Czechs open Austria, Germany borders ahead of schedule

Czechs open Austria, Germany borders ahead of schedule
Czechs open Austria, Germany borders ahead of schedule

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Children exercise in a park amid the Covid-19 outbreak, in Prague, Czech Republic May 25, 2020. — Reuters pic

PRAGUE, June 5 — The Czech Republic said it would fully open borders with Austria and Germany today 10 days earlier than planned, almost three months after they were shut to curb coronavirus.

Travellers from Germany and Austria—along with Hungary—will also be free to enter from noon (1000 GMT) without submitting a negative virus test or going into quarantine.

Czechs still require people from countries including Britain and Sweden to submit negative test results before being allowed in.

Having closed all borders on March 16 to stem coronavirus infections, the Czechs reopened the Slovakia frontier yesterday and lifted all travel restrictions with their neighbour.

Officials said on Monday they would open the border for the citizens of “safe” countries, including their neighbours but also Switzerland, Finland and the Baltic states, from June 15.

“We have brought the opening forward with these countries,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters referring to Austria, Germany and Hungary, without explaining why the move was being made earlier than planned.

Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said Germany still had travel restrictions and officials were negotiating a full return to open borders.

The government also announced on Monday that Czechs would be free to travel to less-safe countries including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain.

But foreigners arriving from these countries would have to submit a negative test result upon entry, just like those from the least safe countries—Britain and Sweden.

Czechs returning from Britain and Sweden will have to provide negative tests too.

As of Friday morning, it registered almost 9,500 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 326 deaths, in a population of 10.7 million people. — AFP

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