Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Slovakia amends COVID-19-related entry restrictions to include travelers from Czech Republic Sept. 18. Domestic restrictions remain.

Alert Begins 18 Sep 2020 10:47 AM UTC
Alert Expires 29 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Authorities in Slovakia have issued updated entry restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from Sept. 18. Travel to and from EEA countries - other than Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden - remains unrestricted. Similarly, those arriving from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, and the UK face no entry restrictions. Persons, including Slovak residents, traveling from elsewhere or who have visited other countries in the preceding 14 days are required to register with authorities and self-isolate until they can receive a COVID-19 test. The test must not be taken until the fifth day following arrival at the earliest; those testing positive are required to self-isolate until they have recovered. This requirement will not apply to people traveling from the Czech Republic to their place of work, providing it lies within 30 km (20 miles) of the nearest border crossing.

Almost all domestic businesses, services, and facilities have resumed operations, provided they implement strict social distancing and hygiene requirements. Facemasks must be worn in enclosed or crowded public spaces, and social distancing of 2 meters (6.5 feet) must be observed where possible.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
Authorities could reintroduce measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Such measures could apply to districts, neighborhoods, or even specific facilities, including schools, factories, or accommodation and office blocks. Mandatory social-distancing procedures in public places and on public transport, as well as widespread voluntary "self-policing" by residents, will assist in reducing the potential for contagion, reducing the necessity for a large-scale, blanket reintroduction of significant restrictions.

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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