Slovakia loosens anti-pandemic restraints, switching to orange and yellow tiers

Slovakia loosens anti-pandemic restraints, switching to orange and yellow tiers

Travel traffic lights scheme comes into effect on 31 May

From 31 May, Slovakia will enjoy a more relaxed Covid-19 regime as most of the country enters the orange and yellow (third and second most favourable) tiers of epidemiological control according to the Covid automat alert system.

Eating inside restaurants allowed

Most districts, 41, will be in the orange tier, while 24 districts, including the capital Bratislava, will switch to the yellow tier, where the measures will be the most lenient, informs The Slovak Spectator. Another 11 districts will be in the light red tier, and only three (Banská Štiavnica, Kysucké Nové Mesto and  Myjava) will be in the red tier where the rules will be the toughest, including curfew between 9 pm and 5 am.

In the yellow and orange tier districts, mask-wearing remains mandatory indoors and at outdoor mass events. Eating inside restaurants is permitted. Wellness centres, water parks, swimming pools, fitness centres, museums and galleries can admit increased visitor numbers.

Attendance limits for mass events also increase, with seated venue capacity set at 50 percent inside and 75 percent outside (yellow tier) and 25 percent inside and 50 percent outside (orange tier) and caps on participants at 250 inside and 500 outside in both tiers.

For weddings, funerals, and parties, the limits are 100 people inside and 250 outside for yellow tier districts, and 50 people inside and 100 outside for orange tier districts.

Travel traffic lights scheme

The Slovak government agreed Wednesday on a travel traffic lights scheme, which will come into effect on 31 May and will be updated every two weeks, reports TASR.  

The scheme assigns countries colour codes according to their infection risk level – green for EU countries and countries with favourable epidemiological situations (currently comprising Australia, China, Greenland, Iceland, Israel, Macao, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan); red for countries with unfavourable epidemiological situations; and black for countries which the Foreign Affairs Ministry advises against travelling to.

“The main goal of the travel traffic lights is to allow people to enjoy relatively safe travel abroad and concurrently to minimise the influx of new infections, or new coronavirus mutations,” stated the ministry as quoted by the state news agency.

EU viewed as indivisible epidemiological unit

The scheme’s authors envision EU-member states as a complete and indivisible epidemiological unit, accepting the higher risk stemming from this, and compensating for it with more stringent arrangements for other countries. This explains the absence of amber-coded countries from the travel traffic lights scheme.

After returning from a green country, people must place themselves in 14-day quarantine, which can be terminated by a negative PCR test upon arrival. Exempt are returnees who have been vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 within the past 180 days and children up to 18 years of age.

Returnees from a red country can end their mandatory 14-day self-isolation by a negative PCR test, but on the eighth day at the earliest. For people returning from a black country, a 14-day quarantine period will apply regardless of the result of the test.



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