The coronavirus pandemic forced many of us to stay at home for an extended period of time. The borders were closed, the flights were canceled, and avid holidaymakers had no choice but to wait. Wait if and where to they would be allowed to travel this year. Luckily, though, the situation in Europe began to improve and the governments of most countries starting lifting protective measures, including those related to travel, so as to strengthen the weakened economy. But some virologists are shaking their heads in despair. They are afraid that the virus will be brought back into the country due to people who refuse to give up their vacation abroad.
Sea, blue sea, nothing but sea. That's what our fellow countrymen long for. When the borders to Croatia were opened, many Czechs immeditely stormed this holiday paradise. A train company even took a completely unusual step and introduced a line from Prague to Rijeka. The seats are already hopelessly sold until the end of September.
Qatar Airways, for example, plans to restart operations on the route from Prague to Doha from 1 July 2020, and the low-cost airline easyJet plans to resume operations from Václav Havel Prague Airport to several destinations during July. To be more exact, the carrier should start flying to Amsterdam again from 13 July, to Manchester from 16 July, to Edinburgh from 17 July and the connection to Milan Malpensa Airport should be in operation the day after. Gradually, direct flights to other destinations from Prague should be renewed - to Basel, Venice, Naples, Bristol and also to London to Gatwick Airport.
Most countries, including the Czech Republic, don't even want to see a negative test for covid-19 anymore. Simply put, the world is returning to normal. However, virologists are sounding the alarm. They are afraid that we will bring the virus back home from a holiday abroad, despite the fact that hotels and restaurants have adapted to strict restrictions, such as keeping a distance between tables, a ban on buffet meals and the like.
"I am not going on holiday abroad this year. Where I see potential risk is is that the virus can be imported here from areas where the epidemiological situation has not yet been resolved, so I would like to appeal to citizens to choose to support domestic tourism this year,"
virologist Soňa Peková stated recently, adding that despite this, she believes there will be no second wave. If people don't bring the virus home from vacation as a souvenir.
Of course, viruses mutate, that's common knowledge nowadays. According to epidemiologist Roman Chlibek, the extent of mutation in the coronavirus is a question that has yet to be answered.
"If we travel to an area where a completely different virus is spreading than the one circulating in the Czech population, the sensitivity of the Czech citizen to the mutation variant of the virus may be higher than to the Czech variant,"
said Chlíbek in an interview for Radiožurnál. When a person is, in epidemiological terminology, more susceptible to the virus, it means that they are less resistant to infection.
According to immunologist Václav Hořejší, scientists around the world have so far discovered two thousand mutations in coronavirus. Which doesn'z necessarily mean that it should be dangerous for the Czechs.
Peková, who is a thorn in the side of not only her colleagues but also politicians because of her opinions, stands firmly by her opinion. The virus was created artificially in the laboratory, which means it has no chance of surviving in natural conditions.
The fact that some countries are still struggling with a high number of infected will, according to her, soon be a thing of the past.