Smart quarantine – self-isolation as an alternative to institutional quarantine

Updated on 24 May 2020, 11:10 p.m. | How should you proceed?

SELF-ISOLATION SMARTPHONE APPLICATION HAS GONE LIVE!
For Android and iOS and tentatively for the border crossings indicated below:

Austria

  • Petržalka-Berg,
  • Jarovce-Kitsee.

Czechia

  • Drietoma – Starý Hrozenkov,  
  • Brodské – Břeclav,  
  • Svrčinovec – Mosty u Jablunkova,  
  • Makov -Bíla Bumbálka.

Hungary

  • Čunovo – Rajka ,    
  • Šahy – Parassapusta,    
  • Milhost – Tornyosnémeti.  

Poland

  • Vyšný Komárnik – Barwinek,
  • Trstená – Chyžné.

Ukraine

  • Vyšné Nemecké.

Should you consider returning to Slovakia and stay in self-isolation using eKaranténa (eQuarantine) app, as of  Saturday, 23 May 2020, you will be able to do so when only crossing Petržalka-Berg, Drietoma-Starý Hrozenkov and Jarovce-Kittsee border crossings. Currently open border crossings are to be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior of the SR.

Upozornenie

A precondition is a smartphone with Android operation system!

Currently, the option of home isolation is only available for Android. The application has been approved by Google, for the time being, it is in its trial stage.

You will be able to download eKaranténa app upon successful registration via the signup form.

All the conditions are applicable to all the applicants therefore it is important to read following instructions.

Upozornenie

For iPhone eKaranténa app will be available for downloading upon its formal approval by Apple.

e-karantena


Are you returning to Slovakia and are you among those individuals who are instructed to stay in mandatory institutional quarantine? In that case you have two options:

  1. You will spend the quarantine in a state-run quarantine facility.  
  2. You will spend the quarantine in home isolation using eKaranténa (eQuarantine) smartphone application.

Both of these options are identical when it comes to terms and limitations. The difference, however, is the place where you spend your quarantine.

Mandatory 14-day quarantine applies to all individuals arriving in Slovakia from abroad. Quarantine does not apply to cross-border workers (the so-called pendlers) and to specific categories of occupations – all conditions are to be found on our website.

The basic preconditions of self-isolation

  • 1) a smartphone with camera and location services (GPS),
  • 2) at all times, keep your smartphone sufficiently charged (it is advisable to keep it fully charged)
  • 3) nonstop Wi-Fi connection or ample mobile data,
  • 4) sufficiently strong cell phone signal in a location of your self- isolation,
  • 5) those living in common household shall stay in home isolation together with you,
  • 6) alerting an individual who drives you from the state border to protect himself/herself by wearing a valveless FFP2/KN95 respirator.
  • 7) on the fifth day at the latest of your entering the territory of the SR get tested for COVID-19

What does self-isolation look like?

eKaranténa smartphone app has been designed to ensure surveillance over the compliance with home isolation rules. Thanks to the app, you may spend mandatory 14-day quarantine in the comfort of your home.

A precondition of home isolation is mandatory testing for COVID19. To be tested for COVID-19, within a couple of days upon going into self-isolation, you will be contacted by a staff of the Regional Public Health Authority, or e-Karanténa application will request you to apply for testing at the website korona.gov.sk (for more information read section COVID-19 Test).

You cannot leave your household while being in self-isolation. Please, keep in mind that food and other essential supplies (e.g. medications) must be provided for by making necessary arrangements over the entire time period spent in home isolation. You may use delivery services, the help of your neighbours, friends, volunteers, but you and other members of your household cannot leave home isolation.

If you live in the same household with other persons, the obligation of home isolation applies to you as well as to these persons. It is not advisable to stay in home isolation in a common household with a person over 65 years of age. Please, when considering home isolation, think of other members of your household.

I want to return to Slovakia and I am interested in self-isolation. How should I proceed?

If you have opted for self-isolation, fill out the signup form and download eKaranténa (eQuarantine) app well in advance of arriving at the state border.

Upozornenie

Do not leave it up to the last moment. Most of the time, the cell phone signal or the Internet connection is not strong enough at the state border.

The procedure is explained below.

1. Fill out the form on the website korona.gov.sk

Data to be completed

Fill out the following data:

  • personal data,
  • cell phone number,
  • border crossing you will use,  
  • number plate of your vehicle (should you consider crossing the border by car),
  • names of persons with whom you will be travelling or with whom you will be sharing home isolation,
  • location of your self-isolation (attention: at all times, you must mark the place exactly on the map in the form – if it is a cottage or a garden house which does not have a property registration number, an exact address is not required. Please, indicate the place on the map in the form),
  • children under 16 years of age and persons who live in common household with whom you wish to spend home isolation.

Persons living in the same household who are obliged to self-isolate with you in the same household do not have to register separately and download eKaranténa app. However, these persons must be listed in your signup form. In order to check whether all persons in your household have been reported, you may receive a random inspection by the Regional Public Health Authority.  You may be fined if you violate the regulation.

Children under 16 years of age

Children under 16 years of age shall not be registered via registration forms or required to download eKaranténa app. They are reported by their statutory representative in his/her registration form (column: Persons with whom you travel or intend to stay in home isolation).

Example:

If there are 2 adults travelling with 2 children under 16 years of age, both adults must apply for registration and both of them shall have the application installed and running. The children shall be registered in the signup form by adults.

Upozornenie

Prior to signing up and a subsequent downloading of the application make sure that your smartphone is sufficiently charged (best is to keep it fully charged) and keep it like that all the time. Should the battery be weak, such functions as location services may be automatically switched off, which may result in the breach of self-isolation rules.

Sign up by filling out the self-isolation signup form.

Signing up

Upon filling out the registration form, you will receive information that you need to download eKaranténa app.

2. Minimum technical requirements for eKaranténa application

Android

  • minimum operation system Android, version 5.0 or later  
  • Google Play Services v 13.0
  • camera  
  • location services (i.e. GPS)
  • the Internet connection

iOS

  • minimum operation system iOS 10.0 or later  
  • PUSH notification permission
  • camera  
  • location services (i.e. GPS)
  • the Internet connection  

To ensure self-isolation, you will be randomly requested for facial biometrics recognition. Face biometrics recognition will be technologically secured directly using eKaranténa application (i.e. you do not need a smartphone that supports face biometrics recognition, for example, an iPhone with Face ID technology, a camera will suffice).

3. Download and activate the application before arriving at the state border

What should I do and how should I proceed before arriving at the border?

  1. Download the application from App Store or Google Play.
  2. After downloading the application, allow all accesses and you will then be prompted to enter your cell phone number directly into the app.  
  3. Next you will receive an activation text message. The activation text message will contain a code that must be entered in eKaranténa app. After entering the code, eKaranténa app will be matched with the data specified in your signup form, which you will then see in the application. In the app you will also see your COVID-19-PASS (barcode and three triple characters), which was assigned to you once registered.  
  4. eKaranténa app informs you that it is ready for your crossing the state border.
How are the necessary permissions given to eKaranténa app in your smartphone settings?

When you first turn on your smartphone after the installation, the app will prompt you to grant the necessary permissions – each time press “yes”.

If this fails for various reasons, you can also grant permissions through your smartphone settings. How can this be done?

ANDROID

  1. Open “Settings”.
  2. Tap “Applications & Notifications”.
  3. Tap “Permissions”.
  4. Choose which permissions you want eKaranténa app to have: Camera/Your Location
  5. Find eKaranténa in the application list and select permission.

iOS (Apple)

  1. Open “Settings”.
  2. Tap eKaranténa application.
  3. Choose which permissions you want eKaranténa app to have: Camera/Your Location and swipe right to confirm.

4. Other necessary documents

In addition to signing up and an active eKaranténa application, you will also need 2 signed documents to cross the state border. Print two copies of each document and sign them before arriving at the border.

The documents are: Declaration of honour and Consent to mandatory self-isolation using smartphone application.

Declaration of honour (PDF, 55 kB) Consent to self-isolation (PDF, 236 kB)

5. Crossing the state border

What is the procedure at the state border?

Upozornenie

Plan you arrival at the state border crossing between 08:00 am and 6:00 pm (7 days a week). During these hours, police officers will be present and handle your case. Outside these hours, no technical support will be available.         

In case of self-isolation, you have to provide for your own individual transport. To cross the state border, car is a preferred transport means. You have three options: 

A. You cross the border in your car and continue in the same car straight to the place of your self-isolation. 

B. You arrive at the border by another means (bus, taxi, on foot). A member of your household will arrive by car to pick you up. As a consequence, this person then must self-isolate with you.

C. You arrive at the border by another means (bus, taxi, on foot). Another person will arrive at the border to pick you up (it can be a taxi driver). If that person is not a member of your household and will not self-isolate with you, he/she has to self-protect during entire journey by wearing a valveless respirator FFP2/KN95.

What is the procedure at the border?

  1. Upon arrival, you shall present your ID to a police officer.  
  2. Police officer will ask you to start eKaranténa app (eQuarantine) and use biometric facial recognition to unlock it.  
  3. The application will display your COVID-19-PASS which you shall present to the police officer.
  4. The officer will scan your COVID-19-PASS using his/her smart phone and verify your right of entry. In some cases, such verification can also be performed by radio call to the operation centre of the Slovak police.  
  5. The officer will check and compare the data from your ID with the data displayed in the application. If they match, verification is confirmed. The officer will give you a 4-digit PIN. You need to enter the PIN into your eKaranténa app responding to the Challenge.  
  6. In responce, the app will generate a 6-digit number. You shall give this number to the police officer.  
  7. The police officer will verify your right of entry based on this number.  If this number is correct, you will be authorised to enter the territory of the SR with self-isolation activated.  
  8. The police officer will ask you to sign a Declaration of honour and a Consent to self-isolation and usage of mobile application. You will save time at the border if you have already prepared these two forms. Each of these two forms has to be dully filled out, printed in two copies and signed.  
  9. In case you did not arrive at the border by car, the police officer may check whether you have someone to pick you up.  
  10. Activated self-isolation means that you are obliged to immediately drive in the shortest possible way to the place of your self-isolation. On your way, you shall refrain from any social contacts, you may not stop, do shopping or perform any other similar activities.
  11. You will receive notification confirming active status of your self-isolation. (If there is no mobile network or a weak signal, you will be notified as soon as the signal is restored. However, the time period for your transfer to the place of self-isolation started running once you crossed the border.)
Upozornenie

If there are more persons driving with you (excluding children under 16 years of age), all passengers must register individually. Each person shall download and activate his/her own eKaranténa app.

If you experience any problem with the app (failed verification or failed activation by the police officer), you will be obliged to spend institutional isolation in a relevant facility arranged by the government.

Transfer to self-isolation

If everything worked well and you were granted entry by the police officer, you are obliged to transfer without undue delay to the place chosen for your self-isolation. Remember, you have a time span of 8 hours, starting from the app activation.    

Upozornenie

You may not travel to your self-isolation by public transport (bus, tram, train or other). 

Remember that if another person arrived to the state border to pick you up, such person shall either wear a valveless respirator FFP2/KN95 during the entire journey to be protected or shall self-isolate with you for 14 days.

6. Self-isolation at home

What rules you must comply with

Your smartphone during your self-isolation: 

  1. must be always on,  
  2. cannot be put in flight mode,  
  3. must be always connected,
  4. must keep the app open (and active),
  5. must allow automatic updates of the application to monitor your compliance with self-isolation conditions,
  6. must allow saving of facial images of smart phone user to monitor his/her compliance with mandatory self-isolation,
  7. must allow location services (GPS),
  8. must allow and receive notifications (including text messages),
  9. must allow use of camera to recognize biometrics of the face. The application will provide for this technological feature (this means that you do not need a smartphone with face recognition function, for instance iPhone with Face ID technology, the app can recognize face image by using phone camera).
Upozornenie

Don not delete the app, it must be installed in your phone at all times. Repeated download is not possible!

During 14 days of your self-isolation, you must remain in your chosen residence, refrain from any social contact, any activities requiring your leaving the residence or receiving other persons in your residence (other than those who self-isolate with you).

You are required to monitor your health and condition during your self-isolation (sudden onset of any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath). If you display any of the symptoms, call your doctor and regional Public Health Authority immediately.

7. Mandatory COVID-19 test is an essential component of self-isolation. Typically, you will be tested within the first five days of your self-isolation.

Mandatory COVID-19 test is an essential component of self-isolation. Typically, you will be tested within the first five days of your self-isolation. 

During the first days of your self-isolation, you will be contacted by the Regional Public Health Authority, or eKaranténa app will send you a notification instructing you to make an appointment for the test yourself. When contacted by the Regional Public Health Authority, you will agree on an appointment and choose the location and fashion of your test as convenient. 

You may also call and make the appointment for the test yourself as of the third day of your isolation.

Make an appointment for the test

When you choose a dedicated COVID-19 testing facility, a drive through testing service, you should use your own car. Such journey will not qualify as breach of the conditions of self-isolation.     

8. Breach of self-isolation

Upozornenie

Adhere to self-isolation at home. eKaranténa app will request biometrics of your face at any time several times during the day. Failure to respond shall be deemed breach of self-isolation.

The app will help you comply with self-isolation conditions. The app is designed to communicate with you. This will also apply when breaching the conditions. eKaranténa app evaluates your behaviour. When suspicious of any breach, the app will automatically send notification to the Regional Public Health Authority.

What qualifies as breach of self-isolation?

  • leaving the place chosen for your self-isolation,  
  • setting flight mode on your smartphone,
  • uninstallation of the app,  
  • switching off your cell phone,  
  • switching off location services on your cell phone,  
  • switching off mobile data and wifi,  
  • failure to respond to the challenge sent by the app – failed verification of face recognition biometrics,
  • choosing place of self-isolation not covered by mobile network,
  • tampering with GPS location or the application.

V prípade porušenia podmienok domácej izolácie Vás na porušenie upozorní aplikácia, zároveň dostanete aj výstražnú SMS. Táto SMS sa zasiela aj preto, aby Vás výstraha zastihla, ak by sa Vám minuli mobilné dáta, nefungovala Wi-Fi a podobne.

Upozornenie

If you breach self-isolation conditions, the Public Health Authority according to Article 56 para 2 of the Law 355/2007 Coll. may impose a fine in the amount of up to EUR 1659. Similarly, police authorities may impose an on the spot cash fine up to EUR 1000.

9. Ending self-isolation

If you do not test positive, your self-isolation will end after 14 days and the app will switch off automatically. It will stop monitoring you.

If you have tested positive on COVID-19, a medical doctor or a public health staff will determine further action. eKaranténa app will remain active. If you develop mild symptoms, you may remain home. If your condition worsens, you will be admitted to hospital (in line with standard procedures). You will be tested for COVID-19 again after 14 days.

If you need help with the form or if you need more information on self-isolation in the place of your residence, call:

0800 221 234 or *0123 (in Slovakia)

+421 222 113 333 (from abroad)

Read more about Regulation about smart quarantine from 22 May 2020 (PDF, 142 kB).