For a long time, Czech authorities didn’t accept vaccination certificates from outside the EU/EEA.
This complicated the lives of expats living in the Czech Republic and also potential tourists from non-EU states who – despite being fully vaccinated – weren’t able to enter the country without restrictions. This has recently changed.
However, the access isn’t a blanket one – there are some conditions.
Fully vaccinated third-country citizens allowed entry
At the end of August, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the Czech Republic was expanding the list of countries whose vaccination certificates would be accepted in the country.
The list contains certificates that will allow their holders to use establishments (such as restaurants, pools, or cinemas) and various services (such as hair salons and massage parlors).
More importantly, holders of certificates from approved countries can travel to the Czech Republic from any country (including high-risk countries) without having to self-isolate upon arrival (though they still have to fill out the passenger locator form).
There are three groups of countries who have been included on the list in addition to all countries of the EU which already use the EU COVID-19 passport.
- Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatikan – anyone regardless of their citizenship can use certificates from these countries in the Czech Republic; they are valid 14 days after the completion of vaccination
- North Macedonia, Ukraine Turkey – anyone regardless of their citizenship can use certificates from these countries in the Czech Republic; they are valid 14 days after the completion of vaccination
- Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brazil, Great Britain, Chile, India, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kurdistan. Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldavia, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America – anyone regardless of their citizenship can use certificates from these countries in the Czech Republic; they are valid 14 days after the completion of the vaccination
All certificates must be issued at least in English (if not Czech) by an authorised body operating in a third country and contain:
- the details of the person vaccinated (name, surname, date of birth…)
- the type of vaccine administered
- the date of administration of the vaccine
- identification of the body that issued the certificate
All these details must be verifiable by remote access directly from the written certificate.
Pfizer yes, Sputnik no
However, it is important to note that not all citizens from these countries will be allowed to enter the Czech Republic with their vaccination certificates. This is because it also matters which vaccine they’ve received.
The Czech Republic recognizes certificates of the following vaccine types:
- AstraZeneca (now known as Vaxzevria)
- Moderna (now known as Spikevax)
- Comirnaty (also known as Pfizer)
- Janssen (also known as Johnson & Johnson)
Other vaccine types aren’t currently recognized by the Czech Republic. Those vaccinated with e.g. Sputnik or Sinopharm will need to adhere to restrictions when entering the country (e.g. self-isolation).
According to the Ministry of Health, The European Commission is currently negotiating with more than 30 countries on the mutual compatibility of vaccination certificates and they will be updating the list on a continuous basis.
Vaccinated in the CZ? Get your reimbursement!
Those expats who aren’t covered by public health insurance and got their vaccine in the Czech Republic can still request a reimbursement from their respective private insurance companies.
According to our information, most commercial insurance companies in Czechia who provide comprehensive health insurance for foreigners will reimburse the vaccine on the basis of a standard insurance claim (i.e. reporting it as an insurance “event”). You just need to make sure your vaccine was administered to you at an official facility.
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