3m Kč (~$138k).

As of 9 March, it's no longer allowed to visit anyone in the hospital or a nursing home.  On 10 March, the government banned all public events for 100 or more people.

Then yesterday, all of the schools in the country were closed.  Kindergartens are the only schools open but only to working parents.  

Today there was a flyer in my mailbox.  I found out that the same flyer was distributed to every home address across the country.  I love that under the "fact vs. myth" section it says that drinking alcohol isn't preventative.

Now that the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus a global pandemic yesterday the government has declared a state of emergency for the next 30 days.  I'm pretty sure that this is the first time that Czechland has declared a state of emergency for the entire country.

As of 6 AM tomorrow morning the following restrictions are in place.

  • All events over 30 people are forbidden.
  • Restaurants and pubs must close between 8 PM - 6 AM.
  • All gyms, swimming pools, saunas, libraries, galleries, museums, and entertainment facilities are closed.
  • From midnight Friday there will be border controls with Austria and Germany.
  • Unless you have long-term temporary residence or permanent residence in Czechland, foreigners from China, South Korea, Iran, the UK, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark or France, are not allowed to enter the country.  Czech citizens are not allowed to travel to any of these countries either.
  • Czech citizens and permanent residences coming from any of these countries have to undergo a two-week quarantine. 
I was in Sweden for eight hours two weeks ago when I went to Mariehamn in the Åland Islands, which is Finland.  I've felt fine and the two weeks are almost up so I suppose that I don't have anything to worry about.  

Next Thursday, I'm supposed to fly out of Slovakia for a 10-day trip to Ukraine, Hungary and Romania.  Somehow I think that's not going to happen.

Update:  The State of Emergency ended on 17 May.

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