Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Slovakia maintains COVID-19 some entry restrictions as of July 9. Business and travel disruptions remain.

  • Alert Begins: 09 Jul 2020 11:50 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 17 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Authorities in Slovakia are maintaining entry restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of July 9. Officials have designated a number of locations as "safe countries", including Austria, Australia, Belgium, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, and Switzerland. Citizens of Slovakia may travel freely between these countries, and travelers from these destinations are not required to self-isolate or prove they are COVID-19 free on arrival, provided they have not visited any other countries in the preceding 14 days. Land and air travel with these countries has resumed; controls at land border crossings are now only carried out at the external border with Ukraine. Persons, including Slovak residents, traveling from countries not on the approved safe list are required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within the last 96 hours or have a COVID-19 test performed in Slovakia within five days of their arrival. Persons testing positive for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate until they have recovered.

Authorities previously lifted the state of emergency imposed to combat COVID-19 June 13 and has continued to gradually ease domestic restrictions. As of July 9, almost all businesses, services, and facilities are permitted to resume operations, provided they implement strict social distancing and hygiene requirements. Face masks 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
The actions taken by the Slovak government are similar to those performed by other nations recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.

As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could begin to reintroduce sporadic, highly targeted 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, likely negating the necessity for a large-scale, blanket reintroduction of significant restrictions.

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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