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Slovakia could add Czech Republic to list of “high-risk” countries next week

Prague, Czech Republic- Slovakia will decide on Monday whether or not it will add Czech Republic to its list of “high-risk” nations due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the neighbouring country.

The announcement was made by Slovak Health Minister Marek Krajci (OLaNO) on Friday following a session of the government’s special pandemic commission.

The inclusion of the Czech Republic to Slovakia’s list of “high-risk” countries is bound to create travel restrictions, the details of which are not yet known. A number of exceptions and exemptions might, however, continue to apply between the two sister nations.

On Monday, Slovakia is also set to decide on its borders’ closure with Ukraine, and could add Austria and Hungary to its list of countries with unfavourable outlooks as regards to the latest epidemiological developments.

Only a few days ago, Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic and his Austrian and Czech counterparts vowed “to keep their borders open until the last possible moment” during a meeting in Vienna.

In the meantime, Slovak authorities would also include new countries, including Sweden, Canada and Bulgaria, to its list of destinations where it’s considered safe to travel.

The proposals are due to be discussed by the Central Crisis staff tomorrow.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic has reached record-highs over the past ten days, exceeding 1,000 for the first time last week. On Saturday, more than 1,500 cases of coronavirus infection were reported throughout the country, which has already tightened restrictions to try to stem the spread of the virus.

Half a dozen districts including the capital Prague – which Slovakia had warned against visiting – are categorized as “medium-risk” by Czech health authorities.

Earlier this week, Denmark and Switzerland became the latest European countries to impose travel restrictions on anyone coming from the Czech Republic.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.

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