From this Friday, the Czech Republic will cap the cost of coronavirus tests to lessen the burden of traveling costs and help facilitate summer holidays, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch told journalists today.
Currently, Czech residents are allowed to leave the country, but must take a coronavirus test (and submit proof of a negative result) upon return. The coronavirus test must be no older than four days.
Conversely, travelers will most likely be asked to provide a negative test result when arriving at foreign destinations.
That will mean two coronavirus tests per trip, per person. At up to 3,000 crowns per test, based on average local prices, that could quickly add up, especially for families of four and more – and even exceed the costs of airfare.
But from tomorrow, the Czech Health Ministry will cap the cost of a coronavirus test at exactly 1,674 crowns.
“The number of people paying out-of-pocket for coronavirus tests is increasing,” Vojtěch stated.
“We want the price to be acceptable and without big price differences. The price regulation will come into force from tomorrow.”
While the requirement to provide a negative test may (or may not) change at some point this summer, officials have looked for options that could ease the burden on travelers and make summer vacations at seaside destinations feasible.
According to the Czech Association of Travel Agencies, however, the price of 1,674 crowns is still too much. Its chairman has asked the Health Ministry for transparency in regards to the actual cost of a test.
There are currently around 100 laboratories around the Czech Republic licensed to conduct coronavirus tests, which include hospitals, health institutes, and private laboratories.
The initiative to cap the coronavirus test price in order to promote summer vacations abroad was first reported by Lidový noviny earlier this morning, based on information from Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček. Vojtěch confirmed the decision a few hours later.
In related news, popular Czech summertime destination Croatia quietly reopened their borders to tourists last week. All that’s needed for entry is proof that a trip is in Croatia’s economic interest, and a hotel reservation will suffice.
A similar move is expected from Greece in the near future.