Slovak government bans recreational travel for five weeks

The new ban will not apply to essential trips abroad for work, healthcare or family matters but "credible documents" will be necessary to prove the purpose of the trip. [Shutterstock/ GaudiLab]

Slovakia’s government has imposed a ban on recreational travel abroad from 20 March until 28 April in response to the criticism the government has received due to COVID-19 measures banning travel within the country, but not abroad.

The government’s pandemic commission recommended the ban, which aims to prevent further coronavirus mutations entering Slovakia. Since the start of the year, more than 30,000 Slovaks have travelled abroad for holidays, with destinations such as Zanzibar and the Maldives proving popular.

The new ban will not apply to essential trips abroad for work, healthcare or family matters but “credible documents” will be necessary to prove the purpose of the trip. However, it is not clear to what extent a sworn statement will suffice.

From Saturday, border control has begun checks at airports and land borders, with on the spot fines of up to €1,000 being issued to those who cannot provide proof of essential travel.

The new ban will also fundamentally affect travel agencies, who have claimed that the new measures will mainly affect responsible holidaymakers and travel agents, daily Denník N reported. Others will find a way around the regulation by leaving the country when the ban is not enforced, the travel agencies added. (Lucia Yar | EURACTIV.sk)

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