Slovakia


Author: Andrea Vasilova, partner, Law Firm Vasil & Partners, Bratislava, Slovakia

Contact: vasilova@vasilpartners.com (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrea-vasilova-710a0710/) (LinkedInProfile)

Overview of legal measures as of 10 June 2020 as response to the coronavirus. Please note: Due to the extraordinary situation, the legsilation is in conitnuous evolution and may change very fast.

1. INTERVENTIONS AND RESTRICTIONS

1.1 Legal basis

  • Regulation of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 45/2020 on declaration of emergency to secure the healthcare (COVID-19)

  • Act. No. 69/2020 Z.z. on some emergency measures in terms of COVID-19 in the area of healthcare

  • Act. No. 70/2020 Z.z. financing of social services during emergency situation - COVID-19

  • Act. No. 73/2020 Z.z. change of the acts in the scope of the Ministry of the Interior in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 90/2020 Z.z. change of the acts in the scope of the Ministry of the Transportation in terms of COVID-19

  • Government Regulations

  • Measures of the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic

1.2 Border

Since 10 June 2020 the Slovak Republic liberated the measures of the entry into Slovak Republic when returning from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Germany, Norway, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland.

a) The persons who enter the Slovak Republic and during the previous 14 days visited the countries which are mentioned above, they do not have to have go to the quarantine and neither to present the negative RT-PCR test on COVID-19.

b) The persons who enter the Slovak Republic and during the previous 14 days visited the countries which are not mentioned above, they have to present to the police at the border the negative RT-PCR test on COVID-19 not older than 96 hours. On those border crossings where there are no police controls it is required to deliver this test to the regional authority of the public health. The results of the test have to be presented in English, German, Czech or Slovak language or translated into one of these languages. Thereafter such persons are sent to a home quarantine till they obtain the negative RT-PCR test on COVID-19 (they have to go to the test earliest on the fifth day of quarantine). The quarantine applies also on the persons living with such person in the common household.

There are a few exceptions from the current regulation allowing the access to the particular persons. More info on www.mzv.sk/web/en/covid-19

1.3 Visas

There are no restrictions regarding issue of visas for the foreigners.

1.4 Export control

With effectiveness as of 7 April 2020 it is forbidden to the holders of registration and the holders of permission for wholesale distribution of the medicaments to export and supply the particular medicaments (stipulated in the regulation of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Slovak Republic) to the other countries.

This ban does not apply to the holders of permission for production of medicaments if the human medicine is produced for other state.

1.5 Prohibition of crowds

With effectiveness as of 3 June 2020 it is allowed to organize the sports, cultural and social events with maximum 100 people and subject to strict hygiene measures (wearing face masks, disinfection of hands, 2m social distance etc.).

The state of emergency shall be terminated on 13 June 2020 by which also the ban of gathering people shall be terminated too.

1.6 Lockdown

Slovakia started with gradual release of measures (upon strict hygiene measures) on 22 April 2020 (Phase 1) by opening the small businesses with sales area up to 300 square meters and some outdoor sports facilities like the tennis and golf courts.

On 6 May 2020 (Phase 2 and 3) other services were open: summer terraces of the restaurants and bars with maximum 2 guests per 1 table with the distance of tables 2 meters, hairdressers, barbers, manicure/pedicure, cosmetics etc., museums, galleries, exhibitions, outdoor touristic attractions like castles, ZOO’s etc.), taxi service, churches, weddings and funerals, hotels with accommodation services for maximum 10 days excluding wellness centres and restaurants, shops in shopping malls in less than 35 shops.

On 20 May 2020 (Phase 4) all other businesses, services and shopping malls were open except of the swimming pools, fitness centres, wellness centres, services for the seniors, entertainment services (i.e. casinos).

On 10 June 2020 the final Phase 5 has started which includes open of the borders for 19 European countries (see point 1.2), full open of the kindergartens, elementary schools and high schools, all other businesses and services.

1.7 Open Businesses, Industries and allowed Gatherings

As of 10 June 2020 all businesses and services are open from Monday to Saturday, still closed on Sunday which is supposed to be the sanitary day.

It is still recommended to keep social distance 2 meters between the customers or 1 customer per 1 square meter. Wearing of the face masks indoor is still obligatory however it is voluntary outdoor.

As for the gatherings it is still allowed to gather people to maximum 100 persons.

1.8 Shareholder's meetings and other meetings of companies

The shareholders and other bodies of the companies may take the decisions remotely, either via mail or via electronic devices (conference calls, e-mail etc.) even if their internal rules of the articles of association do not allow it. The provisions of § 190a – 190d of the Commercial Code as amended shall apply accordingly.

1.9 Supply of essential medical goods

It is forbidden to sell to the public the protective equipment of the category FFP2, FFP3. Those can be supplied only to the healthcare provider and other subjects stipulated by law (Act. No. 69/2020 Z.z.).

The export of the medicaments, medical devices, diagnostic medical devices and protective equipment from the Slovak Republic is forbidden during the emergency.

1.10 Health care

During the release of measures in May 2020 the healthcare services started again being provided in full extent.

1.11 Persons with a higher risk

From 3 June 2020 the social services facilities are reopen. All clients and employees of these facilities were tested for COVID-19. There are still the restrictions regarding the visits of the clients in the social services facilities.

The visits in the hospitals are allowed upon strict hygienic measures.

1.12 Sanctions

The fine for a breach of quarantine is up to 1659 EUR.

The fine for breach of the ban to sell to the public the protective equipment of the category FFP2, FFP3 is from 500 EUR to 1000 EUR for the natural persons and from 1000 EUR to 10,000 EUR for the legal entities.

The fine for breach of the obligations regarding the (hygienic) measures in the open businesses is up to 20,000 EUR.

The fine for the employer for breach of the obligation to adapt the working premises with hygienic measures in order to secure the protection of the employees is up to 100,000 EUR.

2. SUPPORT OF BUSINESSES

2.1 Legal basis

  • Act. No. 63/2020 Z.z. change of the act on social insurance in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 67/2020 Z.z. on some emergency measures in finances in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 68/2020 Z.z. change of the act on social insurance in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 75/2020 Z.z. change of the act on some emergency measures in finances in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 95/2020 Z.z. change of the act on social insurance in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 96/2020 Z.z. change of the act on some emergency measures in finances in terms of COVID-19

2.2 Support measures

  • Financial support of the freelancers with the income dropped by at least 20%.

  • Remission of the social insurance payments for the businesses which were obligatory closed more than 15 days in March 2020 and April 2020.

  • Suspension of payments of social insurance till 31 July 2020 for those businesses which income dropped by more than 40%.

  • Suspension of the income tax advance payments in case of drop if the revenues by more than 20% in March 2020 or more than 40% in April 2020 comparing with the same month of the previous year.

  • Preferential deduction of tax loss.

  • Suspension of filing the Income Tax declaration and payment of the income tax for 2019 from original deadline 31 March 2020 till the end of the month following after the end of the pandemics.

  • Opportunity of suspension of mortgages and loan repayments for maximum nine months.

3. SUPPORT OF THE JOBMARKET

3.1 Legal basis

  • Act. No. 63/2020 Z.z. change of the act on social insurance in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 68/2020 Z.z. change of the act on social insurance in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 95/2020 Z.z. change of the act on social insurance in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 66/2020 Z.z. change of the Labour Code in terms of COVID-19

3.2 Support measures

  • The right of the employer to order the employee to work remotely from home or to change the working hours without the consent of the employee (which normally has to be mutually agreed between the employer and the employee).

  • In case of obligatory closure of the employer due to a pandemic the employee had the right to 80% of his/her average salary which shall be reimbursed to the employer by the state.

  • Remission of the social insurance payments (paid by the employer per employees) for the businesses which were obligatory closed more than 15 days in March 2020 and April 2020.

  • Suspension of payments of social insurance till 31 July 2020 (paid by the employer per employees) for those businesses which income dropped by more than 40%.

4. SUPPORT OF SPECIFIC SECTORS

4.1 Legal basis

Act. No. 136/2020 Z.z. change of the act on the trips, the services in the tourism and some conditions of doing business in tourism

4.2 Support measures

The travel agencies have the opportunity to agree within 31 August 2021 with the customers who had the holiday trips bought for 2020 on change of the trip without any sanctions on both sides. The purpose of this measure is to help the travel agencies to scope with the impacts of the corona crisis and to prevent a wave of bankruptcies in the sector of tourism. The measure modifies the procedure of compensating the customers in case of failure to make the booked trips due to closed borders, stopped international traffic or closed holiday resorts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to this measure the travel agencies do not have to return money to their customers but they can offer them substitute vacation or the customers can postpone the bought trip to the same destination to 2021. If the clients do not agree with this solution the travel agency have the obligation to return money to the clients within 31 August 2021. There are a few exceptions i.e. seniors, pregnant women etc. on whom this measure does not apply.

5. TENANCY AND LEASE

5.1 Legal basis

On 9 June 2020 the parliament approved a bill which amends the Act No. 71/2013 Z.z. on the provision of subsidies within the competence of the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic as amended. The subject of the proposed changes is creation of a grant framework for the provision of subsidies for the tenants of the real estates who hat to close their businesses due to COVID-19 and were obliged to pay the rent to their landlords even when these real estates could not be used and the tenants had no income during the closure.

5.2 Measures

The subsidy for payment of the rent shall be provided to the tenant in the amount in which the tenant gets the discount on rent from the landlord on the basis of the agreement between the landlord and the tenant but not more than 50% of the rent. In case the landlord and the tenant do not agree on any discount the tenant will have the right to repay the full rent within 4 years via 48 instalments in the same amount.

The landlord may not unilaterally terminate the lease of its property until 31 December 2020 (including the lease of the apartment or non-residential space) due to the tenant’s delay with payment of the rent during the period from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 if the delay of the tenant is caused by the circumstances originating in the spread of COVID-19.

6. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

6.1 Legal basis

  • Act. No. 62/2020 Z.z. on emergency measures in justice in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 92/2020 Z.z. change of the act on emergency measures in justice in terms of COVID-19

6.2 Measures

  • All deadlines in the legal proceedings were suspended until 30 April 2020.

  • During the emergency or the state of emergency the courts conduct the hearings only to the extent necessary and the protection of the public health shall be the grounds for excluding the public from the hearings.

7. DEBT COLLECTION

7.1 Legal basis

  • Act. No. 62/2020 Z.z. on emergency measures in justice in terms of COVID-19

  • Act. No. 92/2020 Z.z. change of the act on emergency measures in justice in terms of COVID-19

7.2 Measures

  • The Debtors are allowed to postpone the executions until 1 December 2020.

  • Until 31 May 2020 it was not possible to exercise the lien and to conduct the auctions of the debtors’ properties.

  • The entrepreneurs have the opportunity to apply to the court for the temporary protection from the creditors until 1 October 2020.