Seen in this light, we would like to single out some temporary changes that will be made, and alert you to possible risks that may be avoided through caution and careful behaviour.
Traffic density and the number of passengers is likely to be higher.
Throughout the World Ice-Hockey Championship a higher number of vehicles on the roads and more passengers in trains and buses, especially on the route Prague-Ostrava and on the roads connecting those cities with the international border crossings, should be expected.
Use public transport in Prague and Ostrava.
Inevitable traffic closures, frequent traffic jams and restricted parking possibilities in the centres of the two cities should be anticipated and taken into consideration. That is why visitors are recommend to use public transport.
The number of public transport passengers is also likely to be higher.
Public transport in Prague and Ostrava is likely to be crowded and possibly delayed as well. That is why passengers should be patient and considerate. Travelling by public transport will still be faster than using your car in the city. Moreover, you'll avoid the risk of a traffic accident.
Drivers should kindly watch out for a higher number of pedestrians.
If you still decide to come to Prague in your car, you should be warned that the number of pedestrians in Prague and Ostrava moving not only on the sidewalks but also on the roads will be higher than usual. Kindly pay greater attention to pedestrians when driving, reckoning with their unexpected behaviour.
Visitors are recommended to buy tickets for ice-hockey matches solely at official ticket sale outlets. Tickets that you purchase elsewhere may turn out to be counterfeit, and you'll be subsequently denied entry into the ice-hockey arena. (A list of the official ticket sale outlets is given on the Internet page www.mshokej2004.cz).
Lines and crowded places are a paradise for pickpockets.
Crowds of people in Prague and Ostrava as well as in railway stations and public transport elsewhere in the Czech Republic are likely to attract pickpockets. That is why visitors are requested to comply with the basic rules on how to protect themselves against pickpockets:
It will be very difficult throughout the Championship to avoid crowds. That is why special attention should be paid in such situations to your immediate surroundings. Make sure to keep an eye on your personal belongings.
Bags or knapsacks (backpacks) containing your money and documents should not be worn on your back. If you lay your bag aside in a restaurant or put it into a shopping trolley in a supermarket, make sure to keep an eye on it all the time.
Do not leave your wallet or documents on the top of your bag and handbag.
Keep all your important documents in your breast pockets and other pockets that may be buttoned or zipped up. Do not wear them in your back trouser pockets!
Do not keep your documents in your wallet and never carry a lot of cash on you. Use direct debit methods of payment as much as possible.
During your stay in this country nobody, not even the police, is authorized to check your money, its authenticity or your credit cards. Such checks may only be made by the Czech police at the border crossings during your entry into the Czech Republic (as of May 1, 2004 this provision no longer applies to the citizens of the European Union member states). Under no circumstances you should disclose to anyone the PIN to your credit card.
Make sure to lock and secure your car.
Just as the crowds of people are likely to attract pickpockets, the large number of cars arriving in the Czech Republic will draw the attention of car thieves. That is why drivers are recommended to use all available safety precautions and to lock their cars very carefully.
Visitors are recommended not to leave in their parked cars any luggage and, whenever possible, other things that might attract the attention of thieves. In actual fact, thieves are attracted by what may seem to you a mere trifle.
You can promote your own safety through your cautious behaviour.
Crowds of people are known to attract not only pickpockets but also other suspicious individuals, ranging from various types of beggars to criminals. That is why you should look after your own safety:
Avoid visiting less frequented and dark places after dusk. It is usually better to make a detour or plan a longer but safer route.
Make sure that some of your friends and acquaintances should always know where you are, where and with whom you are leaving, when you are planning to get back, eventually you should give a telephone number where you may be reached.
Do not underestimate the behaviour of sports fans. It is always better to avoid any provocation.
If you happen to fall victim of a crime or are threatened to be victimized call the Emergency Line 112.
The laws of the Czech Republic, which are applicable to any person staying in its territory, may differ from the laws valid in your home country.
Czech police officers prove their identity with their uniforms and identification numbers, their police I.D., their Criminal Police Service badges or oral identification: “Police“. At your request, police officers are obliged to produce their service I.D.
Situations in which you are obliged to prove your identity to police officers:
Police officers are authorized to request a person to prove his or her identity:
when such a person is found behaving in a manner displaying signs of a criminal offence or misdemeanour;
when such a person is legally required to provide an explanation;
when such a person's likeness conforms to the description of a wanted or missing person;
when such a person is found staying unjustifiably near a protected object;
when such a person is holding a weapon in a public place and there is reasonable suspicion that the weapon may be used for violent purposes or threat of violence;
when such a person is found staying near the scene of a crime, a traffic accident, fire or other emergency event.
In cases laid down by law police officers are authorized to bring to the police station a suspect who is required to provide an explanation or prove his or her identity.
During road checks police officers are authorized to ask drivers to produce the following documents:
vehicle registration documents;
green card on the payment of car insurance for travels abroad.
Police officers are also authorized to ask the passengers in a vehicle to produce their identity cards as well.
After meeting the statutory conditions, the Police of the Czech Republic is authorized to check vehicles. Such checks are usually held when pursuing perpetrators of particularly serious intentional criminal offences or while searching for wanted persons, weapons, ammunition, explosives, narcotics or stolen objects.
In cases laid down by law police officers are authorized to ban anybody from entering a specific place for a necessary period of time or to tell them to stay away from such a place.
The highest permissible speed limit in the Czech Republic is 50 kilometres per hour in urban districts, 90 kilometres per hour outside urban districts, and 130 kilometres per hour on dual carriageways.
It is strictly prohibited in the Czech Republic to drive under the influence of alcohol!
The use of any quantity of alcohol or any other addictive substances prior to or during driving is strictly prohibited by law!
When called upon by the police, anyone is obliged to subject to a breathanalyzer test or a medical examination to establish whether that person is under the influence of alcohol or other habit-forming substances.
During a border crossing check, an alien is obliged at police request:
to produce his or her passport;
to produce his or her visa, if the visa obligation applies;
to produce a document proving that the alien has sufficient financial means to cover his or her stay in the territory, namely:
a bank account statement;
other documents on financial provisions, for instance an internationally valid credit card. Attention: you are not obliged to disclose your PIN;
a document proving the payment for accommodation in the country, or a document proving that such services will be provided free of charge; 8) to produce a health insurance document, unless the person is insured under special legal provisions;
to produce a document proving that his or her accommodation has been arranged;
to fill in and sign a border-crossing form;
to give data corresponding in scope to visa application.
As of May 1, 2004 the duty to submit documents pursuant to Items 3 to 7 no longer applies to the citizens of the member states of the European Union. (Only those duties that may apply to sports fans coming to the Czech Republic to attend the World Ice-Hockey Championship have been selected from the law).
Don't Forget ...
It is definitely worthwhile to carry your identity card or a similar document with you.
Make sure to carry your passport or any other identity card with you. This will save you eventual troubles.
Kindly find out the contact address or phone number of your Embassy in the Czech Republic.
The list containing the contact addresses of all the Embassies in the Czech Republic is to be found on the web pages of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic www.mzv.cz under the icon Diplomatické mise a úoady (Diplomatic Missions and Offices). If you find yourselves in difficulties, these contacts may prove to be useful.