Prague, May 2 (CTK) – The borders with neighboring countries may reopen in July, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats, CSSD) said today, adding that the talks with Slovaks and Austrians were most advanced, while those with Poland may be the most complicated.
“As of July, I would like the borders with the four neighboring countries, Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia, to reopen fully,” Petříček said.
“To be honest, the negotiations with Austrians and Slovaks have advanced most. The talks with Poland seem to be most complicated,” he added.
The trips to Germany will depend on the development of the coronavirus epidemic there, Petříček said.
The chance to travel to Bulgaria, Hungary and Baltic countries may be possible because they have coped with the spread of COVID-19 similarly well as the Czech Republic, he added.
“In short, I believe that as of July we may start returning to the normal functioning, not only of the Schengen area,” Petříček said.
“If the situation develops well, this may be even faster,” he added.
In August, Czechs may travel not only to Croatia, Slovenia and Greece, but also to remoter destinations outside Europe such as Canada, Australia or Japan.
The traveling outside Europe will also depend on the renewal of international flights, Petříček said.
When it comes to the countries most hit by the epidemic as Italy, Spain, France, the USA, and also the Benelux, it is premature to speak about the renewed travels, Petříček said.
In mid-March, a travel ban was imposed over the coronavirus epidemic.
On April 24, the government cancelled the overall ban. However, when returning home, Czechs must present a negative coronavirus test.
The border checks will continue until May 14. The travel ban has triggered some criticism. A group of senators were about to challenge it with the Constitutional Court with the argument that the measure contravened fundamental constitutional rights.