COVID-19: Current preventive measures at the airport

COVID-19: Current preventive measures at the airport As of 9 March, all arrivals from Italy and departures to Italy have been banned as a precaution against COVID-19. Temperature screening of passengers arriving at the Bratislava airport is carried out in the arrivals hall; questionnaires are filled in on board.

Prohibited flights to Italy

Based on the decision of the Central Crisis Staff, which met at the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic on Friday 6 March, NOTAM was issued for airlines valid from midnight on 9 March 2020 as follows: IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDER OF THE GENERAL CRISIS CELL OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC WITH THE AIM OF PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF INFECTION BY THE NEW CORONAVIRUS COVID-19: FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM ALL ITALY AERODROMES WITH FINAL DESTINATION AT ANY SLOVAK REPUBLIC AERODROME ARE PROHIBITED.)

The regulation applies to all scheduled arrivals and departures from BTS to Rome, Bologna, Milan and Alghero and back, until further notice. Ryanair will inform passengers by email or text message about the next steps. At the same time, the regulation applies to all arrivals and departures from Italy, so it also applies to commercial and charter flights.

Temperature screening of passengers

The Security Council of the Slovak Republic has ordered the temperature screening of passengers for all passengers arriving in Slovakia since 28 February 2020. It is carried out directly in the arrivals hall of the airport by hygienists from the Health Management Office of the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the SR. Thermometers and thermal cameras are available for them. If the temperature exceeds 38 °C, the passenger will be interviewed about their travel history, and if COVID-19 is suspected, the passenger will be taken to hospital isolation directly from the airport by medical staff. The temperature screening of passengers is also carried out at the airports in Poprad and Košice.

Completion of questionnaires on board all aircraft arriving in Bratislava

At the same time, all passengers arriving in Bratislava fill out questionnaires on board the aircraft at the direction of Peter Pellegrini, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic. They fill in information about the flight they arrived with, personal information, permanent and temporary address, and close contacts in case of emergency. The questionnaires will be used by health protection authorities to find people if it is confirmed that a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection was on board a particular flight. At the same time, the Health Management Office of the Ministry of Transport called on passengers to complete the questionnaires consistently, as they can significantly help in securing further preventive measures against the spread of the virus in the event of a crisis. The questionnaires will be distributed to the passengers during flight on board the aircraft or will be provided to the passengers upon arrival. Please have pens available to fill out the questionnaires.

Information campaign at airports

The Health Management Office of the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic sent information material to the airports in Slovakia, including the Bratislava airport, from the World Health Organization for the traveling public on ways of prevention against coronavirus, which is available at the airport premises and on its website.

Information material on methods of prevention against coronavirus was also sent to the Bratislava airport by the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic and is placed in information stands at the airport.

Passengers are still advised to follow the general precautions, namely strict personal hygiene, particularly thorough hand washing, avoiding contact with sick persons, especially those with cough, avoiding congested places and checking their health 14 days after arriving from the area of increased incidence of COVID-19. The authorities also call on people to consider traveling abroad, especially to areas where coronavirus has already been confirmed.

Airport preventive measures

Airport staff who come in direct contact with passengers are provided with respirators or face masks, as well as rubber gloves. It is not ordered to wear them, but it is recommended. Disinfection devices for hand disinfection for both the staff and passengers are located in several places at the airport. Airport buses are also disinfected regularly. In connection with COVID-19, all foreign trips of airport employees and working meetings were cancelled. M. R. Štefánik Airport has a detailed procedure in case of suspicion of threat to public health described in the Airport Emergency Plan. At the end of January, a preventive exercise was conducted at the airport to verify procedures in case of public health threat.

General precautions  

The public is encouraged to follow preventive measures that are effective in relation to air-borne infections (including COVID-19):

• Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand disinfectant should be used.

• Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a disposable paper tissue and throw it in the trash once used.

• Avoid close contact with people who show symptoms of cold or flu.

• Keep a distance of at least one metre between you and anyone who coughs or sneezes.

• Consider your attendance at mass events or in places with high concentration of people.

• Pay attention to increased disinfection of surfaces at home.

• Wearing a protective mask and respirator is important in a sick person with a respiratory disease or in a healthy person staying close to a person with a respiratory disease.

• If you are sick, stay at home and contact your doctor by phone to determine a treatment procedure.

Recommendations for travellers after returning to Slovakia:

• Check your health during the incubation time - 14 days after returning.

• Ensure thorough hand hygiene, increased disinfection of household surfaces, cough and sneeze into paper tissues and throw them in the trash once used. If possible, limit visits to areas with a higher number of people.

• If you are asymptomatic and still think you are infected with a new coronavirus, you may decide to undergo home isolation for 14 days.

• If you develop symptoms within 14 days such as cough, fever, breathing difficulties, sore throat, headache, joint pain, stay at home and contact your doctor, emergency medical service or emergency medical service PSAP operator to inform them of your stay in the risk area.

Useful contacts

In case of suspicion of a new coronavirus infection, it is necessary to contact 24/7 information line at 0917 222 682 or send email to: novykoronavirus@uvzsr.sk. The following contacts are also available 24/7.

Contacts available to the public:

Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic - 0917 222 682

Regional Public Health Authority based in Banská Bystrica - 0918 659 580

Regional Public Health Authority based in Bratislava - 0917 426 075

Regional Public Health Authority based in Nitra - 0948 495 915

Regional Public Health Authority based in Trnava - 0905 903 053

Regional Public Health Authority based in Trenčín - 0911 763 203

Regional Public Health Authority based in Košice - 0918 389 841

Regional Public Health Authority based in Prešov - 0911 908 823

Regional Public Health Authority based in Žilina - 0905 342 812

The National Health Information Centre has also established its information line. The experts at 0800 221 234 will answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.