Coronavirus: Czech Republic bans travellers from the UK (plus 14 other countries) from Saturday for 30 days

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Reuters is reporting that the Czech Republic will close its land borders to travellers crossing from Germany and Austria as it struggles to deal with coronavirus.

Of more relevance, the country will ban travel to and from 15 countries seen as posing a high risk of infection. 

The list includes the UK, Italy, Sweden, Norway, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, China, Korea and Iran.

The only exceptions will be for foreigners with residency in the Czech Republic and to cross-border workers.

The ban will start at midnight on Saturday (ie 00.00 Saturday).

Czech Republic bans travellers from the UK

You won’t be missing much by not going.  As part of the state of emergency, which will last for at least 30 days, sports centres, spas and galleries will be closed.  Restaurants will be forced to close at 8pm and catering outlets in shopping centres will be closed entirely.

At the time of writing (4.45pm) British Airways flights to Prague are still showing as operating on Friday.

You can find out more at Reuters here.

Coronavirus: Oman, Norway, Cyprus and Czech Republic block UK travellers
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  1. For anyone travelling to Thailand

  2. Adam Dedynski says:

    I have a flight with BA on Friday night, back on Monday. It’s a package, so includes the hotel. I spoke to them about an hour ago. Because I get to Prague before the ‘lockdown’ time they said they couldn’t offer a refund and if I want to change the flight and hotel then I had to pay charges … I pointed out that I could be stranded there and they said they would do their best to get me back. Completely unacceptable!

    • Journeying John says:

      …BUT Bog standard for the most shareholder focused airline on the planet.
      Choose a quality carrier who deliver on their promises and aren’t just out to maximize their income under any circumstances as the modern BA.

    • They are not breaking any laws by doing this, if the flights are operating and you’ll be allowed to enter, why should BA take the hit? What did your travel insurers say?

      • Adam D says:

        Travel insurance is a ‘no’ because they don’t cover ‘pandemic’. However, their view is that because it’s a package BA are obliged to do something about it. All I want to do is change my holiday and not be charged c.£300 in fees; other airlines are allowing this and BA are allowing this under circumstances that suit them (i.e. if I had booked the flight in the last 12 days I could then change it for free).

        • Lady London says:

          If it’s a package look up your ATOL rights, it will be covered by those which is different set of rules to EU261. ATOL does include getting you home.

          • Jill (Kinkell) says:

            It’s one if the first things to print off with a BA package trip on the confirmation page .

        • Benilyn says:

          HSBC Premier on Corona:
          Im due to travel to a country where there have been some cases of coronavirus and I don’t want to travel now. Am I covered if I wish to cancel my trip?
          Expanded press enter to collapse
          We’re monitoring the situation closely. At the moment, you’ll only be covered if:

          you’re travelling within the next 31 days
          you’re travelling to a destination where the FCO has advised against all travel/all but essential travel
          the advice wasn’t already in place when you booked your trip
          If you’re staying within 20 miles of an area where the FCO has advised against all travel/all but essential travel and this advice wasn’t already in place when your policy started or when you booked your trip (whichever is later), we’ll consider cover as a gesture of goodwill so please contact us on 0800 299 399.

          • Shoestring says:

            which country? from what you said, you don’t look covered but can you be more specific about the country and when you booked?

          • memesweeper says:

            thanks @ Benilyn, that’s good to know — I’m booked to go to France but close to the Italian border. Assuming the policy doesn’t change we have some cover …

        • Yes BA are obliged to do something about this as it’s a package, but you don’t have absolute right to demand what it is that they do. Basically if they think it’s ok for you to go and flights get cancelled while you’re there, they have to get you home. They do not have to agree to your cancelling or moving the trip beforehand if you move just decided all of a sudden you don’t want to go any more. Read those rights they provided to you, all will become clear then.

          • Adam D says:

            It’s not up to them if another country has shut their borders to then tell me I have to fly, and it’s not a case of me suddenly deciding to change my mind. Anyway, the flights have been cancelled and I now get a full refund or can change my package with no admin fees – so problem solved!

  3. Heathrow Flyer says:

    If the bars are closing at 8pm in Prague, I don’t think you’ll be missing much by not going….

  4. mr_jetlag says:
  5. ChrisD says:

    I’m travelling BA to Prague in under 2 weeks. If they cancel flights because of this, what do you think my chances are of getting E261 compensation?

    • None, as this is clearly extraordinary circumstances.

      Be grateful that they don’t keep flying with empty aircraft purely to avoid paying your refund.

      • 😂 😂 😂

      • Pete C says:

        I’ve had my BA flight this weekend to Tel Aviv cancelled whilst they are still operating the other daily flight. As the cancellation is therefore ‘commercially’ driven rather than through travel restrictions, am I entitled to compensation here?

        • Shoestring says:

          yes but you’ll probably not get it without a fight (ie MCOL, which is not too onerous)

        • Have you been offered re-routing on to the other flight? I suspect that you are going to be out of luck claiming compensation as it’s extraordinary circumstances. But worth giving it a go. BA can only turn down the claim.

          • Pete C says:

            They didn’t offer another flight (I didn’t ask either), but since the only ones operating would have been either 12h before or 12h after, I was assuming it met the threshold for E261 compensation

        • SilverInSix says:

          Considering you will be required to self isolate in a private residence for 14 days upon arrival ( and must be able to provide of your ability to do this ) then I’d be looking to make use of re-routing or refund options unless of course you have family there who can put you up.

          ( The Israeli auths have made clear “private residence” does not include your hotel room. They mean a private residence that can be at your individual ( or family unit) disposal for that time period as soon[ day] as you land)

  6. This won’t go unnoticed by Mr Kaczynski in Poland. Slovakia has also instituted the same measures. That’s half the Visograd Group banning UK nationals.

    • Lady London says:

      Wonder if they’ve banned Germans? they are right next door on the border, and have cases too.

  7. Aston100 says:

    Apparently Oman too.

  8. Cyprus has added the UK to the Category 2 list of countries from this Saturday. Self-isolation for 14 days after arriving from the UK.

  9. Shoestring says:

    France will close all its schools and universities from Monday amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the country’s President Emmanuel Macron has announced.

    People over the age of 70 and with health conditions have been urged to stay home to stave off the virus, which has killed 48 people as of Thursday evening.

    • Shoestring says:

      UK will close down schools & universities from Wednesday next week – IMV – you heard it here first 🙂

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Depending on numbers Of infections I think they’ll hold out for as close as half term as possible.

        • Shoestring says:

          surprised that the South Ken lot up Raffles’ way haven’t already forced the issue 🙂

        • The Easter holidays vary from one school to another covering the period from March 28th to April 26th.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I know so as close to March 28th as possible. Likely they will be closed for the whole of April.

            Lucky sods.

      • Interesting – do you think because of public pressure or because of spiralling infection?

        • Shoestring says:

          yep there is both a big political consideration and the real health issue

      • Heathrow Flyer says:

        I’ll hold you to that…

      • Waribai says:

        If it’s next Wednesday, when would they announce it…?

      • Charlieface says:

        What you need to remember is that if you have little kids out of school, you’re not going to work. And you won’t be able to take them to any form of childcare.

        • If your kids are in private school they are at home 18 weeks per year anyway, in state schools 12 weeks per year. Another couple won’t make much difference!

  10. La Compagnie suspending all flights for 30 days (which was inevitable, since the US restrictions essentially mean they could only fly US residents):

  11. After 7 hours trying to get through to BA today, just been told my 3rd April flight to Prague isn’t eligible for a refund yet as BA haven’t officially cancelled the flights even thou he didn’t despite that it would be due to the 30 day ban…
    Very rude and unhelpful. More outstanding service by BA……….

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