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It will be in effect at least for the next 45 days
In response to the sharp rise in confirmed coronavirus cases, the Slovak government has declared a state of emergency in the country. In essence, that should not impact the everyday lives of ordinary citizens too much, but it would give authorities enhanced powers that would allow them to make decisions faster and to move quickly should the need arise.
Slovakia will be in a state of emergency for a period of at the very least 45 days according to government officials but there is a possibility that the measures will be extended – at most up to 90 days.
Emergency powers should they be needed
A state of national emergency gives the Slovak government some enhanced powers that could potentially limit the rights of citizens until the situation is back under control. For example, while the state of emergency is in effect, authorities can infringe on the right of peaceful assembly and on the property rights should specific buildings be needed for a vital purpose. Furthermore, the government will also be able to limit free movement and can have a say on the spread of information.
The last time a state of national emergency was declared in Slovakia was back in March after the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic. It was in effect until mid-June and saw the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Slovakia dip significantly.
In a statement to the press, Prime Minister Igor Matovic explained that the state of national emergency “is a tool to ensure the protection of life and health in emergencies that may occur in individual areas due to a pandemic.". He continued stating that the 45-day limit of the emergency measures is meant to be an incentive for everyone to act and behave responsibly and to get the virus back under control – which would ultimately lead to life returning back to normal.
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