March 13, 2020 - 18:03 AMT
Coronavirus: Czech Republic closing borders

Beginning from March 16 midnight, a total ban on traveling from the Czech Republic will be put in place. This is an unprecedented measure in connection with the coronavirus epidemic, Prague Morning reports.

There was no end date to the measures specified during the conference.

Czechs and foreign nationals with permanent or long-term residence (90 days) in the Czech Republic will not be allowed to leave the country.

Foreigners will not be able to enter the country for the duration of the 30-day state of emergency declared on March 12th.

“We issue a ban on entry for all foreigners as of midnight from Sunday to Monday, except those with residency or short-term permits of over 90 days,” Babis told a televised news conference. The statement came after an extraordinary government session, Reuters said.

“It’s a very tough measure but we think it may fundamentally contribute to stemming the spread of the coronavirus,” Babis added.

On Thursday, the government in Prague declared a 30-day state of emergency. It banned public events of more than 30 people and ordered the closure of sports centers, spa services, and galleries. The government also mandated restaurants and pubs to close down by 8:00 pm from Friday onward.

Austria, Switzerland, and Slovenia have closed some of their borders with Italy as their southern neighbor struggles to control the worst outbreak of coronavirus outside of Asia.

The Italian government has placed the entire country on lockdown amid a rising death toll — now 1016 people — and more than 15,000 infections of COVID-19.