Czech Republic - Consular Information Sheet
April 7, 2000
The Czech Republic is a rapidly developing European nation undergoing
profound economic and social change. Tourist facilities, particularly
those found in the capital, Prague, are quickly approaching the
level of those found in most western European countries. Outside
Prague, these facilities are not as developed, and some goods
and services taken for granted in other European countries may
not yet be available.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required, but a visa
is not necessary for U.S. citizens for tourism or business visits
of up to 30 days. The Czech Government recently made major changes
in visa requirements for longer stays and for any purpose other
than tourism or business. For further information concerning entry
requirements for the Czech Republic, travelers can contact the
Embassy of the Czech Republic at 3900 Spring of Freedom Street,
N.W., Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 274-9173 or visit
the Embassy's web site at http://www.czech.cz/washington/.
CRIME INFORMATION: The Czech Republic has a low rate
of violent crime. However, there has been a dramatic increase
in street crime, particularly pickpocketing, especially in major
tourist areas in Prague and on public transportation. Visitors
should be alert to the potential for substantial overcharging
by taxis, particularly in areas frequented by tourists. The loss
or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately
to the local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
The Department of State's pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad," is available
from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402. It provides useful information on
safeguarding valuables and protecting personal security while
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are available,
but they may be limited, particularly in remote areas. Doctors
and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services. Serious
medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation
to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas
may face extreme difficulties. Check with your own insurance company
to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision
for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made
to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed
later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include
coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains
in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies
abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in
the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure
"Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad," available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via their Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning the Czech Republic is provided for general reference
only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good
First-class roads in the Czech Republic generally meet western
European standards. However, on side roads drivers should be prepared
to encounter uneven surfaces, irregular lane markings, and sign
placements which are not clear. Roads are often under construction.
Streets in towns are not always in good condition. U.S. drivers
should pay special attention to driving on cobblestone and among
streetcars in historic city centers. Speed limits are 50 km/h
in towns and on highways 110 km/h.
Persons driving into the Czech Republic should be aware that
a road usage tax sticker is required to drive legally on several
major highways, including the E-50 motorway. Signs stating this
requirement are posted near the border, but they are in Czech
only and are easy to miss. The stickers are available at gasoline
stations on the highways. The fine for failing to display a motorways
toll sticker is 2,000 Czech crowns (about $70) if assessed on
Taxi fares in Prague are deregulated. There is no fixed charge.
Passengers should determine the fare to be charged and agree on
it before beginning a taxi ride. Taxis operating from stands in
the most common tourist areas charge significantly higher fees
than many taxi services which are radio dispatched.
For specific information concerning the Czech Republic driver's
permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance,
contact the Czech Tourist Authority offices in New York at (212)
288-0830 or email@example.com.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of the Czech
Republic Civil Aviation Authority as Category 1 -- in compliance
with international aviation safety standards for oversight of
the Czech Republic air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit
the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of
air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific
carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Czech customs authorities encourage
the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet
for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial
samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet
Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business,
1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees
the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information
call (212) 354-4480, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit www.uscib.org for details.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Czech laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in the Czech Republic are strict and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information on international adoption
of children and international parental child abduction, please
refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS: Americans
living in or visiting the Czech Republic are encouraged to register
at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic
and obtain updated information on travel and security within the
Czech Republic. Information is also available on the Embassy's
website at www.usembassy.cz. The U.S. Embassy in Prague is located
at Trziste 15; tel. (420) (2) 5753-0663; for after hours emergencies
only (420) (2) 5753-2716.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
14, 1999 to update information on Traffic Safety and Road Conditions,
Aviation Safety Oversight and Registration/Embassy and Consulate
phone numbers, to add information on Medical Insurance, Other
Health Information, Criminal Penalties, and Children's Issues,
and to delete Y2K Information.