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Slovakia to require negative virus test from incoming travellers

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The Slovakian government plans to require incoming travellers to show that they do not have the coronavirus, by either providing a recent negative result or taking a rapid test at the border, the health minister said on Tuesday.

However the ruling is only due to enter force from November 15, Marek Krajci told TA3 news channel. By then, all major border crossings are to have established testing facilities, while some smaller ones will be shut.

In an unprecedented campaign, Slovakia recently tested the entire country of 5.5 million in just two days.
And Krajci confirmed that despite health experts’ criticism, the government is sticking to its plan to test the population a second time, on Saturday and Sunday.

However, some areas are to be excluded from the second round of testing, where levels of infection are low.

Those regions include Bratislava, the capital, according to a list presented by the Defence Ministry on Tuesday.
Only around 0.3 per cent of the tests carried out in Bratislava last weekend were positive, far below the national average of 1 per cent.

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The mass testing approach could be a model for other countries, said Prime Minister Igor Matovic, a right-wing populist.

More than 38,000 people who tested positive have now entered quarantine – otherwise they would have continued to spread the virus, he said.

The country’s medical association, however, called the campaign a waste of scarce resources, and several mayors have threatened to boycott the second round of testing.

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