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Czechia Removes Hong Kong From Safe Travel List Due to Concerns Over New COVID-19 Variant

Czech authorities have removed Hong Kong from the safe travel list after concerns about positive cases with the new COVID-19 strain, Omicron, that was reported in the country.

According to a press release from the Czech Ministry of Health, arrivals from Hong Kong, which has been added to the dark red category, will be subject to stricter entry rules, reports.

Based on the discussion between the European Commission and the ambassadors of EU member states on the novel coronavirus variant, Hong Kong will be excluded from the green category of countries according to the degree of risk of contracting the disease from Tuesday. It will be newly listed in the dark red color category,” the press release states.

Entry rules for non-vaccinated entrants from Hong Kong and other third-country nationals include:

Complete the Passenger Locating Form prior to departure Take an antigen or PCR test prior to arrival of 14-day quarantine, with an opportunity to reduce isolation by taking an PCR test on day 5

Data from the Hong Kong government’s official website shows that 12,437 positive cases have been confirmed in the country, in addition to 46 hospitalizations and one death.

The same source confirms that 70.5% of Hong Kong residents have been partially vaccinated against COVID-19, in addition to 67.3% who received two shots of the vaccine, and 156,403 people received the third vaccinations.

Currently, these rules apply to all nationals of third countries and other EU member states, including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Latvia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Austria, Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, San Marino, Slovakia and Slovenia.

However, travelers who have been fully vaccinated, an EU digital COVID-19 certificate, or an equivalent document, are granted exemption from quarantine and testing requirements entering Czechia.

Due to concerns about the new alternative, the Czech Republic previously announced a temporary ban on travelers from the southern African region, including countries such as Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

Furthermore, those coming from these countries can enter the country under severe entry restrictions, which include a PCR or antigen test before arrival, and two other tests for COVID-19 that are performed within 24 hours of arrival and on the tenth day of their stay, after 14 Daily quarantine and requirement to wear an FFP2 respirator during their stay abroad is necessary.

>> EU suspends air travel from South African countries due to new COVID variant

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that in the Czech Republic, 128,510 positive cases have been reported in the past seven days and 635 deaths.

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