Prague, Czech Republic- Slovakia has moved to add the Czech Republic on its “red list” of high-risk countries due to the rise in the number of daily COVID-19 cases.
The announcement was made by Slovakia’s State Secretary for European and Foreign Affairs Martin Klus (SaS) before being confirmed to local media by Prime Minister Igor Matovic. It followed the decision of the country’s Central Crisis Staff, in charge of managing the coronavirus crisis.
Due to the worsening epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic and daily cases of COVID-19 reaching new all-time highs over the past week, Slovakia will impose travel restrictions on anyone entering the country from its Western neighbour, with full measures to take effect on Friday, September 18.
All travelers from the Czech Republic, including Slovak nationals, will either have to show a negative COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours upon their arrival at the border; or self-isolate and take a test no sooner than 5 days after their arrival.
Anyone arriving to Slovakia, where daily coronavirus cases have also been steadily increasing to reach 188 on Monday, from a country that is not considered “low-risk” must also fill the eHranica form.
Some groups of people are exempted from these restrictive measures, including cross-border workers commuting within a 30-km distance from the border, students, teachers, researchers, social and healthcare workers, diplomats and people working in critical infrastructure sectors.
“The Czech Republic finds itself in a bad situation”, Slovak Premier Matovic said. “Let’s keep our fingers crossed for them to reappear on our green list as quickly as possible”.
According to State Secretary Martin Klus, who received a public scolding from PM Matovic for releasing the commission’s conclusions before he could inform the Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis, neighbouring Austria and Hungary could also soon be added to Slovakia’s list of “high-risk” nations, which currently comprises 26 countries.
Slovakia is expected to close at least part of its border with Ukraine in the coming days, which has also seen surging numbers of coronavirus infection, and has moved to categorize Bulgaria, Sweden and Canada as safe countries.