COVID: Stay safe, stay connected

Stage III. (red) of the Semaphore applies from September 21 till October 31, 2020.
During this period, the teaching will take place exclusively online.

Protective measures in the Czech Republic

state of emergency has been prolonged to December 12.

As of October 27, 2020:

  • A night curfew between 11 pm and 5 am is in effect (except for commuting to work, buying medicine, and caring for elderly and young family members. Dog walking only permitted within 500 meters of your residence.)
  • Employers have been asked to employ home office wherever possible
  • Food and other stores selling essential goods, which still remain open, will be closed on Sundays and will have to close their doors by 11 pm on weekdays.
  • Up to 6 people can meet in public.

As of October 22, 2020:

  • Free movement of people is limited unless for the fulfillment of basic needs such as going to work, to the doctor, shopping, or seeing family members.
  • Walks in nature and in parks are allowed – for a maximum of two people, with the exception of family members, cohabitants, and coworkers.
  • All shops and small businesses, with the exception of stores offering basic supplies (food stores, chemists, toiletries stores) and some government-defined services (such as car repair businesses) will be closed.
  • Hotels will be closed for recreational visits.

As of October 21, 2020:

  • Face masks must be worn everywhere in the urban spaces in the Czech Republic. The measure applies to all pedestrians if people are closer than two meters apart.  

As of October 14, 2020:

  • All restaurants, bars and clubs are closed (you can still order or pick up food).
  • Alcohol consumption in public places is prohibited.
  • Public gatherings are limited to six-people.
  • University buildings and libraries are closed for students (in case you need to visit a certain department, discuss possible exceptions beforehand). 

As of October 13, 2020:

  • Face masks are mandatory at public transport stops.

Those provisions will apply (at least) until the end of the state of emergency (3 October).

As of October 9, 2020 (until at least October 25, 2020):

  • All indoor sporting grounds, swimming pools, wellness facilities and zoos will be closed.
  • Restaurants, pubs, and clubs must close at 20:00.
  • Customers in restaurants, pubs, and clubs are seated so that there is a distance of a least 1.5 meters between them, except for customers sitting at one table. Moreover, there may be at most 4 persons seated at one table.
  • It will be possible to enter shopping centres and other establishments in groups of a maximum of two people. There will be no wifi connections at food corners in the shopping malls; there may be at most 2 people seated at one table at food corners.

As of October 12, 2020:

  • All cultural events (theatres, cinemas, etc.), sports events, and other leisure time activities are forbidden to be organized if more than 10 people should be met indoor / if more than 20 people should be met outdoor.
  • As of October 12, the presence of university students in classes is prohibited
  • There are also limitations of activities of public authorities and institutions so that office hours for the public will be only two days a week and five hours a day for two weeks.

See details here.

Face masks are mandatory as of September 10, 2020:

  • in all indoor premises of buildings outside the home or accommodation (e.g. hotel room),
  • in the common areas of schools,
  • in means of public transport (city public transport, intercity buses, and trains, taxis),
  • during indoor mass events. 

For more information see the official website of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.

Rules for entering Czech territory

Please check updates of measures applying for students coming to the Czech Republic from high-risk non-EEA countries (all except for Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Corea,  Singapore, Thailand, ) and high-risk EEA states (all except for Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Vatican) valid from November 20, 2020!  

Please be aware that if the entering student was in the last 14 days longer than 12 hours in above-mentioned states, he/she is:

  • before the entry – to obliged to fill in electronic Public Health Passenger Locator Form available here, which serves as a high-risk country arrival announcement to a regional public health authority;
  • to submit a document confirming the above mentioned electronic form (announcement) at the border control or residence check;
  •  within five days of their entry into the territory of the Czech Republic – to undergo an RT-PCR test and submit the result to the regional public health authority (hygiene station)
    OR submit PCR PCR test result made in a EU+ country. Attention – the result must not be older than 72 hours. In that case, the test result needs to be submitted immediately on entry into the territory of the Czech Republic to a regional Public Health Office.

If a person shall not submit the result of the PCR test to the hygiene station until 7 days after his/her entry to the territory, a necessary quarantine measure shall be ordered. Until the PCR test result is submitted or for the duration of the necessary quarantine measure, there is a free movement ban* in the Czech territory + there is an obligation to wear respiratory protective equipment (facemasks). Until the first negative PCR test result is submitted, there is a ban on entering university buildings.

*A stricter free movement ban in the Czech territory means limitation of movement with the exception of journeys absolutely essential for obtaining basic needs, for ensuring child care, for ensuring animal care, for using necessary financial and postal services, refuelling, journeys to medical facilities and social services facilities, journeys for the purpose of handling of urgent official matters, journeys back to a place of residence, funerals, for a period of time until the PCR test result is submitted to a regional hygiene station according to a place of stay or for the duration of the necessary quarantine measure or for the duration of 14 days from the entry to the Czech territory.

Please note that the obligation of the second negative PCR test from the third high-risk countries was cancelled.

More information can be found on the website of the Ministry of Interior.

Teaching

Stage III. (red) of the Semaphore applies from September 21 till October 31, 2020.
During this period, the teaching will take place exclusively online.

A COVID Emergency Staff team has been set up at the level of the Institute of International Relations (IMS) – the level relevant for the EPS programme at the Charles University, responsible for all measures related to the COVID-19 epidemic. These measures are based on the three-tiered semaphore including teaching scenarios and will be updated daily on this website.

At the same time, the emergency staff acts as the main contact point to which students and staff can be directed on matters related to the epidemic. In a case of any COVID related issues, the EPS Students of English-language programs are directed to email study.ims@fsv.cuni.cz or phone number +420 773 740 250 (9 am to 4 pm Monday-Friday).

Stage I. (green)

  • Teaching, testing, and State Final Exams are carried out in a standard manner, respecting general safety measures, possibly in a hybrid way in subjects where this is necessary for capacity reasons (see below).
  • Where possible, two-meter distance (common areas) is recommended.
  • Public events (debates, conferences) are permitted following the safety measures.
  • Personal consultations with students are permitted.

Stage II. (yellow)

  • Teaching is done in a hybrid way.
  • State Final Exams are conducted by default under stricter hygiene conditions.
  • The maximum number of students in the classroom is strictly dependent on compliance with the two-meter distance rule and will be set for each classroom.
  • Obligation to maintain a two-meter distance in common areas, including classrooms.
  • Wearing masks in all IMS and FSV common areas.
  • Public events organised by IMS (debates, conferences) are significantly reduced or cancelled.
  • Students (excluding PhD students) do not have access to Pekařská 10. Additional safety measures in Pekařská 10 are specified in special guidelines.
  • Recommendations to hold consultations online.

Stage III. (red)

  • Teaching is exclusively online.
  • The State Final Exams runs exclusively online.
  • Wearing masks in all IMS and FSV common areas.
  • Public events (debates, conferences) are prohibited.
  • Online consultation only.
  • Students (excluding PhD students) do not have access to Pekařská 10.

Basic hygiene rules

As a precaution, the IMS has adopted the following sanitary measures to reduce the likelihood of contagion. The purpose of these measures is to prevent the entire study group/workplace from having to go into quarantine in the event of COVID-19. These rules are valid with regard to individual stages in the IMS Semaphore.

  • Use respiratory protective equipment to prevent droplets from spreading.
  • Be consistent with hand hygiene – always use disinfectant after coming into the building, before eating, or after contact with surfaces in shared areas.
  • Keep a two-metres distance from other people in common areas, especially in teaching areas at Pekařská 16.
  • Do not share objects or work aids with others.
  • Avoid accumulation of people in one place, especially in common areas of buildings, and avoid physical contact (e.g. handshakes).
  • Do not use air conditioning. Instead, communal spaces, especially teaching spaces, must be ventilated as much as possible!

FAQ

Health and hygiene

What should I do if I contract the coronavirus?

Inform promptly the relevant emergency staff contact – study.ims@fsv.cuni.cz – and has a COVID test performed in case of so-called risk contact. The following situations are considered as such:

  • a positively tested person in the common household,
  • direct physical contact with a COVID positive person (e.g. a handshake),
  • contact within 2 meters for more than 15 minutes with a COVID positive person.

When and where can I get a corona test? Am I supposed to pay for it myself? 

We recommend testing directly at the Prague Airport of Václav Havel at Terminal 1 just after arriving in the Czech Republic. You can find all the needed information in this respect on the website of the Prague Airport. Protective measures at the airport can be consulted here

Concerning the second testing or in case you do not travel to Prague via plane, we recommend going to the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University that provides COVID tests to students at a lower price! Find all necessary information about testing at the Faculty of Medicine including how to make an appointment here.  
Free capacities and opening times of various testing places can be found here.

What if I feel signs of an infectious disease? 

In case of having signs of an infectious disease especially with respiratory symptoms (shortness of breath/feeling of difficulty breathing, fever, dry cough) you are supposed to contact your insurance company while immediately informing the relevant emergency staff contact – study.ims@fsv.cuni.cz. It is strongly recommended to avoid presence in a classroom or a university building!

You are also supposed to also inform the teachers of the subjects you are attending and agree with them on an individual course study plan for fulfilling your learning obligations.

What if my result of the COVID test is positive? 

In the event of a positive test on COVID-19, in addition to the quarantine, please promptly inform the relevant emergency staff contact (study.ims@fsv.cuni.cz) and fully assist in tracing your at-risk contacts on IMS.

You are also supposed to also inform the teachers of the subjects you are attending and agree with them on an individual course study plan for fulfilling your learning obligations.

The quarantine is 10 days long for students who undergo negative COVID-19 testing on days 5-7 (or max. until day 10) and are symptom-free on day 10 (eventually day 11).

The quarantine is 14 days long if you do not undergo any testing and do not have symptoms.

If you have tested positive, the quarantine is 10 days from your positive test – or as long as you have symptoms if that is longer.

I’m in one of the at-risk groups. What should I do?

Follow the precautionary measures and stay away from people who are ill. If you do develop symptoms, fever, and shortness of breath, in particular, contact your insurance company. 

Work and study

Am I allowed to go to the university building for my work or study? 

You are allowed to go to university if:

  • you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • you have your nose and mouth covered with a face shield, a face mask, or a respirator. 
  • you keep 1,5m social distancing as much as possible.

Please note that for visits to the institutes (e.g. consultations), departments, the post room, and the cash desk, priority should be given to contactless communication. Visits should only serve to address an urgent situation that cannot be otherwise resolved in a contactless way, and personal meetings need to be arranged in advance. Please note that if II. (yellow) or III. (red) stage of the semaphore is in place, students do not have access to Pekařská 10. 

Do not come to university if:

  • you have any coronavirus symptoms. Stay at home and make an appointment with the insurance company you have recently returned from a country with a red travel advisory (with an advised quarantine period). You must not come to the university during this period, regardless of whether you have any symptoms.
  • you had direct physical contact with a COVID positive person (e.g. handshake).

Can I access the library?

For current information, check the website before visiting the library.

How can I follow courses in case I am in quarantine? 

All classes will be available in a hybrid or online version. 

Accommodation in the dormitories

Where can I find actual information about the situation in the dormitories?

Please check regularly the website of dormitories and refectories where all information is available. We recommend you following the website on a regular basis and not relying on e-mail communication with dormitories. From our experience, the communication of dormitories via e-mail in case of urgent issues is not thorough and students then receive information with the delay. 

What if I live in the dormitory and must have a quarantine?

All persons coming from abroad or persons who are accommodated in the dormitories, regardless of whether they have come into contact with an infected person or a person who has returned from affected areas abroad, and show symptoms of COVID-19, however slight they may be, must immediately announce this to the dormitory manager by telephone or at the following e-mail address: emergency.koleje@cuni.cz. The accommodated person packs only the most necessary personal items and waits for additional instructions for being transferred to quarantine. The accommodated person immediately contacts their general practitioner or a hygienic station at the extension 1212 or the phone number +420 773 782 856 or +420 773 782 850.
For more information see.

Practical questions / others

How can I do shopping once I am in quarantine/in a safe way? 

We recommend using services of online shopping either via Košík or Rohlík, both services deliver food and household goods. Moreover, Rohlík also delivers pharmacy goods. Besides, you can order meals via several applications operating in Prague: Wolt, Dáme jídlo, Bolt Food.

Please follow on the regular basis website of partner universities for detailed information. Adopted measures by universities and plans for the winter semester can be found at the particular website of each partner university:

·       Jagiellonian University in Krakow

·       Leiden University – in case you need further practical information consult this page with all updates about COVID-19.
·       Pompeu Fabra University

Last updated 22. 11. 2020.