An overview of all the applicable measures adopted in connection with COVID-19
Updates on the changes regarding the crossing of borders, face mask rules and the regulations on retail stores and service providers and organising mass gatherings.
The measures of the Public Health Authority of the SR for the protection of the population’s health are adopted in accordance with the applicable legislation, i.e. Act No. 355/2007 Coll. on the protection, support and development of public health and on amending certain acts. They shall remain in effect even after the state of emergency in the territory of the SR is lifted.
The measures adopted to stop the COVID-19 disease from spreading are being gradually loosened, however, the pandemic still persists today. The rules of a mandatory use of FACE MASKS have been softened (more information in Slovak, PDF, 956 kB), yet, they continue to be among the key preventive measures. Another important rule in combating COVID-19 disease is THOROUGH HAND-WASHING (more information in Slovak) and adequate SOCIAL DISTANCING (more information in Slovak, PDF, 4 MB). Let us be heedful of the essential hygiene measures at home, outside our homes and in our workplaces. COVID-19 disease may also be transmitted by an individual without symptoms. For more useful information visit www.korona.gov.sk/en and the COVID-19 folder on the website of the Public Health Authority of the SR (in Slovak). For the statistical data on the current incidence of COVID-19 disease go to advanced statistics.
As of 10 June 2020, the obligation of state quarantine including self-isolation using eKaranténa (e-Quarantine) application has been lifted.
Like other countries, Slovakia, too, has resorted to a gradual easing of measures and to the opening of its borders, which increases the risk of the transmission of COVID-19 disease to our territory as imported contagion.
Therefore, it is imperative to behave responsibly and to comply with the effective hygiene measures, such as thorough hand-washing, social distancing from strangers, respiration hygiene, wearing face masks inside the buildings, in crowded social spaces, public transport, at mass gatherings, and the like.
“It is of utmost importance, and I appeal to the general public, to act responsibly to themselves and to the people around them, and to take the situation during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic seriously. I do believe that if someone arrives from a country that is not on the list of the so-called safe countries within the meaning of the applicable measure of the Public Health Authority of the SR, such a person will comply with the obligation to arrive in the territory of the Slovak Republic with a negative RT-PCR test for COVID-19 disease, and will report to the respective regional public health authority which will help the person find his or her way through the situation and brief him or her on the self-isolation rules and arrange for the COVID-19 testing which must be carried out no later than on the fifth day of the person’s arrival in the SR. This measure helps maintain the country’s favourable epidemiological situation
“, says Ján Mikas, the country’s chief medical officer.
There are epidemiologists with many years of experience deployed across the regions of Slovakia who have the expertise to promptly identify the focal points of COVID-19, to intercept them and to instruct the roll-out of required anti-epidemic measures. They promptly carry out contact tracing in confirmed cases, close contacts are asked to quarantine and they are instructed clinical sampling for COVID-19. These are highly efficient measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 disease.
The obligation to wear a face mask inside buildings is still mandatory except the person’s own household. This applies, for instance, to government buildings, banks, insurance companies, shopping malls, inner premises of all stores and service providers, except swimming pools, wellness centres, and indoor workout. The obligation to cover nose and mouth also applies to pharmacies and medical facilities, i.e. to hospitals, waiting rooms and outpatient departments. Face masks must also be used in public transport, i.e. in buses and long-distance bus services, trains, and also at airports or inside the premises of bus and railway stations.
The wearing of face masks is also mandatory at mass gatherings even when the event takes place outdoor. Face masks are also mandatory in theatre auditoria or sports hall facilities and sport stadiums.
Face masks need not to be worn while eating or drinking, for instance, in public catering facilities or inside the shopping centres in public spaces intended for consumption (food courts, cafeterias, restaurants).
As of 10 June, the obligation to wear a face mask outdoor at a distance from other persons less than 2 metres has been modified to a recommendation. Face masks do not have to be worn by employees performing work in a common workplace providing the distance between them or other persons is not less than 2 m. An employee working on his/her own does not have to wear a face mask. For details and exemptions go to Povinnosť nosiť rúško (in Slovak).
Children and youth
In summer, it will be possible to run residential summer camps (in Slovak, PDF, 172 kB).
Retail stores and service providers
All retail stores may remain open and in operation providing anti-epidemic measures are observed, including the retail shops and services in shopping malls.
Measures to be adopted by retail stores:
- Shops may only let in shoppers with their noses and mouths covered, using face masks, scarfs, shawls, or the likes. This obligation shall not apply to a time required to consume beverages or food in public food service businesses.
- At the entrance to retails stores or service establishments, hand sanitisers or disposable gloves will be provided.
- It is advisable to maintain a minimum distance of 2 m between persons.
- As of 10 June 2020, it is advisable not to exceed in any one moment a concentration of one shopper per 10 square metres of the business area intended for customers (children are excluded) – as an alternative, a retail store may require that distance of 2 metres is maintained between shoppers. It will be left to the discretion of catering businesses to keep a minimum distance of 2 metres between the tables.
- Natural ventilation of premises must be increased along with enhanced reqular disinfection of contact surfaces, door knobs, shopping carts, and shopping baskets.
Measures applicable to public food establishments, such as restaurants:
These measures are similar to those applicable to retails shops and, in addition:
- Customers must wear face masks indoors, which they may remove for the time required to consume beverages and food.
- The personnel must wear face masks, and while attending to the customers seated at individual tables, they must disinfect their hands.
- Tables and chairs must be disinfected after each customer.
- Public restrooms must be furnished with liquid soap and paper towels, and sanitised every hour.
- Kitchenware (plates, cutlery, glasses) may be used in public food establishments providing it is cleaned in a dishwasher at a temperature of 80°C and an appropriate detergent is used (as per Section 9, para 3g of the decree of the Ministry of Helth of the Slovak Republic No. 533/2007 of the Coll.), or an appropriate disinfectant may also be used; the dishes may also be hand-washed, whereby it is advisable to add appropriate disinfectant before the kitchenware is rinsed.
- Cutlery should not be freely available to customers at the tables but rather provided with the meals by the personnel and it should be wrapped in a paper napkin.
- All retail stores and service providers may be open in shopping centres.
- Public restrooms must be provided with liquid soap and paper towels. They must be sanitised every hour.
- Public food establishment rules shall also apply to the premises intended for the consumption of food and beverages.
Recommended measures for air quality in buildings
- Ventilate the premises of all operations in the building frequently and intensively, preferably by natural air circulation through open windows (even in buildings with mechanical/forced ventilation).
- In buildings with mechanical/forced ventilation (air conditioning), it is recommended to intensify air exchange in all premises and provide for continuously running ventilation.
- Approximately 2 hours before the opening and start of operations, the ventilation system should be set to a nominal airflow, then set to a lower performance app. 2 hours after the end of operations. Keep ventilation set to a lower performance and running even when the building is not in use.
- If the ventilation system was out of operation during recent two months, it is recommended to start mechanical ventilation/air conditioning at least 24 hours before the opening and launching of operations.
- Avoid opening windows in restrooms if they are equipped with mechanical ventilation.
- Do not use rotating heat exchanger, or make sure there are no leaks causing infiltration of outgoing waste air and incoming air.
- Switch re-circulation units to 100% inflow of external air, if technically possible.
- Do not use air purifiers if they do not have HEPA filter.
- Use all options of vacuum ventilation (fans) in the halls, sanitary facilities and kitchens.
- When changing filters and during regular maintenance, apply all regular protection measures and cover your face (nose and mouth).
Measures for taxi services:
- Drivers and passengers are obliged to wear face masks or any other suitable face protection to cover their respiratory pathways.
- Passengers are advised to sit in the back seats.
- It is recommended to install a suitable partition between the space for driver and space for customers to prevent free flow of aerosol between these two compartments.
- Disinfect the passenger space after each customer using virucidal disinfectant.
Body care services:
- All employees must wear face protection.
- It is mandatory to disinfect the working area (table tops, chairs, washing basins) after each client. Timetable of appointments in the establishment must be adjusted accordingly.
- Clients can lift their face protections during facial treatment, hair cut and washing.
- Both driving instructor and course participant must wear face protection during the driving lesson.
- The vehicle or the training device must be disinfected after each participant.
- During practical driving lesson for vehicles type A (motorbikes), participants must have their own helmets and protection gears appropriate for the particular type of a vehicle (e.g. protection gloves).
Theatre, music, film and other venues for artistic performances:
- Prevent entry to the venue to any performing artists and/or other staff engaged in an audio-visual production and recording if their body temperature is above 37.2 °C (measured on the spot).
- It is recommended to reduce the number of the tickets on sale to always keep one seat empty between two occupied seats. Alternate the sequence of empty/occupied seats in the adjacent rows (providing for “chessboard” seating).
- Sanitary facilities (public restrooms) must be equipped with liquid soap and paper towels.
- Disinfect sanitary facilities on hourly basis.
- Disinfect all frequently touched surfaces (door handles, table tops, arm holders) before the start of each performance.
- Visitors are obliged to wear face masks.
Public aquatic venues: swimming pools and natural bathing areas:
- It is recommended to maintain social and physical distance of at least 2 m between individuals, groups and families.
- It is important to switch off drinking water fountains to prevent their use.
- In pools for babies and young children, it is important to maintain sufficient time intervals for disinfection of premises between different groups of users, applying an anti-viral sanitiser.
- Prior to re-opening aquatic venues, all pools with no water circulation must be emptied first, then cleaned mechanically with anti-viral disinfectants, and subsequently filled with fresh water. All technical parts including pipes and re-circulation equipment must be cleaned and disinfected. Disinfection methods must follow strict procedures for elimination of all microbiological pollution including Legionella (for instance by applying thermo-disinfection). The operation of a pool can only be renewed on the basis of a satisfactory result of the analysis of the swimming water quality.
- Hand sanitisers shall be available and used by visitors at the entrance to the aquatic venue.
- Reliable technological methods shall be applied for treatment of swimming water. The content of free chlorine should be kept at usual levels between 0.5 mg/l do 1 mg/l.
- Sufficient ventilation must be provided for in indoor aquatic venues; natural air circulation being the preferred method.
- Frequency of cleaning, sanitation and disinfection of areas, surfaces, sport devices and equipment in an aquatic venue must be increased (using anti-viral sanitisers). Frequently used and touched surfaces must be sanitised more frequently (restrooms, doors, table tops, chairs, back and armrests, hand-railings).
- Restrooms/sanitary facilities must be equipped with liquid soap and paper towels.
All persons, natural persons/entrepreneurs and legal entities may organize mass gatherings and sporting, cultural and other events for up to 500 people. In case of inspection, the organizer of such gathering is obliged to present to the Regional Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic the measures taken to comply with the maximum allowed capacity (number of participants). The organizer must clearly earmark the venue for the event and provide for controlled entry/exit from the venue.
When organizing mass events, the following rules must be complied with:
- Entry and stay in the venue of mass gatherings should only be allowed with face masks (covering respiratory pathways, i.e. nose and mouth; using face mask, scarf, bandana or other suitable covering).
- Frequent disinfection of the premises, especially frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, floors and objects.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitiser dispensers should be available at the entrance to the venue; alternatively other appropriate hands disinfection must be available upon entry into the venue.
- A notice has to be displayed instructing participants of the obligation to stay home in self-isolation in the case of acute respiratory disease (developing symptoms such as fever, cough, running nose, shortness of breath).
- A notice has to be displayed in a visible place instructing participants:
- to contact their health care provider if they develop any symptoms of acute respiratory disease, and to leave the venue immediately.
- to wash hands regularly with soap and hot water, then dry hands with disposable paper towels.
- to avoid hand shakes.
- When entering a mass gathering venue and during the entire stay, it is recommended to keep social distance of 2 metres between persons, except for those living in a common household, partners, persons engaged in sport activities, artists involved in art performances, persons in the audience, trainers and their clients, and other persons, if they are unable to maintain the distance between participants due to the nature of the event.
- When seating is provided, it is recommended to always keep one seat empty between two occupied seats (except when persons live in a common household) and alternate the sequence of empty/occupied seats in the adjacent rows (the so-called chessboard seating).
- Provide for sufficient ventilation of all premises.
- These rules should be applied appropriately when organizing outdoor events.
Ban on mass gatherings does not apply on meetings and sessions of state authorities and regional self-governing bodies, neither on sessions (meetings) taking place according to the legislation. For more information in Slovak go to here (PDF, 160 kB).
Wedding ceremonies, funerals, church mass and other religious services may be organized on condition of compliance with measure preventing the spread of COVID-19 pandemics. Participants must wear face masks or cover their faces (respiratory pathways) in other relevant way. They are obliged to disinfect their hands upon entry into the venue. It is recommended to maintain a 2-metre distance and provide for the so-called chessboard seating arrangement. Weather provided, it is recommended to organize church services outdoors.
All premises must be disinfected regularly, including all frequently touched surfaces, door handles and objects. For more information in Slovak, go to: here (PDF, 135 kB)
Hospitals and residential social care homes
As of the 3 June, visits are possible in hospitals and social care homes, complying with defined conditions (in Slovak).
Recommendations for protection of clients and staff in social care homes after the first wave of COVID-19 pandemics can be consulted here: here (in Slovak, PDF, 146 kB).
Conditions for operation of social care homes are defined by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and the Family of the SR in its Plan of loosening the measure in social care homes in relation to COVID-19.
Plan for COVID-19 solutions in marginalized Roma communities can be consulted on the website of Public Health Authority of the SR.
Food establishments, businesses and work places
For General principles of crises management plan in food establishments go to here (in Slovak PDF, 180 kB).
Information on the disease
Guidance by the chief medical officer of the SR in relation to COVID-19 (main characteristics of the disease, definition of a contact person, criteria of laboratory tests, measures to prevent the spread of the virus, steps to end self-isolation and home quarantine) and other useful information can be found here (in Slovak, PDF, 569 kB).
Recommended procedures by Public Health Authority of the SR on collection and disposal of waste from samples in clinical tests for laboratory diagnostics of SARS-Cov-2.
Guidance by the chief medical officer of the SR on operational and intervention services (in Slovak,PDF, 188 kB) in connection with COVID-19 during favourable epidemiological situation in the Slovak Republic.
Recommendations for discharging patients from self-isolation and home quarantine after recovering from COVID-19 infection can be found here (in Slovak, PDF, 147 kB).