Covid-19 in Prague - how did Czech government manage to handle the pandemic situation and how it affected us as a business.
The day of publishing this article (20th July), Prague officially had 2614 confirmed cases with 1727 cured and 108 dead. “Due to the positive development of the epidemiological situation in connection with the corona virus pandemic, the Czech Republic has moved to the mitigation of previously adopted measures.” (Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague)
Overall (compared to other EU countries), Czech Republic managed to get the spread of Covid-19 under control quite well. Emergency state and nation-wide movement/ gathering restrictions were in effect from 12th March until 17th May. Apart from all else, it was mandatory to wear a face mask in public spaces and keep a social distance, which was taken seriously by Czechs. As a result, numbers did not skyrocket and limits started loosen up between 20th April and May the 25th. Borders were set to open first with the neighbor countries and popular travel destinations Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. 15th June was set for further opening of borders. The rules for entering the territory of the Czech Republic and quarantine measures are defined by the Ministry of Health, can be found here (plus here).
We are currently in the phase of “new normal”. Public city transport, car shares and taxis are operational, important sights and exhibitions are open (often in special hours), tour companies start to run again. There are still more strict hygiene requirements - disinfectants have to be used after each customer in restaurants, hand sanitizers and one-use gloves are available in stores, you can only walk in shops wearing face masks and more. Hotels (accommodation in general), including “our own” Charles Bridge Economic, is available now.
It will be a great time to come visit Prague in June and July, it’ll still be much more chill and less chaotic than usual. This goes especially for the busy streets around Old Town Square, Jewish Quarter area, all along the “Royal Path” to the Prague Castle. Corona virus regulations globally lead to significant reduction of a travel flow, so we highly recommend you find your way here as soon as possible and enjoy our charming old city exceptionally reduced in chaos (in terms of summer time traffic).
Needless to say, local tourism sector was hit hard by the pandemic measures. Czech Republic went from around 11 million foreign visitors yearly (3% of GDP) to literally zero visits in just a matter of days. This had a real immediate impact in high-tourism (and therefore, high rent) zones such as central Prague, historical towns of Cesky Krumlov or Kutna Hora. It was very interesting to experience the city in a “ghost town” mode, because parts of old Prague are otherwise crowded all year long. But yes, the business suffered a huge loss and a significant amount of shops, restaurants and hotels had to close for good. There’s great videos documenting Prague & Covid-19 on this channel - The Honest Guide.
Our company (we also operate e-scooter/ segway tours) went into a forced pause, but we managed to keep our precious headquarters right next top Charles bridge. As soon as we could, we set up a street stand to sell beer and ice-cream, watched the amount of pedestrians go up slowly as the weeks passed by. You can find some of our photos from the corona virus time here. We are all rested now, excited to welcome and guide travelers!
Post Covid-19, we’re compliant with current public health recommendations - avoid direct contact, maintain distance, use hand sanitizer, face masks on request.
Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions. We are back and ready to rock :)
Ondra & Jakub