Bratislava, Slovakia – Slovakia has added six EU member states to its list of high-risk countries due to their worsening epidemiological situation, local authorities announced this week.
Warning of the rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across Europe, Slovakia Health Minister Marek Krajci (OLaNO) said that France, Spain, Belgium, Croatia, the Netherlands and Malta have been removed from the list of “low-risk” countries.
Starting September 1, anyone coming to Slovakia having visited one of these countries in the previous two weeks will be forced to go into quarantine for 10 days, or get tested for COVID-19 at least five days after their arrival to Slovakia.
The Health Minister pointed out that an important share of the total number of infections reported in Slovakia had been imported from abroad, including Croatia and the Czech Republic, two of the most popular destinations for Slovak tourists.
A few days ago, Slovakia’s Foreign Ministry issued a warning urging its citizens to reconsider their trips to Prague, where the sanitary situation is quickly deteriorating.
Following this week’s cabinet meeting, Health Minister Krajci also warned that “if tens of thousands of holidaymakers return all at the same time, our testing capacities will not be sufficient”.
Slovak sanitary authorities announced new restrictions at home, including tighter rules for outdoor (maximum of 1,000 people) and indoor (500 people) public events, and the mandatory wearing of face-masks for most pupils heading back to school next week.
More than 3,800 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Slovakia since the start of the epidemic, and 33 people died from the disease.