For almost a year now, borders have officially been under stricter regime and travelling around Europe and the world has been harder.
Martin Klus, the SaS-nominated state secretary (Deputy Minister) of Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Ministry, has been in charge of cross-border travelling-related issues after the pandemic hit. In an interview with The Slovak Spectator, he shares his expectations of how travelling will look this summer and explains the Foreign Ministry’s involvement in negotiations on Sputnik V vaccines.
The Slovak Spectator (TSS): The stricter border regime was originally set to last until the end of February, but March is starting and the government has approved yet stricter measures. When do you expect the rules to start lifting?Read more
Martin Klus (MK): The government agreed to re-evaluate the measures based on infection numbers. These are not favourable, be it the number of infected cases or people in the hospitals. The number of new deaths per day hasn't dropped either.
I do not see much room for toughening the rules, though. We have set rather strict conditions for people who need to travel to work or who live on the other side of the border.
TSS: In the first wave last year, state quarantine was compulsory for all incomers. The measure faced criticism as being possibly unconstitutional. What is your opinion? Would you recommend it again?
MK: I am aware of this criticism. I believe it should be the last of all the possible measures to be taken. E-quarantine should be available as well, so incomers to Slovakia will be able to choose, which was not an option before the app was launched [at the end of May 2020]. It seems the app is not working now, after it was taken out of operation in the summer.
There are examples from other countries, like Australia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, that quarantine in state facilities is unnecessary if the quarantine app works well. Seeing that it works for them, let’s not reinvent the wheel, and let's ask our partners about this solution.
TSS: If the pandemic situation in Slovakia remains bad, or even deteriorates, is closing airports and limiting international air transport like last spring a possibility?
1. Mar 2021 at 17:45 | Nina Hrabovská Francelová