Czech court halts travellers virus testing

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A court in the Czech Republic has overturned a coronavirus testing requirement for people entering the country.

The court concluded the rule violated the basic rights of the Czech constitution, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The measure, which requires travellers to provide a negative coronavirus test even before departure to the Czech Republic, was disproportionate, according to the court.

Milder rules such as quarantine and testing upon arrival could also fight the pandemic, the court found.

The court said that especially the treatment of people whose test resulted negative before departure was problematic, as they were practically forced to remain abroad or face sanctions - this meant Czech citizens were being punished for returning to their country.

The ruling comes into force on April 5.

The judges have thus given the government some time to decide on new rules that comply with the constitution.

The judges emphasised they did not want to diminish the severity of the pandemic but it could not justify an erosion of the rule of law.

The testing requirement for travellers entering the Czech Republic is currently in force for most other countries except Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the Vatican and Iceland.

For some countries, such as France, a PCR test is required while for others like Germany a rapid test suffices.