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05 Apr 2020 | 11:14 PM UTC

Slovakia: Authorities announce plans to restrict movement due to COVID-19 April 5 /update 4

Authorities announced plans to restrict personal movements from April 8-13 amid COVID-19 pandemic; state of emergency remains in place

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Event

On Sunday, April 5, the Slovakian government announced plans to restrict personal free movement from Wednesday, April 8 until Monday, April 13 due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The latest restrictions will be subject to approval by the government, which will meet on Monday, April 6. Individuals in Slovakia will be permitted to travel to work, food stores and to the doctors where necessary. The restrictions come amid the Easter holiday, which is a time where Slovakians traditionally visit relatives and friends.

On Sunday, March 15, Slovakia declared a state of emergency over concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. All shops except food stores, pharmacies, banks, post offices, and petrol stations, will be closed from 18:00 (local time) on Monday, March 16. Additionally, an entry ban on non-residents remains in place as of Thursday, March 12, while all international travel by air and land continue to remain suspended.

As of Sunday, April 5, 471 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.