“I have not seen my grandson in a year”- Czechs demand loosening of travel restrictions

Today, the group of Czech citizens living in the UK sent a petition demanding loosening of travel restriction to the Czech Ministry of Health. The petition that went public a week ago was signed by more than sixteen hundred Czech citizens.
Currently, the Ministry of Health selects EU countries into three categories (red/orange/green). Red countries are those with the highest danger of infection with COVID 19. Since Brexit Great Britain is not part of the system and falls automatically within the red category with accordingly strict regulation of travelling (at least five days of quarantine in the Czech Republic additional to two weeks back in the UK) Authors of “We demand reasonable regulation of travelling from Great Britain to Czechia” which is a title of the petition. want the Czech minister of health to change the status of the UK from red to orange. To support their cause their present data showing that the situation in the UK is similar to Denmark or the Republic of Ireland. As a reason to consider the UK as an EU country, they quote fifty thousand Czech nationals living in the UK for a long term.
The petition available online gained 1658 signatures in eight days. The highest number of petitioners (according to their self-declaration) are coming from Londen (250), Prague (78) and Manchester (51). Petitioners could also add a comment to the publicly visible forum- the majority of them missed their families on both sides or expressed anger that they are treated as “second class citizens” and demanded fair conditions of travelling.
The Global pandemic showed us how fragile the transnational lifestyle is. Individuals could develop strong social bonds in several national states. Brexit strengthens the effect of the pandemic on the life of Czechs living in the UK. When in 2020 we interviewed Czechs living in the UK, they did not feel worried and did not believe that travelling could get more difficult. Global pandemic and different treatment of EU countries by the Czech Ministry of Health is one thing that we could not imagine yet it influences the lives of individuals.

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