Matovic: Czech Republic to Be Definitely Added to List of Red Countries

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(Stock photo by TASR/AP)

Bratislava, September 14 (TASR) – The Czech Republic will be definitely added to Slovakia’s list of so-called ‘red’ countries vis-a-vis the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) stated at a briefing held on Monday during the session of the central crisis management team.

Matovic at the same time criticised Foreign Affairs Ministry State Secretary Martin Klus (SaS), who published several decisions of the committee, including that concerning the Czech Republic, on his Facebook account when the session was still ongoing. According to Matovic, Klus got Slovakia in a bad diplomatic situation with Czechia, as the prime minister wanted his Czech counterpart Andrej Babis to learn about the decision from him personally.

“Martin Klus didn’t resist the temptation of Facebook during the ongoing session and he released this crucial decision concerning the Czech Republic in an irresponsible manner, in my opinion… It’s turned into a problem, of course, the right thing to do was to let me inform the Czech premier about the decision personally first,” said Matovic, calling Klus’s move a great failure.

Slovakia’s western neighbour will be added to the list on September 18. The reason behind the decision is that the Czech Republic has been recently registering notable spikes in the numbers of new daily coronavirus cases.

According to what Klus wrote on Facebook, everyone who returns to Slovakia from Czechia, except for those who commute to work in the Czech Republic and their workplace isn’t further than 30 kilometres from their nearest border crossing, students, teachers, researches, medical workers, farmers, social workers, those who work in a critical infrastructure, and selected sportsmen and artists, will have to present a negative COVID-19 test that can’t be older than 72 hours or has to spend five days in home quarantine and get themselves tested subsequently.

Austria and Hungary will remain on the list of ‘green’ countries. However, as, according to Klus, there’s a possibility that they can be moved to the red list practically at any time,  the state secretary stated that he recommends thinking twice before travelling to certain regions in the countries. These regions will soon be published on the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s web page.

Klus went on to say that the question of whether the border with Ukraine will be closed will be answered in the next few days.

Bulgaria, Canada and Sweden will be added to the list of safe countries. Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal have been placed in the queue of countries that Slovakia is considering to move to the safe list.