In brief

The Slovak government has declared a state of emergency for 45 days, starting as of 1st October 2020.


Contents

  1. State of Emergency
  2. Travel Restrictions
  3. Obligatory Face Masks
  4. Hygienic Measures in Business

State of Emergency

The Slovak government has declared a state of emergency for 45 days, starting as of 1st October 2020. The most important impact of the state of emergency on employment relationships is as follows:

  • Provided that the agreed type of work allows it, employers can unilaterally order employees to work from home, and employees can also unilaterally decide to work from home, if there are no serious operational reasons on the side of the employer that would prevent it.
  • The required period for notification of the employees about the working time schedule is shortened to at least 2 days in advance (standard is 7 days).
  • The employer can order the employee to take vacation at least 7 days in advance (standard is 14 days), and in case of any outstanding vacation from the previous calendar year at least 2 days in advance.
  • Situations where the employee cannot perform work entirely or partly because the employer’s activities have had to be stopped or limited due to the decision of authorities or due to the declaration of a state of emergency, constitute an obstacle on the employer’s side. In such cases, the employee is entitled to salary reimbursement in the amount of 80% of his/her average earnings, but no less than the amount of the minimum salary.

Travel Restrictions

Citizens of most EU countries may enter Slovakia without a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine period. In addition, citizens of non-EU countries that are on the list of “safe countries” are also allowed to enter Slovakia under the same conditions (currently, in particular, Switzerland and the United Kingdom).

However, employees who have during the preceding 14 days visited a EU Member State that is not listed as a “safe country” (in particular the Czech Republic, Croatia, France, Romania, Spain), are required to:

  1. Undergo a period of quarantine along with the members of their household and then undergo a RT-PCR COVID-19 test in Slovakia after 5 days from entry to Slovakia at the earliest; and
  2. Maintain the quarantine until receiving a negative result from the RT-PCR COVID-19 test OR in case of no COVID-19 symptoms, after expiry of 10 days from the beginning of the quarantine; and
  3. Register at http://korona.gov.sk/ehranica immediately upon entry to Slovakia, and be able to prove the registration to officers of the Slovak police throughout their entire stay in Slovakia; and
  4. Immediately upon entry to Slovakia, inform the respective regional authority of public health and a medical provider.

or alternatively

  1. Submit a foreign RT-PCR COVID-19 test not older than 72 hours.

In addition, employees who have during the preceding 14 days visited a non-EU Member State (with the exception of the “safe countries”), are required to:

  1. Undergo a period of quarantine along with the members of their household and then undergo a RT-PCR COVID-19 test in Slovakia after 5 days from entry to Slovakia at the earliest; and
  2. Maintain the quarantine until receiving a negative result from the RT-PCR COVID-19 test; and
  3. Register at http://korona.gov.sk/ehranica immediately upon entry to Slovakia, and be able to prove the registration to officers of the Slovak police throughout their entire stay in Slovakia; and
  4. Immediately upon entry to Slovakia, inform the respective regional authority of public health and a medical provider.

The above requirements are subject to certain exemptions valid e.g. for employees employed in Slovakia and having a temporary or permanent residence in Slovakia, students from the Czech Republic, etc.

In addition, in case the employer is aware of, or has reasonable doubt that, an employee has the obligation to quarantine / submit a negative COVID-19 test, the employer is required to prohibit such a returning employee from entering the workplace until he/she submits proof that he/she has complied with all the above obligations (if the employee fails to submit such proof, the employer is required to inform the local authorities).

Obligatory Face Masks

All persons are required to wear face masks in public when:

  • Being outdoors; and
  • Being indoors; and
  • Using public transportation.

The above is subject to several exceptions, whereby a face mask is not required, e.g. in case of:

  1. Having a distance of at least 2 metres from other persons when outdoors;
  2. Persons of the same household whilst being outdoors, provided that they keep a distance of at least 2 metres from other persons;
  3. Employees working at their workplace alone; and
  4. Sports activities.

Hygienic Measures in Business

Based on the decision of the Public Health Authority, each retail store operator will be obliged, as of 1st October 2020, to comply with the following measures:

  • Entrance to the premises will be allowed only to individuals wearing a mask;
  • The hands of customers must be disinfected or disposable gloves must be available at the entrance;
  • Notices regarding the obligation to wear masks and disinfect hands / wear gloves must be placed at every entrance;
  • The premises must be regularly ventilated and all areas that are frequently touched (doors, shopping carts, etc.) must be regularly disinfected using a disinfectant with an anti-viral effect;
  • Ensure that distances of at least 2 metres are maintained in queues, with the exception of persons living in the same household;
  • The number of customers present in the premises at the same time cannot exceed 1 person per 10 sqm of shop floor designated for customers (children are not counted into the threshold) – this limitation does not apply if the store operator is able to ensure a distance of at least 2 meters between customers at all times.

The Public Health Authority also highly recommended the frequent ventilation of premises preferably with open windows; and provided several details regarding the recommended setup of air-conditioning systems.

Furthermore, the Public Health Authority issued a number of additional mandatory hygienic rules applicable to public catering facilities and other services such as taxis, body care, wellness, fitness centres, swimming pools, theatres, music, film and other artistic performances.