Less risky countries added to open list, some conditions for mass events change

Some rules will change from July 6. But wearing masks or face coverings is still required.

PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) introduces a new list of less risky countries.PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) introduces a new list of less risky countries. (Source: TASR)

Slovakia will open to more countries, including some outside the EU, in the following days.

At the same time, the rules governing mass events like sports tournaments will change after the organiser of a football match in Dunajská Streda (Trnava Region) failed to meet the conditions required and ignored the necessity for checker-board seating. Moreover, many visitors failed to wear masks or other face coverings.

The group of experts plans no changes to wearing masks.

“The responsibility people demonstrated helped us during the first three months,” said PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) at the June 2 press conference, referring to the incident in Dunajská Streda. “I’d be glad if people were this responsible again.”

Safe countries are now less risky

The safe countries will now be referred to as less risky countries. The list will be extended to include Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, probably from July 6. Some non-EU countries, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea will be added.

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, chief hygienist Ján Mikas informed.

The list will now be updated about every two weeks, he added.

As many as 63 out of 130 people infected with the coronavirus in June came from abroad. Of them, 42 were infected in risky countries, mostly in Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Altogether 17 people were infected in the Czech Republic, three in Germany and three in Romania.

Related articleHow to travel to and from Slovakia post-coronavirus Read more 

The members of the group of experts thus recommend that people be careful when travelling abroad and reconsider the necessity of travelling outside Slovakia.

Meanwhile, they are discussing the possibility of cancelling the requirement to have a negative COVID-19 test when arriving from risky countries. However, people will have to stay in five-day home quarantine and then take the test reimbursed by the state. The final decision has not been made yet.

Changes to mass events

Following the incident in Dunajská Streda, the organisers of sports events will be required to keep every second row empty. Currently, they are required to secure checker-board seating.

The organisers of events with more than 1,000 participants held both indoors and outdoors who cannot secure the correct seating for visitors will be required to limit the number of people to one visitor per 10 square metres. The space will have to be divided into sectors, while the entrance to and exit from these sectors will have to be checked. Tickets should be sold only online.

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