UPDATED: 27. AUG 2020, AT 19:58

How to travel to and from Slovakia post-coronavirus

Check out which border crossings are open, and how bus, train and air transport works.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Following the low numbers of COVID-19 positive cases as well as the death toll, Slovakia has started opening to the world more. First, it cancelled border controls at the crossings with the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary on June 5, and then extended the list by 16 more countries a few days later.

The list kept extending also in July.

The lifted measures have put an end to the mandatory state or smart quarantine, and also enabled several carriers to restore their operation.

If you plan to travel to or from Slovakia, here is some useful information before kicking off a trip:

How do I cross borders to and from Slovakia?

Related articleState borders between Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria are open Read more 

The borders between Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary opened on June 5, 2020. It means that people with a permanent or a temporary residence in these countries crossing borders do not have to show a negative COVID-19 test and undergo quarantine.

Those without any permanent or temporary residence in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria should have at least two identification documents with them, such as:

  • a health insurance card;
  • a rental contract;
  • an employment contract;
  • an agreement on performing the job;
  • a confirmation from employer;
  • an ownership deed;
  • a trade licence;
  • a confirmation of the utility bills payments;
  • a confirmation on opening the bank account;
  • an insurance agreement, etc.

Slovakia reopened its borders with Poland on June 20 at 6:00. The authorities, however, warn against travelling to the Silesia region as the epidemiologic situation is still not very good there.

How can I travel from Slovakia to "low-risk" countries?

Slovakia opened its borders to another 16 European countries, which the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) considers epidemiologically safe as of June 10. Travellers to/from these countries do not need to show a negative COVID-19 test and/or go to into quarantine.

The authorities extended the list by four more countries – Poland, Montenegro, Monaco and Faroe Islands, starting from June 20, 6:00.

In early July, the authorities started referring to low-risk countries. The list will be extended to include Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, and non-EU countries Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, probably from July 6.

Bulgaria and Montenegro were dropped from the list after their situations worsened. Tourists returning from these countries will have to observe a five-day home quarantine and then take a COVID-19 test financed by the state.

The United Kingdom was put on the list of less risky countries as of July 20.

Belgium, Croatia, France, Malta, the Netherlands and Spain will be added to the red list on September 1.

The ÚVZ will regularly update the list of low-risk countries countries. See list of safe list countries and risky regions here.

How can I travel between Slovakia and countries not on the "low-risk countries" list?

Incomers from countries not on the list of low-risk countries need to go to home isolation and notify the RÚVZ respective to their place of residence or temporary stay, either by phone or electronically. It is possible to register at korona.gov.sk. The form requires to fill in a phone number, a place of isolation, and the name of attending physician. The same applies to those who were in the risky countries for the past 14 days.

Compulsory quarantine for people coming from a red list country will be 10 days instead of the 14 days required currently from September 1.

Incomers should take a test after at least 5th day after their arrival.

Related articleTravelling abroad? You should avoid these regions Read more 

People living in the same household need to stay in isolation too. Isolation ends after the test is negative.

The same applies to foreigners, including EU citizens who visited a country not on the low-risk countries list in the past 14 days. They can enter Slovakia via borders with the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Hungary, as well as the border crossings at the airports if they show a negative COVID-19 test not older than 96 hours and then undergo home isolation.

If the person does not have a place of residence in Slovakia, the isolation in a hotel or an accommodation facility is acceptable. The person needs to arrange this stay with the owner of the selected facility and then report the place of stay to the respective regional ÚVZ branch, the authority’s spokesperson Daša Račková told The Slovak Spectator.

In addition, if any person returning from abroad, including those who were in green-list countries, report any symptoms of respiratory disease, they need to contact their attending physician and discuss their next steps.

Before travelling abroad, people should check the conditions for entering their final destination. You can find them also on the website of the Foreign Affairs Ministry (in Slovak).

Related articleSlovakia opens to more countries; schooling will be available for older children too Read more 

Which border crossings are open?

All Slovakia's border crossings with Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary have been open since June 5.

There are still closed borders with Ukraine, and people can enter the country only through selected crossings:

  • Ukraine
    • Vyšné Nemecké – Uzhgorod (for personal and freight transport)
    • Ubľa – Maly Bereznyj (full operation)
    • Veľké Slemence – Mali Selmenci (opened between 8:00 and 20:00)

Group of foreigners who are allowed to enter Slovakia through the outer border with Ukraine:

  • foreigners with a relationship to a Slovak citizen (spouses, minors, parents of a minor who is a Slovak citizen): do not need to be accompanied by their children or spouses, but have to show a document proving the relationship (original or copy of birth certificate, marriage certificate,...). Documents not in Slovak must be accompanied by translation, unofficial is enough.
  • foreigners with a valid residence permit in Slovakia;
  • foreigners with exemptions (like working in health care, social care, or students).

Can I transit via Slovakia?

EU citizens will be able to travel through Slovakia without an exemption from the Interior Ministry, but their transit cannot last longer than eight hours, including breaks.

They are also recommended to check the situation in Slovakia’s neighbouring countries.

Non-EU citizens who return to the EU member state where they have permanent or a temporary residence can transit via Slovakia only if they show a negative COVID-19 test in Slovak, Czech, English or German. The transit cannot last longer than eight hours, including breaks.

How can I travel to Slovakia by bus?

Several bus and train operators have restored connections between Slovakia and its neighbouring countries.

The Slovak Lines bus operator is now running buses to/from Vienna, Hainburg (both Austria) and Budapest (Hungary), and stops at international airports. Passengers are required to cover their faces while travelling. They are allowed to enter via the front door and buy a ticket from the driver. Passengers cannot sit in the first two rows behind drivers.

The FlixBus carrier has restored its international bus connections between Bratislava and Vienna (some stop also at train stations and airports), Košice and Prague (via Banská Bystrica, Trenčín and Uherské Hradište), Bratislava and Prague, and Košice and Plzeň (via Poprad and Žilina). It also launches buses to Poland, Salzburg (Austria) and Munich (Germany) on June 25. Passengers are required to cover their faces while travelling and disinfect their hands. The entrance is possible only through the back door, with passengers being checked in through their mobile phones. The sale of refreshments is suspended and toilettes are closed. Passengers are asked to purchase their tickets in advance.

RegioJet restarted its bus service between Slovakia and Austria (to Vienna, including the stop at the airport), and will add connections to the Czech Republic (Prague, Brno) and Hungary (Budapest) on June 19.

The carrier offers the usual services to its passengers onboard of both trains and buses, including the purchase of refreshments and the use of toilettes. Passengers are required to cover their faces. There are also disinfectants instead of soap. The ticket price includes free seat reservation.

How can I travel to Slovakia by train?

The state-run railway passenger carrier ZSSK has restored international transport to the Czech Republic and Austria. The international trains to Poland were launched on June 26, and trains to Hungary will be launched on July 13. It is expected that the company will restore trains to Ukraine during summer. Passengers need to cover their faces when purchasing tickets at the counters and also onboard. If they fail to do so, the conductor may ask them to leave the train.

Passengers travelling onboard of InterCity trains on the Košice – Bratislava – Vienna route receive bottled water (0.5 litre), and the carrier offers daily newspapers in electronic form. Passengers in 1st class also receive hot drinks. The carrier is gradually putting restaurant wagons in national trains into use from June 14.

RegioJet restored connections between Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and also to/from Rijeka in Croatia and Ljubljana in Slovenia. The carrier offers the usual services to its passengers onboard of both trains and buses, including the purchase of refreshments and the use of toilettes. Passengers are required to cover their faces. There are also disinfectants instead of soap. The ticket price includes free seat reservation.

How can I travel to Slovakia by plane?

The international airports in Bratislava and Košice reopened on June 15. Starting on September 7, flights to and from the countries on the red list will be allowed again.

The Bratislava airport currently operates flights to Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Croatia, and the UK. The flights to Bulgaria are permitted, but after arriving in Slovakia, it is necessary to contact the respective regional ÚVZ branch, stay in home isolation and take COVID-19 test on the 5th day.

It will start restoring the flights to red list countries, including Russia, Ukraine, North Macedonia, the United Arab Emirates and Serbia, from September 7.

The Košice airport operates flights to Austria, the Czech Republic and the UK. It also launched charter flights on July 28.

The airport in Poprad dispatched the first flights to the UK on July 22.

Related articleAirports in Bratislava and Košice to resume regular flights from mid-June Read more 

Passengers have to follow strict hygienic measures, including covering their faces with a mask or a scarf (except for children younger than 3 years of age) the whole time while at the airport and onboard the plane. They also have to disinfect their hands when entering the building, practice a 2-metre distance at check-in and security check. After arrival, their body temperature will be measured.

The Transport Ministry will soon launch a website where every passenger flying to Slovakia will have to fill in the form at least 24 hours before their scheduled arrival. They will have to state, among other things, which country they are flying from and where they will stay. Those arriving from red countries will have to show negative COVID-19 test and undergo self-isolation.

Also private and business flights to/from the low-risk countries are allowed.

Passengers whose flights land at airports in countries on the safe list should be able to travel to Slovakia if they are allowed to enter the territory of the respective country (check the above-mentioned information concerning borders).

If your plane lands in Vienna or Budapest, you can take a bus or a train to Slovakia as several carriers have restored their services. Check out what you need to do after arriving in Slovakia from low-risk or unsafe countries.

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