Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Slovakia extends ban on incoming flights until May 28; restriction relaxations under COVID-19-related recovery plan continuing.

This alert affects Slovakia

This alert began 14 May 2020 20:53 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Authorities in Slovakia have extended the nation's ban on incoming flights until at least May 28. The measure was originally slated to expire on May 14. Cargo, medical, humanitarian, and repatriation flights remain exempt from the directive.

Additionally, Slovakia is continuing to gradually ease restrictions under its ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) recovery plan. Under two rounds of relaxations that began April 22 and May 6, respectively, authorities have allowed a number of businesses to reopen, provided they comply with social distancing and hygiene requirements:

  • Shops and outdoor markets (malls remain closed)
  • Short and long-term accommodation (no food can be served)
  • Hairdressers and cosmeticians
  • Outdoor tourist attractions
  • Outdoor areas of bars and restaurants
  • Museums, galleries, libraries, and exhibition halls
  • Religious services
  • Taxi services
  • Venues for outdoor contactless sports
  • Car dealerships

Nevertheless, numerous other restrictions remain in effect. All borders and airports are indefinitely closed to nonresident foreign nationals. All persons entering the country are subject to mandatory isolation in a state quarantine center until they have cleared a health screening. Persons testing positive for COVID-19 will be required to remain in isolation until they have recovered. Persons testing negative are required to self-isolate at home for a cumulative period of 14 days. Educational institutions remain closed indefinitely.

Authorities may further amend restrictions throughout Slovakia in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Slovakian government are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks, in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

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. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

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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