Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Current State of Covid in the Czech Republic August 2021

Sherry Vacik in Mask Czech Off the Beaten Path Blog
Me Wearing a Mask in 2020

 Hi Everyone,

My last update was almost a year ago! Time flies when you’re having “fun!” The good news is that Jiri and I are still OK. We survived another lockdown, which wasn’t easy. But we made it through!

We've led a relatively quiet life through the last year. We've not traveled at all, though I really wanted to go back home to visit family this summer. It wasn't possible due to my vaccination status, etc. We've also not visited our Czech family for the same reason. Some family members, on both sides of the pond, have health issues that would make getting Covid very dangerous. 

So, live has been very quiet. We go for walks and get out. That's not a problem! But seeing family & friends has been next to impossible. I'm looking forward to a time when we can meet everyone again. 

Rollback of Restrictions

Just like last year, the government began easing the restrictions once the warmer spring weather arrived. Fortunately, they learned an important lesson from last year and have slowly been releasing pandemic requirements.

By the end of May, or so, it was possible to be outside without a mask if there weren’t many people around. This was a welcome relief for those who hate the masks.

Czech countryside
Czech Countryside

Covid Vaccine Issues

Just like in the US and other parts of Europe, we’ve had major issues with the Covid vaccines. When they first became available, the number of vaccines was very low. This continued well into the spring. However, about the middle of May a larger amount of vaccine was on offer.

They are predominantly offering Pfizer and Moderna here. Some hope that the EU will also allow the Russian vaccine Sputnik V into the country. But with the current political issues between the Czech Republic & Russia, that doesn’t look very likely.

We have anti-vaxxers here, too. The government has tried incentive plans to get people vaccinated. The two I’ve personally heard about were for some high-end tennis shoes and the other was cash. However, these were not awarded once you had the vaccination. 

Instead, the government was going to offer drawings for these prizes! When you had your shot, it was then possible to have your name entered to win one of these awards. As you can imagine, it didn’t seem to be a very good incentive for those who are against being vaccinated!

My Experience with the Pfizer Vaccine

I was finally able to get my first shot in July and my second shot last week. They have Pfizer where we live. I’m happy to have had both of my shots, but to have say the vaccine has been rough on my system. I have a lot of allergies, asthma, and other health issues that are playing into the reaction to the vaccine.

So, my system is definitely unhappy. Even so, for me, this was the best decision. Having the vaccine will hopefully provide some protection against the current threats. However, we’ll have to see if a third booster will be needed at a later date. My system is cringing at the thought!

Berlin Train Station
Berlin Train Station

Traveling to Europe – Things to Keep in Mind

Again, like last year, the Czech government worked with other EU countries on travel requirements during the pandemic. For a while this travel season, Europe was almost completely open. But the Delta variant has become more predominant over the last couple of months. The growing number of cases has begun to force some countries to increase travel restrictions again.

So, if you’re planning on traveling to Europe any time soon, my first recommendation is to buy some excellent travel insurance. The insurance should cover everything from medical bills (in case you get sick while you’re away), travel interruptions and cancellations, and more. This way, you’re covered if something goes wrong on the trip due to Covid. 

Be sure to read through the terms and conditions to ensure the specific insurance covers Covid or pandemic issues. Some travel insurance policies do not cover pandemics, so read all the information in the terms & conditions before buying travel insurance. And if you have any doubts about what the travel insurance does/doesn't cover, then call and talk with an agent to get some clarity. 

Many people also forget to check the Covid restrictions of countries they may transit through! This is also important! The last thing you want to happen on your European vacation is to get stuck in transit! So, be sure to also research all the transit conditions for each country you may travel through.

You’ll also want to be sure you understand the Covid restrictions at your destination BEFORE you leave on the trip! Why is this important? Because we’re currently going through an increase in Delta variant cases all across Europe. This means the travel restrictions may change every day. In other words, the restrictions for people entering the country are changing at a very fast pace. You want to know what the current requirements are right before you leave.

In many countries, you’ll need proof of vaccination, may be required to stay in quarantine after arrival (depending on your destination), and more. And many countries also have mask mandates. Learn about these before you leave!

Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov

Current Situation in the Czech Republic – August 10, 2021

Today, things are relatively open. The average number of Covid cases is about 200 a day (sometimes a little lower). However, this is expected to rise once everyone returns from vacation. When everyone heads back to work and school, the expectation is that the Delta variant will really take off. This is expected to happen in the next 2-4 weeks.

For now, however, it’s relatively nice and moving around is not restricted.

You can find the current restrictions and all other pandemic information on the Czech Ministry of Health’s website (in English): https://koronavirus.mzcr.cz/en/ .

It’s also an excellent idea to check out the information on the US embassy website for the Czech Republic: https://cz.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-71/. Here, you’ll find the latest information on conditions, restrictions, and more.

Panorama of Prague, Czech Republic with Charles Bridge

Closing Thoughts

The pandemic has hit everyone hard. We’re all ready for this to be over. However, the reality is that it looks like we’ll have to deal with another round of Covid, at least. The virus continues to mutate. What will this mean for the effectiveness of our current vaccines? No one is quite certain about this. Everything is very uncertain at this point.

Personally, I believe Covid and its mutations will be around for a quite a while. I don’t see us going back to what we once called a “normal” life. So, the key is to adapt to what’s happening and stay up with the current information. Be prepared and stay alert. These are the things that can help us through to our "new" normal and be able to enjoy life at the same time.

In the meantime, do what you can to stay safe and keep those around you safe. I keep you all and your loved ones in my prayers, asking for good health, safety & security in all ways.

Stay safe and healthy!

God bless,

Sherry