Policy responses for Slovakia - HSRM


Policy responses for Slovakia

6. Measures in other sectors

6.1 Measures in other sectors

Many MEASURES IN OTHER SECTORS beyond the immediate scope of the health system are being taken to prevent further spread of the virus. This section contains information on many of these areas, including border and travel restrictions and economic and fiscal measures, among others.

• Borders
As of March 13, the entry of foreign nationals to the territory of the Slovak Republic is not allowed, with the exception of  situations listed on the link (https://www.mzv.sk/web/en/covid-19) .

Border crossings points have been closed. However, the following persons are allowed to enter the territory of the Slovak Republic:
• persons, who can prove their official form of residence - permanent or temporary residence and a valid travel document,
• persons commuting to work on the Slovak – Austrian, Slovak - Czech or the Slovak - Hungarian side and vice – versa (proving by an identity card / passport, residence card and confirmation from the employer / employment contract).

As of May 1, 2020, all persons traveling to Slovakia are obliged to be isolated in state quarantine centers. As of April 6, 2020, the entry of foreign nationals to the territory of the Slovak Republic is not allowed, with the exception of the situations listed in the following link: https://www.mzv.sk/web/en/covid-19).

In order to prevent a potential Covid-19 infection spreading in and out of Roma settlements, the government has launched mass testing of whole communities with following lockdowns of 5 settlements with positive results (4 communities have been already reopened).

As of August, 25, 2020, borders are open to all countries. However, arrival from certain risky countries will require a mandatory quarantine and RT-PCT testing, as discussed in section 1.3

British and South African mutation of the virus
The first occurrence of the British coronavirus mutation was found in a frozen sample as early as 14 November 2020. Retrospective analysis of 560 positive samples from the Trencin region (19-20 December) showed a 57% prevalence in the region, according to the analysis of the Trencin Public Health Authority.

Prospective analysis by the Public Health Authority on 15 February 2021 that involved 2 384 samples showed that the average  prevalence of B.1.1.7 mutation was 72%. This percentage grew to 74% by the second round of the analysis on 3 March (1 962 samples). On March 17, 2021, it was announced that residents of Slovakia would not be allowed to travel for the purpose of leisure

The first cases of the South African mutation in Slovakia were discovered on 7 March in 7 samples from travellers abroad.

• Mobility (transport)
Exemption from aforementioned include, e.g. -- drivers of freight transport by road and of goods vehicles who have a CMR loading certificate and also of unloaded vehicles for the purpose of loading goods and transit through the territory of the Slovak Republic to another state without a CMR certificate (the driver of an unloaded vehicle must be able to demonstrate, in a trustworthy manner, the purpose of their travel to a loading place and/or of their transit). Foreign nationals who are drivers of freight transport will also be allowed to enter, who use other ways of transport, under the condition that they are traveling to a place where they are going to be engaged in freight transportation, and are able to demonstrate it.
In relation to the transport restrictions, beginning on 13 March, the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic imposed special measures for international transport:

- Railway Transport
Domestic rail passenger transport operates according to holiday timetables every day as of  14 March. The Slovak Passenger Railways Company continues to regularly disinfect train cars. Similarly, the Railways of the Slovak Republic) disinfects the premises of the railway stations.
The government calls on seniors to use public transport only when necessary. https://www.mzv.sk/web/en/covid-19

- Bus Transport
Likewise, international bus transport is not allowed to operate from or to Slovakia as of 13 March 7.00 a.m.
The government calls on seniors to use public transport only when necessary.
Taxi services are allowed to provide its service strictly within the transport of goods or deliveries (no passengers transportation is allowed).
The official travel advice for the Slovak Republic is published at https://www.mzv.sk/web/en/covid-19
Inquiries for additional information in addition to the above stated must be addressed directly to the Border and Foreign Police Bureau of the Presidium of the Police Force of the Slovak Republic – [email protected].

In relation to the transport restrictions, beginning on 13 March, the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic imposed special measures for international transport:
International bus, air, water and railway transport is not allowed to operate from or to Slovakia as of 13 March 7.00 a.m. Ships carrying persons may not stop in the ports located in the territory of the Slovak Republic. Only transit through the territory of the Slovak Republic is allowed.

- Economy
The state will pay 80% of the employee's salary to companies that have had to be closed due to the containment measures. Employees in quarantine and parents who are at home with their children will receive 55% of their gross salary from the state.
The government will provide transfers for self-employed and employees in companies that have recorded a drop in revenues. The transfer will depend on how much a company was affected and can amount up to more than €540 per employee.
Government loan guarantees to banks will amount to half a billion euros for employers, to be able to finance their business. The government has already postponed the deadline for tax returns by three months both, for companies and individuals.
The payment of payroll taxes and the deadline for paying income tax advance payments will be delayed for those whose revenues drop by more than 40%.
Municipalities and towns have to set up phone lines for food delivery and other help for the elderly and disabled.

- State aid
Adopted new social law extends entitlement to sickness (in case of quarantine measure or isolation order) and nursing benefits during the time of "the state of emergency" declared in relation to COVID-19. 
NGOs with the Ministry of Education prepared a portal for students and parents, which will serve as a tool for official communication during interrupted teaching at schools in times of emergency. It contains more than 100 webinars, online courses and recommendations for teachers, professional staff, counseling, parents and high school. Moreover the Research Institute of Child Psychology has established crisis telephone lines and e-mail communication for parents, teachers and professional staff.

The Ministry of Education issued Guidelines on the content and organization of education of primary school pupils during the extraordinary interruption of teaching in the school year 2019/2020.
The Ministry of Education has published an application (HybSaDoma.sk) to help physical education teachers, physical activity instructors and sports coaches (especially) of the youth.

Govermental institutions, NGOs and Police of the Slovak Republic launched the information campaign on the issue of violence during the corona crisis on social networks as well as through conservative way (i.e.: the National Line for Women Experiencing Violence has set up an email account).

- Civil protection
The Slovak Republic declared a state of emergency on 16 March. This was temporarily extended, including restrictions on freedom of movement during Easter. The curfew will apply from 00:00 on Wednesday 8 April and will end at 23:59 on Monday 13 April.
The curfew does not apply to travel to work or to business, to purchase necessary supplies such as food or medicine for yourself or someone else (not only for a family member, but also for e.g. a neighbor), or to travel to a health facility.
Movement in nature within the district, as well as a journey within the district, is an exception if someone cares for a person who is reliant on help or a trip to a funeral of a loved one. In the case of Bratislava and Košice, who have up to five districts, restrictions are valid for the whole city.
The government also adopted a ban on gathering people, with the exception of members of the common household. This measure is intended to prevent groups of friends from meeting in nature.
Soldiers will assist the police in order to keep general order. The Soldiers also assist in performing tests in Roma communities.

- Cross-border collaboration
Limited cross-border movement with Austria and Hungary is in place for those who commute to work between these countries. Since 19 March, the free cross-border movement applies for the Slovak citizens who live or work in the territory of Hungary within 30 km distance from the borders. Slovak citizens have to present to the border control a valid identity card, confirmation from the employer, and/or proof of residence. This group of Slovak citizens is exempted from mandatory quarantine measures, however, the situation may change.
Persons residing permanently or temporarily in the Slovak Republic or in the Austrian border region within 30 km from the national border of the Slovak Republic and those who commute to work within 30 km from the national border and have a confirmation from the employer are allowed to cross the border without being subjected to the mandatory quarantine. The Slovak citizens working as health care professionals in the areas of Vienna, Lower Austria or Burgenland at a distance of more than 30 km from the border crossing can go back to the territory of the Slovak Republic, but only with a copy of the COVID-19 negative test result not older than 96 hours.
With effect from 27 April 2020, there is special regime for exemptions from obligation to complete the mandatory 14-day ordered (domestic/state) quarantine in the Slovak and Czech Republic (if a person proves by a medical certificate negative PCR test result on SARS-CoV-2 not older than prescribed period; persons who live in the Slovak Republic and perform their employment within the 30 km radius from the border crossing).


TASR (2021). Britská mutácia: Zverejnili výsledky druhého celoslovenského prieskumu (British mutation: They published the results of the second all-Slovak survey). Available online from: https://slovensko.hnonline.sk/2302900-britska-mutacia-zverejnili-vysledky-druheho-celoslovenskeho-prieskumu

RTVS (2021). Na Slovensku potvrdili prvé prípady juhoafrickej mutácie koronavírusu (In Slovakia, they confirmed the first cases of a South African coronavirus mutation). Available online from: https://spravy.rtvs.sk/2021/03/na-slovensku-potvrdili-prve-pripady-juhoafrickej-mutacie-koronavirusu/