These anti-Covid measures will apply to Slovakia this Easter

The government is not planning any significant changes to the restrictions, holidays perceived as a risky time for the virus spread.

A brother and his sister celebrated Easter in the village of Strečno (Žilina Region).A brother and his sister celebrated Easter in the village of Strečno (Žilina Region). (Source: TASR)

Although the situation in Slovakia has started improving, with most districts no longer at top-level alert, authorities have repeatedly said that Easter will still transpire under lockdown mode.

One reason is fear that the situation from Christmas may repeat, when people were meeting their close ones in what the authorities called “bubbles”, which only sped up the number of new infections and Covid deaths.

Easter takes place the first week of April.

Some slackening could come only after April 19, the Sme daily reported.

The group of experts to counsel the health minister met on March 25 to discuss the Easter regime. They agreed that the measures currently in place will suffice for the upcoming holiday. Their recommendations will now be discussed by the pandemic commission on March 30.

Here is basic information about what the second pandemic Easter in Slovakia will look like, based on the measures in place:

Q: Can I travel to another district during Easter?

No. The ban on travelling outside your district of residence, unless it is for work, is still prohibited; even for outings in nature or for sport.

Starting March 25, nature outings are prohibited between 20:00 and 1:00 the next day, due to the extended curfew.

Inhabitants of Bratislava can move around the entire Bratislava Region. Inhabitants of Košice can move around the Košice-okolie district.

All other curfew rules remain in place. This means that it is still not possible to leave your home between 20:00 and 1:00 unless it is for work, to the doctor or a medical facility, or to walk pets.

Visits to another household are not exempt from the curfew as well. People are allowed to visit another household only if they need to take care of their relatives who are dependent on their help or if their child is not living in the same household.

Q: Can I travel abroad for Easter?

Travel abroad is allowed, following the rules on borders.

However, there is a ban on crossing borders for holiday purposes during curfew. The ban was extended to the time outside the curfew, i.e. between 1:00 and 5:00, from March 25.

Holidaymakers who disobey the ban face a fine of €1,000.

Q: I want to return from abroad for Easter. Can I visit my family?

The authorities do not recommend visiting your family if you return from abroad. Under the current rules, everybody who returns from abroad needs to fill in the eHranice online form and self-isolate for 14 days, and take a PCR test upon the 8th day after arrival.

Q: Will shops be open?

Shops and service providers will follow the restrictions currently in place, meaning that grocery shops, chemist’s, pharmacies, shops selling animal fodder, petrol stations, as well as service providers (including dry cleaners, shoe repair shops, newsagents, banks, insurance companies, bike and car repair shops) remain open no longer than until 20:00 during Easter.

In most cases, people will be required to show a negative Covid test result no older than 7 days.

Red letter days: Good Friday (April 2), Easter Sunday (April 4) and Easter Monday (April 5). Most essential shops are closed in Slovakia on red letter days.

Q: Will churches open during Easter?

No, churches will remain closed to the public. Only private ceremonies and what the cabinet called “individual spiritual care” (not ordinary masses) are allowed.

Q: When will the measures be lifted?

The gradual lifting of measures will start only after Easter, when the number of hospitalised patients drops below 3,000, and stays below this threshold for 12 days, as per the Covid automat rules.

Ivan Bošnák from the Data without Pathos initiative expects that the first measures can be lifted after April 19 when the entire country, which is now in the black tier, can switch to the dark red tier, Sme reported.

More schools are expected to open after Easter holiday, too.

Related articleCovid automat arrives in a week. How will the measures change? Read more 

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