New rules came into force, but ordinance published late

Some rules came into force on March 3, but others will become effective only next Monday.

New curfew rules are applied from March 3.New curfew rules are applied from March 3. (Source: TASR)

Although several new, stricter anti-pandemic rules, on which the cabinet agreed on the evening of February 28, came into force already on the morning of Wednesday, March 3, the respective ordinance by hygienists was missing.

The Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) published it only in the evening.

Here are the rules that now need to be followed:

  • a night curfew was introduced between 20:00 and 1:00 the following day. Exceptions include:
    • going to and from work;
    • going to and from the doctor;
    • walking pets;
    • going out to nature;
    • shops need to close no later than 20:00, but delivery service is exempted;
  • mandatory FFP2 or N95 respirators:
    • from March 8 in shops and public transport;
    • from March 15 in all interiors except for households;
    • exceptions:
      • children attending fourth grade of primary schools and younger;
      • people suffering from mental and autism spectrum disorders;
      • prisoners;
      • bride and groom at the wedding;
      • doing sports;
      • time for taking a picture;
  • people who test positive can no longer go to essential shops from March 8. They can only leave home when:
    • going to the doctor;
    • going to a testing;
    • going to a funeral (if they have no symptoms; but certain rules must be observed, including wearing a FFP2 or N95 respirator);
  • going out to nature in districts other than the one where a person resides is prohibited. Moreover, people living in black-tier districts need a negative test result no older than 7 days;
  • apart from healthcare staff and medical students, bank employees were categorised as people working under a special regime;
  • spas will be strictly required to offer medical treatment, and no wellness stays.

No changes for cross-border commuters

Originally, the government document from February 28 proposed requiring a negative Covid test from cross-border commuters from neighbouring countries (apart from Ukraine), no older than 72 hours, for entering Slovakia. Currently, they are required to show a negative test no older than 7 days. Other border regime conditions were supposed to remain the same.

However, the document published the very next day did not mention such a change. State Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Martin Klus, later specified that the rules for cross-border commuters from neighbouring countries will not change, and negative test validity will remain at 7 days.

Changes in schools from Monday

Originally, in the measures adopted on February 28, the cabinet proposed that kindergartens and grades one to four of primary schools should open only for children whose parents need to be present at their workplace from Wednesday, March 3. However, the Education Ministry later changed plans and stricter rules will come into force only next Monday, March 8.

The ministry is supposed to prepare a document with more rules for schools until then, the TASR newswire reported.

A parent who will bring a child to kindergarten or school will have to show a negative test not older than seven days, and a confirmation that they need to be present at their work.

Students of final grades of secondary schools and children without access to remote education will be able to attend in-person classes.

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