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Slovakia extends flight ban until May 28

Bratislava, Slovakia – The Slovak government has decided to extend the country-wide flight ban until May 28, local Sme daily reported.

The information was first released by Bratislava’s M.R. Stefanik Airport and confirmed by Transport Minister Andrej Dolezal (Sme Rodina).

First introduced on March 13 after Slovakia declared a state of national emergency due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, the flight ban applies to all inbound commercial and civilian planes.

Repeatedly prolonged, the ban, which has now been in effect for more than two months, was due to expire on May 14.

Some airlines, including Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air, had already announced it would resume air connections to and from Slovakia, but Slovak authorities warned that, whatever flights might be available for booking on their websites, all have been cancelled until at least May 28.

Anyone returning to Slovakia, including Slovak citizens, have to remain in state-run quarantine facilities until being tested for Covid-19. If the results are negative, they should to spend the rest of a 14-day isolation period at home.

These rules might however be about to change, as the government prepares to unveil a “smart quarantine” mobile app that allows to track the movement of returnees. In that case, they can directly self-quarantine at home upon their return instead of spending time in state facilities.

While traveling this summer is bound to be extremely limited as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Slovakia is discussing the possibility of opening up “travel corridors” with some of its neighbours, including the Czech Republic.

The border between Slovakia and Austria, for its part, already reopened this week-end.

“The sooner other countries are doing as  well as we are, the sooner we can open borders”, said Prime Minister Igor Matovic, nonetheless warning that most neighbouring countries have a much higher rate of infection.

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