Starting on February 15, everybody entering Slovakia from abroad will have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival.
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The new rule will also apply to those coming from safe-list countries and EU member states, who up until now could avoid isolation by showing authorities a negative PCR or antigen test.
The change is in response to the threat posed by new Covid variants, particularly the South African one, according to Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO).
He also called on people to avoid travelling abroad unless necessary.
The current regime will be in place until at least the end of February. The ministry will decide on further steps based on the situation.
What will change?
Incomers will have to fill in the eHranica form prior to entering the country. As soon as they cross borders, they will have to enter quarantine, either at their home or in a state quarantine facility.
After eight days, they will be registered for a PCR test. If negative, they will be allowed to end their quarantine.
If positive, the test will be sent to the Institute of Biomedical Research Centre of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, where it will be sequenced to reveal other Covid variants.
Cross-border commuters will be exempt from the rules, but they will be required to have a negative PCR or antigen test result no older than seven days, along with an employment contract.
The exact conditions are to set by a regulation the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) will issue in the coming days.
Police should patrol the border crossings and check whether people have filled out the eHranica form, Krajčí said.
If the situation does not improve, it is possible the state will reintroduce mandatory state quarantine. In this case, it will probably re-launch the eQuarantine app developed earlier this year. The state stopped using it due to various problems with the app.
Economy Minister Richard Sulík (SaS) was tasked with removing the flaws and securing its proper operation.
The state is also ready to control incomers and their movement with the data supplied by mobile providers.
Read more about the coronavirus in Slovakia:
- Measures valid in Slovakia as of February 8 and updates on the requirement of a negative test result
- Statistics of the positive coronavirus cases
- Guide for travelling in the coronavirus pandemic
- Do I have the new coronavirus? How to proceed if you have a suspicion
- I encountered a person who is COVID-19 positive. What do I do next? (FAQ)
- When will I get my COVID vaccine? FAQs about vaccination in Slovakia
10. Feb 2021 at 17:18 | Compiled by Spectator staff