Slovakia: Measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus are slowly being relaxed

A brief overview of the details and rules for the gradual opening of establishments in Slovakia. 

The relaxation of measures, including the opening of establishments, was divided into four phases. Phase 1 was launched on 22 April 2020. In view of the low number of new cases, the relaxation is being accelerated, which is why Phase 2 and Phase 3 were launched simultaneously on 6 May.

In Phase 1, businesses and services with an area of up to 300 m2, public catering businesses via a counter, outdoor sports grounds (contactless sports, without changing rooms, without spectators, without toilets), accommodation (long-term, without catering), outdoor market places, car sales, including car bazaars were opened.

What was loosened up in the merged Phase 2 and Phase 3?

In Phase 2 and 3 the following establishments, services and mass events were opened:

– shops and services in small shopping centres with less than 35 enterprises (regardless of the area of the enterprise)

– outside catering – outside terraces

– hairdressing salons, barber shops, pedicures and manicures, beauty parlours, solariums,

– rehabilitation services (dry procedures),

– museums, galleries, libraries and exhibition halls,

– open-air tourist attractions (castles, chateaus, ZOOs, etc.),

– taxi services.

The opening of the above-mentioned establishments is still linked to the respect of strict hygiene conditions (limited number of persons according to the area of the establishment).

As far as public catering is concerned, the consumption of meals is only possible on open terraces. Customers are allowed to take off their masks only for the time necessary to consume the meal. The tables on the terraces must be at least 2 metres apart (from the edge of the table to the edge of the table), with a maximum of 2 guests sitting at one table (parents with children may sit at one table). The public is not allowed to enter the establishment itself, with the exception of toilet use. The providers are obliged to ensure the disinfection of the tables and contact surfaces. The servers must use face masks and disinfect their hands between serving the individual tables. The hygienic facilities must be equipped with liquid soap and paper towels (hand dryers are prohibited and must be put out of order). The opening hours of these establishments are limited to 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

In hairdressing salons, barber shops, beauty parlours, establishments providing manicures, pedicures, solarium services and massages, the employees who perform body care must use a face shield (this does not apply in the solariums) and disinfect and clean up the workplace between individual customers. Customers are only allowed to take off the face mask for the time necessary for the procedures that require it.

Accommodation establishments are not allowed to open wellness centres, fitness centres, swimming pools and other indoor recreational facilities. It is forbidden to serve meals and drinks in the interiors, with the exception of room service. Clients may be accommodated only in accommodation rooms with a bathroom and a toilet, and the room must remain vacant for at least 24 hours after the client leaves.

Taxi drivers must wear a nose and mouth protection and passengers must sit on the back seats. The maximum number of persons that can be transported is 2 and after each customer the drivers must have a break of at least 15 minutes. The driver’s space must be separated from the passenger’s space to prevent aerosol from being freely dispersed between these spaces. The premises must be disinfected after each customer. The air conditioning must be switched off in the passenger’s space.

The shopping hours for persons older than 65 years of age from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. remain in place. However, this only applies to grocery stores and drugstores. The provision of social services remains suspended, as during Phase 1. The trying on of clothes is possible after prior disinfection of hands. The same clothes can only be tried on again on the sales premises after 24 hours.

The following establishments will remain closed:

– shops in shopping centres with more than 35 independent retail businesses (with the current exceptions),

– natural and artificial swimming pools,

– sports facilities,

– body care facilities (dry procedures, tattoo shops, etc.),

– facilities for children and adolescents (including care facilities for children up to 3 years of age),

– wellness centres including swimming pools in accommodation facilities,

– entertainment and leisure establishments (casinos, cinemas, etc.),

– recovery stays for employees performing hazardous work.

The transition to Phase 4 will depend on the median of the daily increase of new cases in the respective week.

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