From abroad to Slovakia: What repatriations look like

Foreigners with residence are also eligible for repatriations.

People arrived to state facility in Gabčíkovo to spend the obligatory quarantine there.People arrived to state facility in Gabčíkovo to spend the obligatory quarantine there. (Source: TASR)

When Slovak student Denis Dufala arrived in Latvia in January for his Erasmus student exchange, he did not know his experience was going to be much shorter than he expected.

He decided it was time to leave Riga when he remained one of only five students remaining in the dorms. It was the second half of March. By then, some commercial flights had been suspended and European countries started closing their borders. Dufala applied for the repatriation flight organised by Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Ministry.

As of April 8, 2020, the ministry has assisted more than 4,000 citizens in returning to their homeland, the new Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok stated after he was appointed on that day. His appointment was three weeks after the rest of the ministers received theirs, because he too first needed to return home from the United States where he had been serving as Slovakia's ambassador, and wait out the two-week compulsory quarantine after his return.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry stopped accepting new state-organised repatriation requests on April 2, for several reasons, as they stated.

“Among other things there is also the fact that many citizens did not use the possibility of organised repatriation or only requested it formally, as their usual residence is abroad,” ministry stated.

There have been cases of citizens who were repatriated and have since returned to the country they come from.

Slovak citizens and foreigners with exceptions may still return home on their own.

Heading to the state quarantine centre

They are required to fill in the due documents at navraty.mzv.sk (English version available).

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