Back from a high-risk country? Here’s how to self-isolate

Read through these eight recommendations on how to self-isolate safely.

Homecomers waiting on a Slovak-Austrian border crossing on May 22, 2020.Homecomers waiting on a Slovak-Austrian border crossing on May 22, 2020. (Source: TASR)

Returning to Slovakia from countries that are not on its green list means that people are obliged to self-isolate until they test negative for the coronavirus.

This also concerns those who live in the same household with the person that has been ordered to spend several days in self-quarantine. As a result, they must not leave their home and are recommended to limit face-to-face interaction with others.

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The Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) has given several tips on how to survive self-isolation:

  • Use delivery services or ask friends/relatives for help.

"Organise your shopping with the help of friends, family or loved ones, and ask them to leave it at your door or in another designated place. Alternatively, if possible, use delivery services, services run by local councils, or contact a local branch of the Slovak Red Cross," Chief Hygienist Ján Mikas said.

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  • Hand washing and letting fresh air into the room are a must.

  • Disinfect handles, surfaces, and other items more often. Use products containing chlorine or alcohol. Also, use disposable paper and wet wipes.

  • Each member of the self-isolating family should have their own towel, plate, cup, and cutlery.

  • Avoid other family members at home.

"The ideal solution for a family member coming from abroad is a separate room and minimal contact with others. Even if this is not possible, each member of the family should do their utmost to prevent any transmission of the disease," Mikas added.

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  • It is okay to go out with a face covering on, if necessary.

For people self-isolating in a house, it is okay to spend time in the garden. In the apartment building, it is possible only for a short time such as walking a dog, taking out the trash and so on. Yet, it is necessary to use a face covering, observe social distancing and disinfect your hands before leaving a flat. Self-isolating people should also avoid using elevators.

"There must be a relevant reason for leaving the apartment building in case a breach of self-quarantine is reported," Mikas stressed.

  • People tested after five days in a testing centre.

Mikas also said that public health offices recommend people arrive at the testing centre in their own car. Only the people who are to get tested should sit in the car. If they do not drive themselves, the person driving them, just like the people getting tested, needs to have a face covering, Mikas noted. It is also advisable for a passenger to sit in the rear right seat and have the window at least partially open.

Read alsoLess risky countries added to open list, some conditions for mass events change Read more 

If the situation allows for it, it is possible to walk to the centre while wearing a face covering, maintaining distance from strangers and disinfecting hands before leaving home.

  • Unwell? Call your GP.

"If you do not feel well and suspect you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should immediately contact your doctor, who will assess your health and determine the next steps," the ÚVZ said.

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