Crisis staff takes resolute measures, severe limits on mass events introduced

Austria and Hungary will remain green for now.

PM Igor Matovič (l) and chief hygienist Ján Mikas while introducing new measures that will come into force on October 1.PM Igor Matovič (l) and chief hygienist Ján Mikas while introducing new measures that will come into force on October 1. (Source: TASR)

People in Slovakia should prepare for stricter measures aimed at containing the coronavirus, which will come into force on October 1.

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These concern mostly mass events, the operation of restaurants and other similar facilities, and the operation of shops and shopping centres. The central crisis staff will also submit a proposal to declare a national emergency. The proposal should be submitted for the next cabinet session.

“The situation in Slovakia is extremely serious,” PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) stressed at the September 28 press conference, held during the session of the central crisis staff. “We can’t control what happens in the next week or two, but we can influence what happens the third week from now.”

Changes after October 1

  • Unlike the initial suggestion, Austria and Hungary will remain on the list of low-risk countries for now, as the epidemic situation is very similar to that in Slovakia. However, the hygienists are ready to monitor how the situation develops in those countries. The crisis staff will recommend to consider travelling to Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Slovenia, Switzerland and the UK unless necessary. At the same time, Vatican, San Marino and Taiwan will be added to the green list, according to State Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Martin Klus.
  • All mass events, except for weddings, christenings and funeral ceremonies and meetings required by law, will be cancelled. This includes cultural and sports events, as well as mass, wedding parties and funeral feasts. The exception will be given to those organisers who report the event to the respective regional Public Health Authority office 48 hours prior to the event, and all participants have a negative COVID-19 test no older than 12 hours. Family parties should be postponed until the situation improves. The details for the limits of participants in events that are exempt will be specified later.

  • All restaurants, pubs, cafés and similar operations will have to limit their opening hours to 6:00-22:00, except for food and drinks deliveries and drive-in units. Only those operations that can secure seating will stay open. People will be required to wear masks unless they are eating and drinking.
  • Shops and shopping centres will have to reintroduce limits for the number of customers in their operations to one person per 10 square metres. They will also have to wear a mask or other face covering, keep a 2-metre distance and ensure the disinfection at the entrance. In addition, there should be one person standing at the entrance to check whether the measures are observed.
  • The compulsory wearing of masks in the fifth to ninth grades of primary schools and secondary schools will be prolonged, with the date being specified later. The central crisis staff will also recommend the wearing of masks in the first to fourth grades of primary schools.
  • People will have to wear masks outdoors if their distance from people who do not live in the same household is less than 2 metres.

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