With the daily increase of new cases in multiple countries, coronavirus is one of the main topics discussed with constantly changing status. Although safety measures have been already implemented in the areas affected by COVID-19, the obligations and regulations can differ to a great extent. In our latest article, we provide a quick overview of the local precautions and rules implemented in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine, concerning the conditions and length of quarantines, penalties for violating the obligations, restrictions regarding travelling abroad, temporary suspension of educational institutions, restrictions on visits in social institutions, health care facilities, public events, the establishment of informational centres and additional measures.
Disclaimer: this overview was prepared on 1.4.2020. After this date, we cannot guarantee that the information provided below are up-to-date, as the situation is constantly changing in the countries listed in this article.
As of 31.3.2020, all Czech citizens and foreigners with a residence permit of more than 90 days in the Czech Republic will be required to be subject to a domestic quarantine for 14 days after their return to the Czech Republic, regardless of their country of return.
The measure does not apply to truck drivers, drivers and crews of transport medical services and pilots of transport aircrafts. The penalty for the breach of the regulation can be up to CZK 3 million (approximately EUR 120 000).
Citizens of Hungary who feels sick must stay at home and take care of their own quarantine. Suspecting coronavirus or having mild symptoms, the first thing to do is calling your own GP. He/she decides if you are producing coronavirus symptoms or not, and if you do so, a special ambulance visits your home (or place of residence) to take the necessary COVID-19 test. Having a positive test will make be officially quarantined and regularly and randomly checked by police. Only in cases when dangerous and significant symptoms occur, the patient will be taken into the hospital.
Quarantine is established when a person who does not manifest the specific symptoms of the virus returns from the following areas (considered by the Romanian authorities as “red areas”):
- Mainland China: Hubei Province and Wenzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Taizhou;
- Italy: Lombardy region (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casarpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, San Fiorano) and Veneto region (Vo Euganeo);
- South Korea: Daegu City and Cheongdo County.
Immediately after returning to the country, these persons have to be quarantined for 14 days, in a special space arranged by the local authorities in collaboration with the Public Health Directorate of Romania.
The act of “non-observance of the order measures taken by the competent bodies in case of natural calamities or other public hazards” is sanctioned with a fine from RON 500 to RON 1500 or imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years or a fine, for not complying with the measures regarding the prevention or control of infectious diseases, if it had as a result the spread of such disease – provided by art. 352 of the Criminal Code.
Self-isolation at home, for a period of 14 days, is instituted when a person who does not manifest the symptoms specific to the virus, but who has traveled in the last 14 days to other “red areas” or has been in direct contact with people who have returned from the red areas and who have been confirmed with the virus or have a family member found in one of these situations.
The President announced the period from 30.3.2020 through 5.4.2020 to be nationwide paid (by employer) days off to encourage and keep people self-isolated. The federal government and the governments of subjects of the Russian Federation are introducing additional measures to encourage people to stay home and slow down the spread of the virus.
Moscow, the biggest city in Russia, accounts for the largest number of infected people and tends to lead the way in introducing restrictions. The following measures were introduced in Moscow:
- All individuals upon arrival from abroad are to self-isolate themselves for a period of 14 days.
- A general self-isolation regime has been put in effect starting from 30.3.2020 with some exceptions, for example labour duties or medical treatment. The health authorities encourage individuals to visit medical institutions only for emergency care. The regime applies to all residents of the capital, regardless of age. However, it does not limit the right of citizens to come to Moscow or leave it.
- From 28.3.2020 to 5.4.2020 all restaurants, cafes, bars, canteens and other public catering (except for take-away services), as well as stores (except for grocery stores and pharmacy) are closed. All services requiring the presence of an individual in person are abandoned in this period.
Similar measures have been introduced in many subjects of the Russian Federation.
Every Slovak citizen, who travels from abroad (no matter the country), is obliged to undergo a quarantine, while citizens with symptoms should also voluntarily undergo a quarantine. The penalty for violating the regulation is EUR 1 659.
Updated on 23.4.2020
The Cabinet of Ministers has introduced emergency regime throughout Ukraine and prolonged official quarantine till 11.5.2020 inclusive till further notice. People who return to Ukraine from a country / region with local transmission of coronavirus should go to a 14-day observation in specialized institutions identified by state administrations. For people who had a contact with a patient with COVID-19 or have confirmed COVID-19 but do not require hospitalization, the therapist determines the term of self-isolation.
During quarantine the following restrictions were introduced:
- catering establishments (restaurants, cafes), shopping and entertainment centers, other entertainment facilities, fitness centers, cultural institutions should temporarily cease their work. Please note: it is allowed to provide catering services using delivery. However, this can be done provided that appropriate personnel are provided with personal protective equipment. Allowed to trade in food, fuel, hygiene products, medicines and medical devices. It is also possible to carry out banking and insurance activities.
- transportation of passengers by subway in Kiev, Kharkov and the Dnieper is prohibited.
- a ban was introduced on railway, air and bus intercity and interregional passenger traffic
- regular and irregular carriage of passengers by road in suburban, intercity, intraregional and interregional traffic is prohibited; passenger transportation by air.
- Transportation in trams, trolleybuses, buses, fixed-route taxis is allowed to the number of passengers, which at the same time does not exceed half the number of seats provided for by the technical characteristics of the vehicle and specified in the registration documents, the Government portal said in a statement. Note that in the capital since March 23, public transport exclusively carries passengers who go to work at enterprises that provide critical areas of the city’s life. These are medical workers, rescuers, law enforcement officers, housing and communal services specialists, people working in grocery stores
- stay in public areas without wearing personal protective equipment, including a respirator or protective mask
- displacement of more than two persons by a group of persons (except in cases of emergency and accompanying children)
- stay in public places of persons under 14 years without parental support
- attending parks, squares, recreation areas, forest parks and coastal areas (except for one-person pets walking)
- attending palliative care, social protection institutions, institutions and institutions providing social services
- being on the streets without identity documents
- leave the observation points (isolation) without permission.
Alto it is prescribed to the National police to intensify patrolling of public places.
As of 16.3.2020, citizens of the Czech Republic and foreigners with a permanent or temporary stay of over 90 days are prohibited from leaving the Czech Republic. From the same day, all foreigners without permanent or temporary residence for more than 90 days are prohibited from entering the Czech Republic.
Only citizens of Hungary (and diplomats) can enter the country. The restriction allows to enter people with foreign nationalities if they are close members of a Hungarian citizen and possesses any official paper that proves their stay in Hungary. Or if a foreign person is married to a Hungarian citizen or not married but has a child, who is registered in Hungary.
Travelling abroad is limited. The National Committee for Emergency Situations decided to prolong the measure for air traffic suspension from Romania to Italy & from Italy to Romania starting with 06.4.2020 and from Romania to Spain & from Spain to Romania starting with 31.3.2020.
The Russian borders are closed with some exceptions making travelling not possible. The entry of foreign nationals has been restricted since 18.3.2020. All international flights have been cancelled starting from 27.3.2020, except for those flights needed to evacuate Russian citizens remaining abroad. Starting from 30.3.2020, all overland traffic across the Russian border, as well as through the land border with Belarus, is restricted.
Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic recommends against travelling abroad as long as the state of emergency in the territory of the Slovak Republic remains in force. International trains or buses do not operate from 13.3.2020. All three international airports in Slovakia remain closed.
Closing of checkpoints (control points) are extended until 24.4.2020 across the state border for international passenger traffic
Effective from 11.3.2020, the schools and universities are closed in the whole Czech Republic. This government measure is valid until further notice and does not currently apply to kindergartens. However, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports recommends closing or limiting the service of kindergartens.
All schools and higher educational entities are closed. Education goes via distance learning.
All educational units are closed during the state of emergency.
All schools and educational institutions have been closed in Moscow from 21.3.2020 until 12.4.2020. Similar restrictions have been introduced in many subjects of the Russian Federation.
All schools and educational establishments are shut down until further notice. Dormitories remain shut down for local students. Foreign students are eligible to stay.
Starting from 12.3.2020, up to 24.4.2020 (prolonged quarantine) it is prohibited to visit educational institutions by its recipients till further notice. Government is introducing online classes. The external independent evaluation at schools and admission campaigns at universities and institutions will be postponed due to quarantine, currently there are several options considered by the Ministry of Education.
The organization of public events is prohibited. The regulation applies to all cultural, sport and religious events, both public and private.
No public event can be held and as of 28.3.2020 a curfew is in force in the country.
All cultural, scientific, artistic, religious, sports, entertainment or gambling, spa treatment and personal care activities, held in closed spaces, are suspended.
It is forbidden to organize and conduct any event involving more than 100 people in open spaces.
Starting from 25.3.2020 all public parks, sports, entertainment, recreational and cultural facilities in Moscow are closed. All public gatherings, indoor or outdoor, are prohibited. Similar measures have been introduced in many subjects of the Russian Federation.
In Slovakia, organizing cultural, sports, out-of-school and other public events are prohibited until further notice. Ski resorts, water and amusement parks, wellness centres and pubs are closed until further notice.
During this period of time, organizing public events, mass gatherings, concerts and mass events is prohibited in Ukraine, while planned events are cancelled.
From 17.3.2020 to 24.4.2020, it is forbidden to conduct all mass (cultural, entertainment, sports, social, religious, advertising and other) events in which more than 10 people participating, except for events necessary to ensure the work of state authorities and local governments.
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