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“Smart” quarantine measures to be implemented in Slovakia starting today

In addition to traditional quarantine measures, citizens returning from abroad will be able to make use of new technologies to keep themselves and others safe

  • May 18, 2020 14:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Over the past few weeks, countries across Europe have not only been relaxing their lockdown and quarantine restrictions but have also begun adopting more and more smart approaches to dealing with the pandemic. Technologically advanced solutions have been in regular use for months in countries to the far East like South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, but due to privacy issues, they have not been as widely adopted in Europe and therefore have yet to become particularly popular.

One of the countries aiming to break with such taboos is Slovakia, where the government introduced new “smart” measures that would track Slovaks returning from abroad in order to ensure that they remain quarantined for the state-mandated 14-day period.

Innovative measures to confront the pandemic

The government introduced its proposal on 14 May and it was quickly approved by the Slovak parliament on the following day. Thus, the new tracking app is set to enter into use today, 18 May.

Authorities, however, are eager to point out that its use is entirely voluntary. The need for it arose because the country’s capacity to host returnees in isolation was reaching full capacity. Thanks to the app citizens can be allowed to remain on their own since it would give security officials the chance to perform regular check-ups on whether the quarantined individual is obeying the rules.

The app allows for location tracking, the sending of selfies, face recognition and for the receiving of notification. It is entirely free and will act a voluntary substitute to quarantine in a government facility that will substantially improve the lives of those Slovaks returning from abroad – and will also ease the pressure on the relevant authorities.

The Slovak government is also adamant that due to its voluntary nature, and by its very design, the app is not at all invasive outside of its basic functions. Once the individual’s quarantine has passed, the app can then safely be removed and authorities will supposedly no longer be able to track the user’s activities and movements.

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