In connection with the new coronavirus and the disease COVID-19, we are providing Bratislava residents with a package of recommendations and information about the situation in the city. Nevertheless, we want to assure you that, in cooperation with the city’s districts and the self-governing region, we, as a city, had been preparing for the situation for a longer time. In current situation, we have proceeded from the preparatory phase to the phase of slowing down the spread of the virus. In order for this effort to be successful, we first and foremost need to be cohesive as a community and act responsibly towards ourselves and others. We do our best to be prepared for a growing number of infected and sick. It is important to behave responsibly and adequately to the situation and be disciplined.
The Central Emergency Committee of the Slovak Republic declared an extraordinary situation. As a result, the Government of the Slovak Republic continuously launches adoption of the following measures:
- Temporary border control with all neighbouring states (leaving only large border crossings open), entrance is only allowed to citizens with permanent/temporary residence in the Slovak republic, Slovak passport or residence permit holders.
- Closing of all three international airports – cancellation of all flights.
- Limitation of international transport except transport of supplies.
- Mandatory 14 days quarantine for people who return to Slovakia from abroad, violation will be punished by a fine of 1659 €.
- All schools and educational establishments are closed until further notice.
- Closing of social and cultural facilities, cancellation of all mass events.
- Limited shopping center operation (only groceries, medicines and drugstore items will be available to buy during the weekends). On Sundays, all premises will be closed. One day a week will thus be reserved for the purpose of sanitation as well as day-off for the employees.
- Shops will have their opening hours from 9 am to 12 pm reserved solely for the needs of older people.
- Entertainment venues, discos, aqua parks, fitness centers and recreation centers, including ski centers, will be closed. Restaurants will remain open only for delivery, consumers are forbidden to enter.
- Domestic rail passenger transport will operate in holiday mode (Saturday timetable). All international connections (trains, buses, ships) are cancelled until further notice.
- Bureau offices and client centers opening hours will be reduced to 3 hours per day.
- The Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic will select three hospitals (in the regions of Western, Middle and Eastern Slovakia) that would be reserved exclusively for the patients diagnosed with COVID-19. At the entrance of these hospitals, new sample collection testing points will be established with enabled drive-in.
- Leaving one’s place of residence without wearing a face mask or its similar substitute is strictly forbidden.
As of March 19, 2020, state of emergency applies to the whole health sector.
The Capital City adopts further measures concerning the current situation in Bratislava:
- The Chief Executive Director of the City of Bratislava is a member of the Security Council of the Slovak Republic what assures, that the city will have first-hand information and will be able to react immediately and inform about the latest situation.
- We restricted use of front door in the public transport vehicles. Front space of the vehicle is separated by the tape.
- The public transport company DPB introduced the temperature checking of its drivers at the beginning of their shifts. Moreover, DPB continues with the desinfection of the vehicles on a daily basis.
- Since March 16 2020, the public transport will operate in holiday mode.
- Within the city budget, we have allocated 750 000 € for purchase of necessary medical supplies (protective masks, toiletries, etc.).
- The Capital city of Bratislava postpones all tenders (including tenders for directors of city organizations) until further notice.
- The Capital city of Bratislava suspended work on the reconstruction of the Dubravsko-Karloveska radial road.
- We launched a psychological support for parents via free phone service. In case of need, feel free to contact us on 0800 242 333 (for the moment, the line operates on weekdays from 2 pm to 5 pm).
- We set up a free senior phone line dedicated exclusively to provision of support for the elderly who can address the operators with inquiries or concrete help requests. Please contact us on 0800 242 000 on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm.
- Bratislava’s municipal enterprise continues to disinfect public spaces, whose surfaces are most likely to be touched by passers-by – public transport stops, handrails, benches. The disinfection is done by steam cleaning.
- We started building a temporary quarantine village for homeless people in case they are asked to self-quarantine. The village is being set up in Zlate piesky resort.
- The Bratislava City Days, a traditional city event, will not take place on originally planned date (April 24 – 26, 2020). Further details will be provided later. The same measure applies to the Mayor of Bratislava Outstanding Achievement Award (award ceremony of significant inhabitants of the capital city), a traditional opening component of the Bratislava City Days.
- It will be allowed to pay local taxes (real estate tax) in instalments. At the same time, the deadline for payment has been extended. The new date has not yet been defined.
- Mayors Award for talented youth planned for June 6, 2020, in Mirror Hall of the Primatial Palace is also cancelled.
Persons with symptoms, in particular fever, cough, shortness of breath, and muscle and joint pain, should first of all contact by phone, not in person, their physician, the Public Health Authority or the 112 - emergency line. The physician will make a therapeutic decision on the basis of the symptoms described. If you have symptoms, please isolate yourself and avoid public contact. Even if you do not have symptoms, try to minimise your public social interactions particular among larger groups of people.
CURRENT SITUATION IN BRATISLAVA
- 6.4.2020 The total number of infected persons in Bratislava has risen to 131. There are 534 confirmed cases of infection in Slovakia.
- 4.4.2020 The total number of infected persons in Bratislava has risen to 128. There are 471 confirmed cases of infection in Slovakia.
- 3.4.2020 There are 8 cured persons in Slovakia. The total number of infected persons in Bratislava has risen to 127. There are 450 confirmed cases of infection in Slovakia.
- 2.4.2020 The total number of infected persons in Bratislava has risen to 125. There are 426 confirmed cases of infection in Slovakia.
- 1.4.2020 The total number of infected persons in Bratislava has risen to 122. There are 400 confirmed cases of infection in Slovakia.
- 31.3.2020 The total number of infected persons in Bratislava has risen to 106. There are 363 confirmed cases of infection in Slovakia.
- 30.3.2020 Bratislava´s municipal waste management company OLO will open the Collecting Yard in Stará Ivanská from Wednesday, April 1st 2020.
- 30.3.2020 The total number of infected persons in Bratislava has risen to 100. There are 336 confirmed cases of infection in Slovakia.
Symptoms of the disease:
- shortness of breath
- muscle pain
FUNCTIONING OF THE CITY
SCHOOLS Security Council of the Slovak Republic ordered the closure of all schools and pre-school facilities in Slovakia from 16th March until further notice. The Bratislava Self-Governing Region and the City of Bratislava have interrupted their lessons already on 9.3.2020. At the same time, we want to ask parents, where possible, to protect their elderly parents when ensuring care for their children since seniors are the most vulnerable in terms of the complications associated with COVID-19.
SENIORS According to the available statistics, seniors are among the most vulnerable population groups in terms of the complications associated with COVID-19. Therefore, in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the disease to the city’s most vulnerable residents, we have banned visits to facilities for seniors administered by the Capital City. The ban also applies to social service facilities administered by the Bratislava self-governing region.
The Regional Public Health Authority has urged all residential social care facilities to ban contact between clients and the public at the latest from 6 March 2020. In justified and exceptional cases, the facility may allow individual visits by persons who have no symptoms of the disease and are wearing a face mask.
PUBLIC EVENTS The Public Health Authority ordered a ban on organizing public cultural, sporting, social or other events. The Conference of bishops of Slovakia canceled all services until further notice.
HEALTHCARE At the national level, a ban on visits to all healthcare facilities in Slovakia was adopted with immediate effect after the respective order was issued by the chief public health officer. Healthcare and the administration of hospitals do not fall within direct competence of the City.
TRAVEL Since 13th March 2020, Security Council of the Slovak Republic has introduced the following measures:
• Introduction of border controls (and maintaining only large border crossing points)
• Close of all three international airports
• Stopping international transport except supply
• Mandatory quarantine for people coming from abroad
• National trains will operate in holiday mode.
OFFICES The city has taken precautionary measures to protect the public, the City staff and other municipal organisations, including more intensive cleaning and disinfection of offices and public contact areas, reduction of the use of air-conditioning, and the possibility of working from home for employees who have visited a country with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- The first-contact office will remain closed until further notice.
- The Local Tax Department in Petržalka is banned from access to all tax administration sites. Residents will be able to handle everything necessary electronically.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT In connection with the suspension of classes at elementary schools, secondary schools and universities, bus lines 131 and 184 and school lines will not operate from 10 March 2020 (Tuesday) until further notice. Lines 31 and 39 will operate according to the school-holidays schedule on working days. Between 7 and 15 March 2020, the public transport company DPB will, in addition to routine cleaning, carry out an across-the-board, in-depth disinfection of all vehicles. DPB employees returning from an area affected by the disease are redirected to medical examination before returning to work. Public transport drivers will automatically open all doors at stops to reduce the need for passengers to come into contact with surfaces in public transport vehicles. On-request stops still need to be signalled to the driver. Body temperature is measured by all drivers when they arrive at work. As of March 16, 2020, entering public transport vehicles without wearing a mask, scarf, kerchief or any other adequate alternative for covering mouth and nose is forbidden. City’s Public transport starts to operate according to the school holiday timetable. The operation of tram line 7 is terminated until further notice.
WATER SUPPLY The Bratislava water supply company (BVS) has conducted internal exercises and, if necessary, is ready to switch to the crisis mode defined together with the Public Health Authority, which, among other things, deals with the procedures for water treatment and access to water resources. Employees who have visited an area with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus are redirected to medical examination before returning to work.
WASTE COLLECTION Regular waste collection is scheduled by OLO under any safety regime. By modifying working shifts, OLO is prepared to ensure waste collection even in the event a large number of employees are absent. Employees who have visited an area with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus are redirected to medical examination before returning to work. Bratislava´s municipal waste management company OLO will open the Collecting Yard in Stará Ivanská again from Wednesday 1.4.2020.
GAS If there is a sharp increase in the number of infected employees, the gas distribution company SPP-distribúcia is prepared to take internal measures to ensure uninterrupted operation of gas distribution and repair services. Increased spread of the disease will have no effect on the safety and reliability of natural gas distribution to customers. Gas distribution does not fall within direct competence of the City.
ELECTRICITY In connection with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the electricity company ZSE has issued several internal measures to reduce the risk of contagion among employees. At the same time, it has prepared measures to ensure sustainable operation providing for an uninterrupted supply of electricity should the situation deteriorate and a state of emergency be declared. Energy distribution does not fall within direct competence of the City.
Latest news from the Public Health Authority
On Thursday 27 February 2020, the Security Council of the Slovak Republic held a meeting related to COVID-19 and decided to introduce the following measures:
- Setting up of a crisis team that will hold meetings at the Ministry of Health under the leadership of the Minister of the Interior, with participation of the Chief Public Health Officer, representatives of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. The crisis team will be able to declare a state of emergency, if necessary
- From 28 February 2020, across-the-board temperature checks on passengers were introduced at the Bratislava, Košice and Poprad airports
- The Ministry of Health, the Public Health Authority and public service media will prepare a media campaign for the Slovak population aimed at effective prevention and comprehensive information related to COVID-19
- The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs will temporarily reduce its consular activities in areas affected by the novel coronavirus
- The Ministry of the Interior will send Slovak nationals who are abroad (in areas where COVID-19 has been confirmed) a text message with practical recommendations and information about effective prevention. No later than on Saturday (29 February 2020), the Ministry of the Interior will introduce vehicle checks at entry border crossing points, especially on the Austrian border. Passengers will receive information leaflets with recommendations for people arriving from areas where COVID-19 is present
- The state will allocate millions of euros to purchase and increase the stock of personal protective equipment and disinfectants available in healthcare facilities
- In the event of an extensive spread of the disease, the state can repurpose 7 700 beds
- The Ministry of Defence has developed a project for an isolated site in Lešť with a capacity of 2 500 persons
- A quarantine plan will be elaborated
- Healthcare facilities will be sanctioned for poor patient management
Frequently asked questions
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The novel coronavirus causes an acute respiratory disease – viral pneumonia (droplet infection). This involves general symptoms of a virus infection or a typical respiratory disease, such as influenza – temperature above 38 °C, cough, rhinitis, muscle pain, joint pain, shortness of breath. A more comprehensive examination including X-ray reveals pneumonia. The incubation time for this coronavirus strain is reported to be 2 to 14 days, 6 days on average.
How is COVID-19 treated?
The treatment is symptomatic. COVID-19 is a viral disease and antibiotics do not work against it. There is currently no verified vaccine.
Who is most at risk from the coronavirus?
According to the available statistics, seniors are among the most vulnerable population groups in terms of the complications associated with COVID-19.
Can flu vaccination help me prevent COVID-19?
Vaccination against flue is advisable as it provides protection during the ongoing flu season. If a person falls ill with an infection caused by the coronavirus, the presence of another disease at the same time means a high risk of complications.
I order goods from various regions of the world. Can the disease be transmitted by postal consignments?
The delivery time for online purchases from Asian countries (e.g. China) is usually three weeks or more. It is not expected that the virus could survive on surfaces for such a long time. Hence, the risk of the novel coronavirus spreading from products or packaging is very low in this case.
The Slovak Post has also issued a statement on this topic and provided an assurance that consignments from Asian countries are safe. Additional information is available here.
Will wearing a protective face mask help me?
As regards the use of face masks and respirators, this is important for a person sick with a respiratory disease or a healthy person in contact with a respiratory disease patient.
For more information, please visit the Public Health Authority website.