Bratislava, Slovakia – As the coronavirus continues to spread in Europe and new cases of infection are confirmed every day, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary have all stepped up their efforts and introduced measures to try to contain as much as possible the viral COVID-19 outbreak.
Here’s a quick break-down of some of the most recent steps taken by Visegrad countries.
The Czech Republic has reported 67 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, most of them linked to northern Italy but also including a 40-year-old Prague taxi driver who appears to have been the first community-borne infection in the country.
- All public events and gatherings of 100 people or more have been banned.
- All primary and secondary schools closed down, and many universities have also cancelled their classes. Kindergartens and pre-schools can however remain open until further notice.
- Many tourists attractions, heritage sites and public buildings across the country have been closed to the public.
- Ban on visits to general hospital wards and senior homes, with a few exceptions.
- Cancellations of all direct flights to and from China, northern Italy and South Korea with international Czech airports.
- Compulsory two-week self-quarantine for anyone returning from Italy.
- Random temperature tests introduced at ten border crossings.
- Ban on the export of disinfectants.
10 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in Slovakia so far.
- All public events (sports, cultural, official as well as all religious services…) have been banned.
- A number of kindergartens and schools have closed down, including all those in Bratislava, and school trips have been banned.
- Anyone coming back from the most affected countries (Italy, China, Iran and South Korea) must remain in home quarantine for 14 days following their return or face fines of than 1,650€.
- Total ban on all flights to and from Italy.
- Preventive health checks at all border crossings in Slovakia.
- Ban on all patients’ visits in hospitals as health and social care facilities such as retirement homes.
- Many public buildings and institutions (such as libraries, swimming pools, museums, cinemas, tourists attractions, etc.) have also closed down.
Poland’s coronavirus count reached 27 at the time of writing.
- All schools, universities and cultural institutions (cinemas, theatres, museums…) closed down.
- Introduction of sanitary checks at border crossings with Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as at ports and on trains.
- Special safety checks and measures introduced at Poland’s international airports.
- Ban on all large public events throughout the country.
- Exemption of the excise tax on high-alcohol spirits so they can be used as biocides.
- Production of a million litres of hand sanitizer by state-run oil company Orlen.
Hungary has reported a total number of 13 cases of coronavirus infection.
- State of emergency declared in the whole country.
- Anyone travelling from Italy, China, South Korea and Iran barred to enter the country, except for Hungarian nationals who will be automatically quarantined.
- Travel restrictions on all types of transport at the Slovenian and Austrian borders.
- Violation of quarantine orders and spread of fake news about the coronavirus to be sanctioned under new special decree.
- Universities to be closed down, but schools to remain open for now.
- Ban on all outdoors public events of more than 500 people and all indoors public events of at least 100 people – including the March 15 national day celebrations.
- Cancellation of all school trips abroad.
Main photo credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images