The ministries of interior and education are in talks on opening quarantine facilities for students from the so-called "red zone" COVID-19 countries. The government's pandemic commission proposed that Slovak universities should provide such facilities for students coming from countries from where Slovakia has recorded the most imported cases of the novel coronavirus. Education minister expects that approximately 20,000 foreign students will come to Slovakia for the start of the academic year.
"Not all universities and schools have sufficient lodging capacities in their halls of residence, where they could provide quarantine for foreign students. We also asked the Health Ministry to provide COVID testing for these students free of charge," stated the Education Minister Branislav Grohling (SaS) after the government meeting on Wednesday. He added that quarantine facilities would be established in September, but their operation has to be discussed with the Ministry of the Interior.
"We are cooperating with the Education Ministry on creating some kind of mechanism for it. Whether they can handle it on their own... or whether together we need to allocate some facilities to this," explained Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO).
As well as universities, this measure should also affect secondary and high schools with boarding facilities. They should set up an isolation room for potentially infected students.
Foreign Ministry together with the epidemiologists regularly update the so-called "green list" of countries that are considered safe and no need for a quarantine or testing upon arrival is required. For people coming from all other countries, testing and home quarantine is obligatory.