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After long queues at the borders and problems with launching the so-called smart quarantine that was supposed to be an alternative to mandatory quarantine in the state-run facilities, the state authorities finally launched it on May 23.
They did not wait for the Google and Apple companies to approve the app.
“People can’t wait any longer, so we won’t wait either. We have launched the (smart) quarantine, even before we received the approval from Apple and Google,” PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) wrote on Facebook.
However, the app can be downloaded only on phones with the Android operating system. There are three border crossings where people can transit to home quarantine: Petržalka-Berg (Austria), Jarovce-Kittsee (Austria), and Drietoma-Starý Hrozenkov (the Czech Republic).
At the same time, those in state quarantine can transit to home quarantine.
More than 1,300 people
1,302 people have already transitioned to home quarantine, PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) stated on May 25 afternoon. Of them, 740 came from state quarantine, and 562 used the app after crossing the borders. He expects the number of people under home quarantine to increase.
“If we continue this at this rate, there may be nobody in state quarantine by the end of this week,” he added.
Conditions for eQuarantine
- Smartphone with a camera and location tracking;
- Sufficiently charged smartphone at all times;
- Nonstop Wi-Fi connection or enough mobile data;
- Sufficient signal at the place of home quarantine;
- People living in the same household need to stay in quarantine too;
- Informing people transporting the repatriates from state borders about the need to be protected by a FFP2/KN95 respirator;
- Undergo the COVID-19 test after at least 5 days since entering Slovakia.
Before entering Slovakia, people have to fill out a registration form on the Korona.gov.sk website and then download the eKaranténa app.
Although the app has been approved by Google, it is operating in a test phase.
The app not only can be used to monitor the person who is undergoing quarantine, but can also be used to notify users whether or not they need to get tested for the coronavirus.
The repatriates in both home and state quarantine need to be isolated for 14 days in total. People in home quarantine should not leave their homes and should secure deliveries of food or other necessities.
It is not recommended to spend home quarantine with people older than 65 years.
A controversial option removed
The form that people interested in smart quarantine need to fill in has already been updated following a discussion in a Facebook group.
One of the questions the users were required to answer was what kind of contact they were going to have with the people with whom they will be under home quarantine, with options like “household”, as well as “face to face” or “exchanging of bodily fluids”.
Following criticism, the options were reduced to “household” and “means of transport”, the Zive.aktuality.sk website reported.
Meanwhile, the state promised to enable new registration for all repatriates under home quarantine, since many of them tagged on the map a field or a forest instead of a house, or a block of flats where they will spend their isolation. The reason is that regional hygienists have received dozens of notifications about violating the quarantine.
“Although we originally said that it won’t be possible to change the location, we will enable them to change it once this week,” Ján Bučkuliak, a member of the permanent crisis staff, told the Sme daily.
At the same time, the app will be updated since it kept freezing on some phones.
Read more about the coronavirus outbreak in Slovakia:
25. May 2020 at 9:48 (modified at 25. May 2020 at 22:48) | Compiled by Spectator staff