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Slovakia relaxes restrictions on international travel

Slovakia relaxes restrictions on international travel

Foreigners from green list countries may enter with rapid antigen test, while vaccinated Slovaks may visit Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and Croatia without test or quarantine

As of Monday, 14 June, the entry of foreign nationals from green list countries (including all EU member states) to Slovakia will be made easier. According to TASR newswire, these arrivals will need to present antigen tests not older than 24 hours or PCR tests not older than 72 hours and will be exempted from 14-day quarantine.

Neighbourly agreement

A deal has also been struck with neighbouring Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic as well as Croatia, which allows vaccinated Slovak tourists to visit these countries without the need to test for COVID-19 or self-isolate. There is one condition - more than 22 days must have passed since receiving the first vaccine dose.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger explains that the improving epidemiological situation has prompted the government to enact measures facilitating travel to vacation resorts in time for the people’s annual leaves. Indeed, data provided by the National Health Information Centre shows just 84 new Covid cases (10 June), 300 hospitalizations and 30 patients on ventilation nationwide.

A total of 1,840,253 people have been vaccinated with one dose, while 1,046,405 have received the second shot. This is well below the target of 3.3 million people (60 percent of the population) needed for achieving herd immunity in Slovakia.

Low public confidence in management of the pandemic

The general public doesn’t appear to share the official optimism, however, as evidenced by the latest ‘How Are You, Slovakia?’ survey conducted in mid-May by the Slovak Academy of Science’s Institute of Sociology, MNFORCE agency and Seesame communications agency. Only 17.2 percent of respondents to the new survey trust the government’s pandemic management measures, compared to a whopping 56.2 percent of confidence shown at the pandemic outbreak in April 2020.

The survey has revealed a correlation between confidence in pandemic management efforts and vaccination willingness. Confident respondents have indicated they are willing to get the jab, while up to two thirds of government naysayers don’t intend to be vaccinated or are weighing the risks. Meanwhile, the survey shows more stable support for Slovakia’s health care system and scientific institutions, with confidence standing at 50.8 percent and 47.8 percent respectively.

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