Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Slovakia to loosen restrictions on some businesses from April 22; further coronavirus restrictions remain in place.

This alert affects Slovakia

This alert began 21 Apr 2020 13:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Authorities in Slovakia will loosen some restrictions related to stemming the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country from April 22. Shops, businesses, and services with premises not exceeding 300 square meters may reopen. Restaurants and other public food services may reopen; however, customers may only be served through a shop window. Some small outdoor markets may also reopen, subject to unspecified conditions. Long-term accommodation facilities may reopen, but may not serve food. Outdoor contactless sport facilities, such as tennis courts, may reopen without spectators; changing rooms and toilets will remain closed. Vehicle dealerships may also reopen.

Numerous other COVID-related restrictions remain in effect. As of March 13, all borders and international airports are indefinitely closed to nonresident foreign nationals. Freight and repatriation flights may continue. As of April 6, 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 the center until they have recovered. Persons testing negative are required to self-isolate at home for a cumulative period of 14 days. Short-term accommodation, most nonessential businesses, shopping centers, outdoor tourist attractions, museums, theaters, contact sports facilities, and 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 correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks, in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (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.

Advice
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.

Resources
World Health Organization: www.who.int