FAQ

About coronavirus

What is COVID-19?

The coronavirus causing COVID-19 disease was identified in China at the end of 2019.

It represents a new virus strain that had not been known in human environment yet. The disease is transmitted by a droplet infection, the estimated incubation period of the disease is 2 to 14 days. 

Who is at the highest risk of a severe course of the disease?

Similarly to other infectious diseases, like flu or pneumococcal diseases, the novel virus is dangerous especially to seniors and long-term patients (cardiac, diabetic, oncological patients etc.).

For a healthy individual, fighting off COVID-19 infection is usually something like an unpleasant virus infection. This is the case for 4 out of 5 infected persons. Approximately 14 to 15% have the more difficult course of the disease, while it is serious at 5%. About 1 to 2% cases end with death. The fatal case percentage may be significantly lower due to the fact that we do not know how many are/were asymptomatic disease carriers. That is why it is more difficult to be controlled epidemiologically.

What is the original source of the novel coronavirus COVID-19?

Animals in the market in Wuhan, China are suspected to be the source of origin of the infection.

People probably contracted the disease by contact with live animals that are sold in the mentioned market. Momentarily, it is not exactly known what animal could have been the source of the infection. In general, the source of coronavirus may be wild animals (bats).

What are symptoms of the disease?

The novel coronavirus causes acute respiratory disease.

There are general symptoms of a virus disease or conventional respiratory diseases, like flu – fever above 38 °C, cough, muscle pain, joint pain, shortness of breath. It causes infections of airways up to pneumonia. The incubation period of this type of coronavirus is supposed to be 2 to 14 days. In most cases, the course of disease is only mild. However, it has been shown that the virus may be also transmitted by infected individuals without any visible disease symptoms.

Does the coronavirus endanger pregnant women?

It has not been proven that pregnant women would be more susceptible to COVID-19 infection or to development of a severe pneumonia.

There is no evidence that the virus would hurt the fetus directly. However, symptoms like fever or inflammation may complicate the pregnancy. It has not been proven yet that the infection would be transmitted from mother to infant.

Where can I get information on the novel coronavirus?

National Health Information Center (NHIC) has available a 24/7 information line at 0800 221 234.

Call Center workers provide general and organizational instructions how to proceed and whom to contact in case of travel history or suspected coronavirus disease. The line is not intended to provide medical information.

Professional information is provided by the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic and Regional Offices of the Public Health Authority

Is diarrhea one of symptoms of the coronavirus?

The biggest risk at spreading of the novel coronavirus is the fact that not each virus carrier has visible clinical signs of the disease.

The incubation period of COVID-19 disease is usually 14 days and the disease is manifested mainly as an airways infection combined with dry cough. In case of more serious course, bronchitis or pneumonia may appear, as well as serious pneumonia requiring hospital admission and pulmonary ventilation. Some people present also intestinal signs as stomach ache and diarrhea; however, these symptoms are rare. Nevertheless, some part of infected individual does not have any disease symptoms but they are spreading the virus into their surroundings.

How long can the virus survive on surfaces?

Preliminary studies suggest that the coronaviruses may live for several hours to days on surfaces.

If depends on a number of conditions – environmental temperature and humidity, type of the surface etc. Within prevention, you should consider frequent cleaning with disinfectants of surfaces in your surroundings.

Can a loss of senses of smell and taste be one of symptoms of the COVID-19 disease?

Evidence from South Korea, China and Italy suggests so.

In South Korea, where an extensive population testing has been applied, 30% of two thousand positively tested persons reported just the loss of sense of smell as the main symptom. At the same time, the course of infection was moderate. Especially younger patients may suffer the loss of senses of smell or taste without showing more often recognised symptoms of the coronavirus like high fever and persisting cough.

Are also children in risk of the infection?

The disease is relatively rare in children and its course is mild.

A big study from China says that only a little more than 2% of disease cases appeared in children under 18 years old; out of them less than 3% had serious or critical disease.

Prevention and treatment

How is the disease caused by the coronavirus treated?

The treatment is symptomatic like in case of flu (administration of medications to decrease body temperature, against cough, headache, against inflammation of airways).

It is a virus disease, therefore it is not treated with antibiotics. There is no vaccine against the novel coronavirus COVID-19 yet.

Is it true that taking medications containing ibuprofen supports multiplication of the coronavirus in a human body?

This is a hoax and its untruthfulness has been confirmed by several significant institutions including European Medicines Agency, State Institute for Drug Control, or Slovak Pharmaceutical Chamber.

Use of ibuprofen according to the approved patient information leaflet represents an efficient and safe treatment of fever and pain.

Is coronavirus transmission via potable water possible?

The World Health Organization has issued a standpoint, based on which potable water is not a confirmed novel coronavirus transmission factor.

The Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic informs that are no concerns with use of potable water from public water lines and it is not necessary to disinfect it to an increased level in relation to the coronavirus.

Are antibiotics efficient in prevention and treatment of the novel coronavirus?

No, antibiotics are not efficient against viruses, only against bacteria.

However, bacterial coinfection is possible, i.e. you have contracted both viral and bacterial infections, antibiotics are used for the latter.

Is it necessary to follow any hygienic habits preventively?

We recommend the public to take preventive actions that are effective in relation to droplet infections:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or use an alcohol-based disinfectant.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing with a disposable paper tissue, then dispose it to a waste bin. If you do not have a tissue, cough (sneeze) into elbow pit (sleeve). 
  • Avoid close contact with people showing symptoms of cold or flu. 
  • Keep distance over two meters between yourself and anybody who coughs or sneezes.
  • Avoid or consider before taking part in mass events or in locations with high concentration of people.
  • If you are ill, please use the phone to contact your general practitioner who will determine further process of treatment.
  • When at home, treat yourself in a separate room.
  • Take care to increase disinfection of surfaces in your household.
  • It is mandatory to wear a mask in all public places in Slovakia until cancellation. 
  • Please use disposable gloves in areas with movement of many people (stores, postal office, public transport...).

Is it true that respirators must not be used by patients infected with coronavirus since virus may be contained in the exhaled air?

There are several types of respirators.

The one with an exhale valve is for healthy people, the ill may use a respirator without an exhale valve. The advantage of the respirator with an exhale valve for healthy people is that it is easier to breathe in it and it does not hold humidity, therefore it should last longer. Higher classes respirators should be used rather by health care professionals than by laymen. 

Will wearing a protective mask protect me against the infection?

It is true that the common masks do not provide 100% protection against viruses.

The reason is that virus particles are very small. However, they are often transmitted on mucus droplets. The masks prevent penetration of these big droplets of bodily fluids through nose and mouth while speaking, coughing or sneezing. Thus, wearing a mask decreases the volume of potentially infectious dose at close contact with an ill person. If no mask is available, improvisation may help – cover your nose and mouth with a scarf. Generally, anything that makes a barrier between airways of the ill and the surroundings at least partially prevents penetration of bacteria and viruses.

Will influenza or pneumococcal vaccination help in prevention against the novel coronavirus?

Influenza vaccination protects only against flu during the ongoing flu season.

Vaccines protecting against pneumonia of another virus origin do not provide direct protection against the coronavirus. It is a completely different pathogen and scientists have to develop a unique vaccine against it. However, if you have been vaccinated against flu, you will not contract flu and coronavirus together.

Can regular flushing of your nose with a saline solution prevent the novel coronavirus infection?

It has not been proven that regular nose flushing with saline solution would protect people against the novel coronavirus infection nor other respiratory diseases.

 

Are hand driers in public toilets affective in killing COVID-19?

No. Hot air hand driers are not effective in killing COVID-19, on the contrary, they may whirl aerosols (droplets) with the infection.

To protect against the coronavirus, you should often wash your hands with soap and water and then dry them using paper towels.

Can drinking of alcohol or a chlorine containing solution kill the coronavirus in my body?

No.

Internal use of disinfectants, e.g. based on chlorine, represents a serious medical risk and it is not effective as a protection against viruses since these agents cannot kill the virus inside the human body and works only as a surface disinfection.

How can we decrease the risk of spreading of the novel coronavirus in workplaces?

Please monitor current information and recommendations regarding business trips.

Please ensure that your workplace is clean and hygienic – clean surfaces (desks, chairs) and things (telephones, keyboards) regularly with a disinfectant. Notify all workers to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly with warm water and soap, to use proper disinfectants and to follow the respiratory etiquette. Follow all general hygienic habits stated in the previous question preventively.

Can I contract coronavirus from food, for example from a fast food stand?

Currently, it has not been proven that the coronavirus could be contracted from food.

It is important to follow the basic hygienic rules and to wash hands with soap and water or to use a disinfection hand gel before food preparation and eating.

Are the strict measures introduced by the state really necessary?

The measures are very important to prevent sharp increase of the infection spreading that would lead to a collapse of the health care system and many deaths.

The slower will increase the number of new cases, the better the health care system will be able to take care of all patients who will need intense care.

When is a person considered recovered and may end the quarantine?

After decline of symptoms and/or at least three days after decline of fever without using antipyretics.

The person must have two negative samples for evidence of the virus RNA. The home isolation for family members is also terminated after their  two negative samples for evidence of the virus RNA at the same time like in the symptomatic person. In asymptomatic persons (showing no symptoms), two negative samples for evidence of the virus RNA must be taken not earlier than 14 days after the initial positive result. The home isolation for family members is terminated after their  two negative samples for evidence of the virus RNA at the same time like in the symptomatic person.

Sickness benefit

How to proceed if I am a chronic patient and need a prescription for my medications that I use regularly?

The National Health Information Centre (NHIC) asks the people to limit their visits of doctors in this time and to use the e-prescription service preferably, i.e. to call to the doctor’s office and ask for issuance of the electronic prescription.

This regards chronic patients who visit public pharmacies regularly to take long-term medications (high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma etc.). 

After prescription of medications (preferably with maximum possible quantities of used medications – it is a dose for three months in case of most medications or for one month in case of medications containing narcotic and psychotropic substances), we recommend to contact your pharmacy by phone to check the current availability of the prescribed medications to avoid visiting several pharmacies or returning to the same pharmacy if the medication must be ordered first.

How to get the prescribed medications?

Slovak Pharmaceutical Chamber makes an appeal to patients:

Acute patients requiring dispensation of medications without doctor’s prescription or patients with medical prescription for medications not used for a long term (e.g. antibiotics, analgesics, antihistamines, etc.), please consider your personal visit of a public pharmacy and please ask your relatives or friends to get the medications for you, if possible. This way you will contribute to temporary decrease of concentration of ill patients in premises of pharmacies. Medications prescribed using the e-prescription can be dispensed also to your relatives. 

All patients observing symptoms like fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, headache, joint pain should avoid contact with other people and should contact their general practitioner who will manage their further treatment. 

Healthy clients of public pharmacies (requiring food supplements, medical cosmetics and other range of products of public pharmacies), please postpone your visit of a pharmacy at least by a month.

How are health care professionals working in pharmacies protected?

Sanitation procedures according to approved hygienic regime and ventilation of pharmacy premises should be applied more frequently, and emphasis should be put on personal hygiene of workers, especially at individual drug reconstitution.

In regions with confirmed presence of the virus, the Slovak Pharmaceutical Chamber recommends to limit patients entering pharmacies and to dispense through an emergency window.

Is it possible to apply a sick note in case of quarantine due to suspected COVID-19? How to proceed with the nursing benefit in case of such suspicion?

The nursing benefit (OCR) can be arranged without visiting doctor and Social Insurance Agency.

Just fill in the form on the website of the Social Insurance Agency at socpoist.sk and send it to the respective branch address. The application can be delivered to the Social Insurance Agency to the respective branch’s e-mail address, electronically via eSlovensko, or by mail to the address of the respective branch available at the website of the Social Insurance Agency.

After amendment to the Act, from March 27, 2020 – thus, only in time of the crisis situation related to COVID-19 (extraordinary situation, state of emergency, extraordinary state):

The insured party has right to the nursing benefit if: 

  • they personally take care of a child up to 16 years old (a confirmation from a paediatrician is needed if a child over 11 years old is concerned) all day long, or 
  • they take care of a child up to 11 years old, or up to 18 years old if a child with a long term adverse health condition is concerned (without confirmation from a paediatrician and confirmation of hygienist or respective authorities about closure of schools), if the child was ordered 
    • to stay in quarantine, or 
    • if the school/kindergarten/social care service facility attended by the child has been closed by a decision of the respective authority, or
    • if the physical person usually taking care of the child has got ill or has been ordered to stay in quarantine (necessary confirmation by a doctor/hygienist), or 

  • they take care of a direct relative, sibling, husband, wife or parents-in-law, if the social care service facility where such person received social care in outpatient form or inpatient form has been closed by decision of respective authorities or has been ordered to stay in quarantine according to a special regulation (without confirmation of the respective facility).

The right for the nursing benefit will last until the end of necessity of treatment/care, while insured parties may alternate in the treatment/care of the same case. Attention: Parents providing care for family members (requiring the nursing benefit – OCR) should send a statutory declaration to the Social Insurance Agency

After amendment to the Act, from March 27, 2020 – thus, only in time of the crisis situation related to COVID-19 (extraordinary situation, state of emergency, extraordinary state):

An employee, a self-employed person (SZCO) and a voluntarily sickness insured person (DNPO) who will be recognised as a temporarily incapable of work due to the ordered quarantine measure or self-isolation will be entitled to the sickness benefit in the amount of 55% of daily assessment base (DVZ) from the first day of the temporary incapacity for work (PN), i.e. the sickness benefit from the first day of the temporary incapacity for work will be paid by the Social Insurance Agency.

Information regarding application for the sickness benefit

What should I do if I call my doctor and they refer me for example to the NHIC Call Centre?

The doctor is obliged to treat the patient – doctors have received exact instructions.

 

What about planned surgeries?

Effective from March 18, 2020, the Ministry of Health of the SR orders all health care providers to take all necessary steps and actions leading to limitation of planned surgeries that do not endanger life and health of patients if not executed.

 

How to get a certificate of temporary incapacity for work (PN) and care for member of a family (OCR) when I should not visit my doctor?

In case of the nursing benefit (OCR), you need not to visit your doctor, just fill in the form on the website of Social Insurance Agency (www.socpoist.sk) and deliver it to the respective branch (by e-mail, via eSlovensko, or by mail). Information regarding application for the sickness benefit:

More information you can find here

May I ask my doctor for a certificate of temporary incapacity for work (PN) when my employer has closed the operations or I am afraid of infection and want to protect myself and my family?

If an employer forces employees to ask their doctor for a certificate of temporary incapacity for work (PN) despite the employees are not ill, the employees may contact the respective labour inspectorate.

A person asking a doctor to issue a certificate of temporary incapacity for work (PN) without being ill may be criminally liable for inducement of the doctor to commit a criminal offence of a subvention fraud as well as a criminal offence of falsification and elaboration of untrue medical documentation.

To whom may be issued a certificate of temporary incapacity for work (PN) by a doctor in relation with the coronavirus spreading?

Only to a person that has been ordered to stay in quarantine by the regional Public Health Authority, then to a patient who has returned from risk areas, or to a patient who has been ordered to stay in quarantine because of the confirmed disease.

In such case, the patient should contact the doctor solely by phone and follow the doctor’s instructions.

May I ask for a certificate of temporary incapacity for work (PN) if my employer has closed the operations?

The fact that your employer has decided to close the operations because of the coronavirus does not mean that you are temporarily incapable of work because of a medical reason.

If you are healthy, there is no medical reason for issuance of a certificate of temporary incapacity for work (PN). The doctor must not issue the certificate of temporary incapacity for work (PN) in this case.

May I ask the doctor for an opportunity to go outdoors during the quarantine PN?

The quarantine serves for isolation of persons to prevent spreading of the infectious disease.

If the self-isolation in home environment applies to you, your general practitioner will issue the certificate of temporary incapacity for work (PN) because of the COVID-19 quarantine. No person in the quarantine should go outdoors. 

Should I inform the Social Insurance Agency about end of the care for member of a family (OCR) during the corona crisis?

If the parent wants to end receiving the nursing benefit, for example to go back to work, during the current period of closed school and pre-school facilities, they need not to inform the Social Insurance Agency explicitly.

It is enough to send a filled in Statutory Declaration with the application for the nursing benefit, stating the days when they took care of a family member, at the end of the month during which they took care of a family member. The nursing benefit will be paid only for these specified days. In case that the parent decides to enter the care of a family member (OCR) again, they should not file a new application for the nursing benefit since the Social Insurance Agency will consider the first application for the nursing benefit until the end of the crisis situation. Then the parent should send a filled in Statutory Declaration again with the application for the nursing benefit, stating the days when they took care of a family member, at the end of the month during which they took care of a family member.

Are also parents after parental leave entitled to the nursing benefit (OCR)?

During the corona crisis, the Social Insurance Agency will extend the range of parents who will be entitled to the nursing benefit for children in various life situations.

Thus, the nursing benefit (OCR) will be granted also to those parents who would not be entitled to it otherwise. This concerns those parents whose parental leave ends and have no chance to put their child to a pre-school facility, as well as those parents who have cancelled their attendance in public facilities and now they have no chance to put their child to another facility or to find a nurse who could take care of the child. Also those parents who are health insured and whose child was cared for by another person (nurse, grandparents etc.) may apply for the nursing benefit. All these parent categories need no doctor’s confirmation for awarding the benefit.

Testing

What does the “drive-through” COVID-19 testing started by private laboratories mean?

The drive-through examination and sampling is done directly from your car driven to one of the sampling points, provided that you have booked an appointment in advance.

The examination is not paid from the health insurance and the patient should pay for it as a self-payer.

Can I take a coronavirus test “just to be sure”?

There are no preventive tests for coronavirus, only diagnostic tests that are made based on a doctor’s recommendation after an agreement with hygienists in case of suspected infection.

If a doctor declares suspected COVID-19 disease while considering responsibly all clinical and epidemiological criteria with an emphasis on the travel history, the patient is managed by respective infectious disease department that will decide about further treatment. 

How many ambulances are assigned to home collection of biological samples because of suspected coronavirus disease?

Total of nine medical rescue service crews in Slovakia (one such crew in each region) can assure collection of biological samples (mucosa smears) from patient in home environment with suspected COVID-19 disease.

The crew staff was trained for sampling by an infectious disease specialist. The medical rescue service stations intended for biological material sampling are fixed. They are medical rescue service providers established by the Ministry of Health of the SR (i.e. state-owned rescue services).

What is the process of transportation of a patient with suspected COVID-19 coronavirus disease?

The decisive factor for transport of a patient with suspected COVID-19 is the body temperature of 38 °C.

Patients with positive travel history and symptoms of respiratory disease who have body temperature below 38°C should stay in home self-isolation. After consultation with respective regional hygienist (who assess justification of clinical sampling), the Crisis Operational Centre of the Medical Rescue Service (KOS ZZS) shall arrange domestic collection of clinical samples for laboratory diagnostics from the patient. KOS ZZS’s doctor operator will recommend a symptomatic treatment for such patient. KOS ZZS’s doctor operator will contact the patient after 8 to 12 hours to verify their health condition. In case of adverse trend of the health condition connected with increase of body temperature, the KOS ZZS’s doctor operator may decide about hospital admission after consultation with infectious disease specialist from the respective department. KOS ZZS will inform the respective infectious disease department about the transport by phone and arrange the patient’s transport using a medical rescue service provider.

Are home tests that are sold by a well known webshop reliable?

The State Institute for Drug Control requests for people to stay prudent with such self-tests.

Results of such screening tests shall be verified with a test for direct virus detection, and thus the result cannot be considered 100% reliable. You should be cautious also when buying a test. “When buying diagnostic tests, we recommend the public to verify the basic parameters that should be met by such a medical tool. The outer package should include information of the manufacturer and/or so-called authorised representative (in case that the manufacturer is out of the EU), CE marking and name of the product in the Slovak language. The medical tool should also include a user’s manual in the Slovak language,” notifies the State Institute for Drug Control.

When will I have results of my COVID-19 samples?

Results are not known earlier than 48 hours after sampling.

 

Will they notify me about the outcome of my sample when it is positive?

The National Health Information Centre provides for announcement of results (both positive and negative) to the patient, their general practitioner, respective Regional Public Health Authority and the Public Health Authority of the SR.

 

When can be quick test useful?

In the current situation of the COVID-19 disease spreading, the quick tests may be useful in certain stages of the disease –for example in ill persons with distinct clinical symptoms lasting for several days, to distinguish COVID-19 from other respiratory infections.

However, the quick tests usually do not reach the sensitivity of the molecular biological methods. It is an informational examination that will have to be confirmed with a more sensitive method.

Will commercial tests be available for self-payers?

Yes.

However, the condition is that also a private laboratory must first test those persons who are recommended by a doctor to be tested. Testing of self-payers must not to be to the detriment of people whose testing is indicated by medical reason. 

How is the PCR testing done?

Sampling – by a swab from nose or throat.

Then the sample is sent to a laboratory where RNA is isolated and diagnosed. Finally, test result is evaluated.

Is it possible to ask for a COVID-19 examination through the korona.gov.sk website?

Yes, please click to the contact form, then select the option I am interested in examination.

Fill in and send the application form. The application form will be registered and the applicant will be contacted by a health care professional to agree on the further procedure or to book a specific date and time of sampling for the applicant.

Quarantine and travel

What should I do if I have come from a country where the virus is spread and I have symptoms like itchy throat, cough, sneezing, etc.?

If any of the following symptoms appears:

  • cough,
  • fever (over 38°C),
  • shortness of breath,

please contact your doctor by phone. 

Monitor your health condition, do not go among people, do not admit visitors. Same like in case of other respiratory infections, you should protect your housemates preventively by strict hand hygiene, not coughing into hands but to disposable tissues to be disposed of immediately, or to one’s sleeve.

Is travelling the highest risk?

Considering the current worldwide migration of people and the way of infection transmission (droplet infection, air way), each travel may be risky – for example being in an airport hall, on board of an aircraft, in a train.

Therefore, you should consider the necessity of travelling, especially if there is a high probability of a close contact (distance less than 2 m) from other people. 

May I notify about movement of foreigners in big companies?

Such cases should be notified by phone to the Public Health Authority of the SR and the regional Public Health Authorities.

 

What should people who returned from abroad be prepared for?

The mandatory quarantine in the facilities specified by the state for a period necessary for performance of laboratory diagnostics of COVID-19 applies to all people with permanent of temporary residence in the SR who have returned from abroad.

Consequently, after negative result, a home self-isolation in total cumulative duration of 14 days is ordered. The home self-isolation is ordered also to persons living in the common household. For the entire wording of the measure please see the website of the Public Health Authority of the SR.

Is the mandatory 14-day home quarantine applicable for truck drivers coming from abroad?

No, the measure is not applicable to:

  • truck drivers who enter the territory of the Slovak Republic to transfer, load or unload goods,
  • drivers and crews of medical transport service transporting a patient,
  • pilots of aircrafts who do not leave the board of the aircraft, except for performance of pre-flight and inter-flight preparation, at transit or return flights,
  • crew in river freight transport that enters the territory of the Slovak Republic to transfer, load or unload goods,
  • train drivers and operators in railway freight transport who enter the territory of the Slovak Republic to transfer, load or unload goods.

Attention! Truck drivers, crew in river freight transport, train drivers and operators, train crews and operators in railway freight transport during their stay in the territory of the Slovak Republic are ordered to stay in home self-isolation, except for performance of their work obligation, preferably out of persons living in their common household.

What to do and what not to do in home self-isolation?

There are several rules applicable for functioning of a household during the mandatory quarantine.

Try to arrange your shopping by your friends or relatives and ask them to leave it in front of your door or at another specified location, or use a food delivery service directly to your home, if available. If this is not possible, shop at the time period when few people are there and have a list prepared in advance to spend the shortest possible time in the store.

Prevention against viral infection includes mainly thorough washing of hands with a disinfecting soap and frequent rapid airing of the rooms. You should disinfect doorknobs, surfaces and commonly used items more frequently with a chlorine or alcohol containing disinfectants. Use disposable paper towels and wet wipes, each family member should have own towel. Also have your own plate, cup and cutlery. Ideal solution for a family member who has come from abroad is a separate room and minimal contacts with others. Even if this is not possible, each family member should do their best to avoid potential transmission of the disease.

During the home self-isolation:

  • Monitor your health condition.
  • If any of symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath appears, please contact your general practitioner and the respective regional Public Health Authority immediately by phone and arrange sampling of your biological material.
  • Limit your contacts with other persons, do not attend cultural, social, sports or other mass events, do not admit visitors and do not go for visits.
  • Do not travel.
  • Use e-learning forms for educational activities.
  • Perform only such work activity that can be performed from the place of isolation.
  • Avoid all activities out of the place of isolation.

If I get to contact with an infected person and I am currently in a hotel or a hostel, may I go home? If yes, under what conditions?

In relation to the directive of the Main Hygienist of the SR on closing facilities providing services (with some exceptions), many hotels have closed their operation.

During your transfer to the home environment, try to avoid contact with other people and do use individual transportation as much as possible since the 14-day quarantine applies to you.

If I do not want to go to the assembly point after my return home, may I go to a chalet or to book a hotel?

If you are coming from abroad, you have to keep the 14-day quarantine.

This cannot be maintained in a hotel where many people move around.

I am a truck driver transporting goods cross the borders. Am I obliged to go to quarantine when I am going to pick up my family member?

The quarantine does not apply to truck drivers who enter the territory of the Slovak Republic to transfer, load or unload goods.

This means that if you go cross the border to pick up your family member, you must go to the quarantine.

How to proceed if I am under the ordered quarantine but I have nobody who would help me with shopping or who would go out with my dog?

The best solution is to contact your municipality that can be helpful in this matter.

 

Should citizens of the SR who want to return home contact the embassy?

Yes, you should contact the Slovak embassy in the respective country.

Please find more information about the repatriation at the website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the SR. 

May other family members go to work when I am in the quarantine?

All members of the common household must stay in the quarantine for its entire duration.

 

Where should I find out who is my general practitioner?

If you do not know who is your doctor, please check it based on your permanent or temporary residence

at VUC.

Whom should I contact if I cannot go to a home quarantine?

Please contact the Ministry of Interior of the SR at the info line 02/48593312.

 

Where will I take the quarantine after my return?

Aiming to plan free capacities in the quarantine centres as close to the residence of the person Slovakia as possible, it is necessary to register in the registration form in advance (at earliest possible before return to Slovakia):

Registration form

Is the accommodation in the assembly points for free?

The accommodation is for free, but a contribution for meals is to be paid.

 

May I go shopping/out with my dog/take out the rubbish when I am in the quarantine?

The quarantine means you should be at home. Your shopping should be arranged by somebody else.

 

When I return from abroad and do not get to contact with my family members and I have my own room, bathroom, kitchen... should my family stay in quarantine?

The quarantine applies to people living in the common household with the person who returned from abroad.

It does not apply to people in a separate housing unit. If you have a common entrance but each have their own floor, you are not obliged to stay in quarantine. This is a similar case like in a block of flats with a common entrance and individual housing units.

What measures/limitations are applied at frontier?

The measures application for border crossings related to coronavirus COVID-19 are published by the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

What measures are taken by world countries?

Measures taken in the world in relation to coronavirus COVID-19 are published by the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

I live in Austria, what measures/limitations in relation to coronavirus COVID-19 are important for me?

Measures implemented by the Austrian government within the coronavirus fight:

Strict lockdown is valid for entire Austria until April 13, 2020. 

The citizens should stay solely at home. 

Leaving home is considered justified for: 

  • Way to work that is necessary and cannot be postponed.
  • Purchase of necessary items (for example food and medications).
  • Assistance to others.

Gathering (of more than 5 persons) in a public area is prohibited; the police will check, penalise and, if needed, also enforce the prohibition.

Possible movement in the countryside is allowed only within a family or people living in one apartment. Public areas including playgrounds are closed. 

Businesses were asked to allow all workers to work remotely (teleworking). 

All restaurants, bars and cafés are closed. Food delivery services will work as usual.

Stores are closed with the exception of food stores, pharmacies, banks, drugstores, post offices and animal feed stores.

Ban on visits applies to all hospitals in the territory of Austria with the exception of visiting children and palliative care.

A hotline was established in Austria to provide correct information and prevent disinformation: 0800 555 621.

If you are in Austria and have symptoms plus you have been in risk areas within last 2 weeks, please call: 1450.

In case of necessity, citizens of the Slovak Republic may contact the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Vienna at: +43 1 3189055200 and +43 664 3401861.

What should I do if I need/ask for repatriation from Austria to Slovakia?

Group repatriation of SR citizens are conditioned by a decision of the Government of the SR and the Main Hygienist of the SR to locate to group repatriated citizens to isolation in quarantine facilities of the Ministry of Interior of the SR.

In case of a request to arrange a repatriation, this should be sent to the e-mail address of the Embassy of the SR in Vienna at emb.vieden@mzv.sk.

The request shall contain the following information:

  • Name and surname of the person to be repatriated
  • Date of birth of the person to be repatriated
  • Address of the person to be repatriated in Austria
  • Address of the home quarantine at home in the SR where the person to be repatriated will stay
  • Information of the current health condition of the person to be repatriated
  • Current mobile (or another phone) contact of the person to be repatriated

Then, the Embassy of the SR in Vienna will record the request for repatriation to the SR. After recording, the Embassy of the SR in Vienna will send a confirmation e-mail reply about recording of the person’s request.

For more information click here 

I live in Austria but work in Slovakia. May I go to work?

Citizens of the SR with permanent or temporary residence in a frontier area of Austria (within 30 km from the borders with the Slovak Republic) who are employed in the Slovak Republic are allowed to commute.

 

I work as a caretaker in Austria. Will they let me go cross the border?

Citizens of the SR who have permanent or temporary residence in the Slovak Republic and have an employment relation in the area of health care or nursing care and perform their work in the territory of Austria in the frontier area with the Slovak Republic are allowed to commute.

 

To whom applies the mandatory quarantine or self-isolation?

The mandatory quarantine may be ordered by the regional Public Health Authority or a doctor in the case that you were in contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 disease.

Home self-isolation for 14 days is ordered also to all people who have returned from abroad. Please note that the mandatory quarantine applies also to all others living in the common household! Naturally, you must stay in home self-isolation also when you have confirmed COVID-19 disease.

Does the mandatory quarantine apply also to the people commuting from frontier areas?

The home self-isolation does not apply to:

  • The citizens of the SR who have permanent or temporary residence in the SR and perform work activities in the frontier area in the Hungarian Republic in the zone within 30 km from the state border with the Slovak Republic.
  • The citizens of the SR who have permanent or temporary residence in the frontier area in the zone within 30 km from the state border with the Slovak Republic and have an employment relation, similar employment relation or a legal relation for work in governmental services in the Slovak Republic.
  • The citizens of the SR who have permanent or temporary residence in the SR and have an employment relation or similar employment relation in the area of health care or nursing care in the frontier area of the Slovak Republic.

Where can I find more information regarding repatriation of citizens of the SR?

Please check the Frequently Asked Questions section in the website of the

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

The order of isolation in the facilities specified by the state.

The order of isolation in the facilities specified by the state is not applicable to the following persons:

  • Pregnant women,
  • Persons with limited ability of movement and orientation,
  • Persons with oncological, psychiatric disease, with severe immunity disorder, persons with special nutrition needs, persons with chronic diseases of airways, heart and vessels, persons with metabolic disorders, persons with epilepsy, persons with mental disorder, persons with severe diseases requiring continuous injection treatment in regular intervals, severely handicapped persons, or persons with other serious health conditions (confirmation of the health condition is to be submitted subsequently without delay, by a doctor's note),
  • Persons over 75 years old,
  • Persons who enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunity in the territory of the Slovak Republic and their close and accompanying persons in the moment of crossing of the state borders of the SR who enter the territory of the Slovak Republic after April 6, 2020 7:00 a.m.

These persons are ordered to stay in home self-isolation for a duration of 14 days. Minors entering the territory of the Slovak Republic without an accompanying person are ordered to stay in home self-isolation in a duration of 14 days. The home self-isolation is ordered also to persons living with them in the common household.

What border crossings may I use from April 8 to 17?

From April 8 to 17, the domestic borders of the Slovak Republic may be crossed only at some border crossings that are open 24/7.

If a person crosses the domestic border of the Slovak Republic elsewhere, they commit an offence that can be penalised up to €300 or up to €165 of on-the-spot fine. Please find the LIST here.

Other

What should I do with used masks or respirators? Should I dispose them to separated waste?

Used masks or respirators definitely do not belong to the separated waste.

You should put them to a plastic bag/sack and tighten it. The bag or sack should be disposed of to the general communal waste (the black container). Naturally, then you need to wash your hands and follow all hygienic rules.

Is it true that epidemiologists recommend to limit the contact with a child to separated parents in relation to the virus?

The Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic has denied this information.

No measure of the Central Crisis Staff of the SR can be understood as a ban on contact among closest relatives.

Can Slovak companies doing business with Italian companies accept shipments or can we get infected also in this way?

The virus lifespan is estimated to be several hours, not days.

So, the risk of spreading of the novel coronavirus from products or packaging is very low. 

Where are the exact locations where the infected patients stay?

Please check the NHIC website for an interactive map of processed laboratory data with an overview of COVID-19 positive results based on localities, gender and date.

Link

Who can issue an order of ban on gathering of people (for how long time), on closing facilities (restaurants, bars, conferences)?

Such an order is issued by the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic (UVZ SR) and the Main Hygienist or the establishing authority.

 

May repairmen or couriers visit households?

It is upon consideration of each person; if there are no symptoms, they have not been in contact with an ill person, have not returned from a risk country, then they may. There is no prohibition on this.

 

Do the measures on limitation of operation apply also to spa facilities?

The measures do not apply to natural healing spas and spa sanatoriums based on a doctor’s recommendation.

From March 13, 2020, until cancellation, operation of the following facilities have been prohibited: natural and artificial swimming pools, sports facilities, body care and beauty facilities, facilities for children and adolescents including facilities for care of children up to 3 years old except for social care facilities, facilities of social-legal protection of children and social custody and special education facilities. Public catering facilities are prohibited, namely cake shops, snack bars, cafés, bars and similar public catering facilities, except for restaurants and fast food stands. The following has been prohibited to: operation of wellness centres including pools in accommodation facilities, operations of recreational nature, like casinos, cinemas and other spare time facilities like ski resorts, reconditioning stays. 

Opinions of virologists can be found on the internet that staying outdoors is recommended. Should I walk outdoors, of course provided that I would walk when there is minimum people there?

What stores and services will not be operated in the following days?

Effective from March 16, 2020, 6 a.m., all retails stores and all services have been closed for 14 days, except for:

  • stores selling food, meat, bread and breadstuff, fruits and vegetables, food for special dietetic purposes for infants and toddlers, and food for special medical purposes,
  • pharmacies, health care tools stores and dispensaries,
  • drugstores,
  • petrol stations,
  • newspaper stands,
  • stores with animal feed and veterinary offices,
  • telecommunication operator stores,
  • public catering operations and fast food stands,
  • postal, bank and insurance services shops,
  • internet stores (e-shops) and delivery services,
  • taxi services (only for delivery of goods),
  • car repair shops and tow services,
  • laundries.

From March 30, 2020, also the following stores, services and shops are permitted to be open:

  • opticians,
  • state technical inspection and emission inspection services,
  • leasing services,
  • bicycle stores and repair shops,
  • notaries and advocates,
  • building supply stores, garden centres,
  • haberdasher's, drapery,
  • paints, varnishes,
  • electric installation services,
  • ironmongery, hardware stores,
  • waste collection yards,
  • computer and telecommunication technology services,
  • key services.

All stores will be closed on Sundays due to a sanitary day and for the staff to have a rest, exception has been granted only to emergency pharmacies and veterinary offices.

Will any information leaflets be distributed, for example for seniors?

Currently, physical distribution of leaflets is significantly limited.

Some towns, town parts or municipalities have prepared leaflets separately and published them on a publicly accessible places. For example, Bratislava has started a phone line for seniors that is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on working days at a free of charge number 0800 242 000. Older citizens of the town can contact the info line with their questions or with requirements for assistance, for example to pick up medications.

Can the infection be transmitted by shipments from China?

When shopping online, the delivery period from Asian countries (e.g. from China) is usually three and more weeks.

It is not expected that the virus would survive so long on surfaces. So, the risk of spreading of the novel coronavirus from products or packaging is very low this case.

Can I be infected with the coronavirus at a blood transfusion?

Coronavirus is a respiratory (not blood) infection.

All respiratory viruses are airborne from one person to another, so it is so-called droplet transmission while the respiratory system is affected primarily. Transmission of influenza (including SARS, MERS and other coronavirus) by a blood transfusion has not been reported yet anywhere in the world.

What is the management of a client admission to a social care facilities and facilities of social-legal protection of children and social custody in relation to the increased risk of the COVID-19 disease spreading?

What is the setup of church operation and services?

Based on the guideline of the Main Hygienist of the SR, public church services remain suspended also during Easter holidays.

  • Masses may be served but only the celebrant and necessary assistants, and a technical worker assuring transmission for believers are allowed to be present. Other people are not allowed to enter the church during the private service.
  • Out of the mass time, churches may be open but the following must be assured:
    • people may enter and stay in the church only with covered upper airways (e.g. face mask, scarf etc.),
    • hand disinfectant should be applied at the entrance to the church, or disposable gloves should be provided,
    • arrange that the distance between persons (except for close families) is at least 2 meters,
    • number of persons in a church must not exceed concentration of one person per 25 m2 of the publicly accessible church area at any moment
    • provide for often disinfection of areas, especially touch areas, floors, items, doorknobs.

More here.

How will be pensions paid during Easter?

The Social Insurance Agency informs pensioners who receive their pension in cash by post on the 10th and 12th day of a calendar month about change of these payment days during Easter.

Those pensioners who receive their pension on the 10th day of a calendar month will receive their pension one day earlier – on Thursday April 9, 2020. Pensioners with payment date on the 12th day of a calendar month will receive their pension on Tuesday April 14, 2020.

How will be injury benefits paid during Easter?

During Easter, payment date of injury benefits and survivor's injury benefits is not changed.

If the payment date of these benefits falls on a public holiday, the Social Insurance Agency will make the payment in the previous working day before the public holiday.