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Slovakia – NGOs playing important role in informing migrants about COVID-19

As Slovakia has declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, NGOs and international organisations have been working to make sure that migrants stay informed about the situation.

Outreach to migrant communities

NGOs and international organisations play a substantial role in informing migrants and refugees about the pandemic and about the new social distancing and quarantine rules. IOM in Slovakia has prepared detailed information for migrants related to COVID-19 in English and Russian. The information covers new restrictions on cross-border movement, quarantine measures, social insurance and other useful links. Civil society organisations are communicating useful information and resources through their websites and social networks—for example, the NGOs Mareena and Human Rights League.

Residence permits

For the period from 13–27 March 2020, the government has implemented border controls to limit new arrivals. Foreigners can only enter the country if they already hold permanent or temporary residence permits or fall under an exception such as family reunification.

The Foreigners’ Police has limited its operations for two weeks starting 13th March 2020. There will be no registrations of EU citizens and their family members during this time. Third-country nationals may only apply for two types of permits—a renewal of a temporary residence permit or an application for permanent residence for an unlimited period. As the pandemic progresses further restriction might be introduced.