I. Special obligations related to medical and other products
To address the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and Slovakia, the Slovak Government has declared an 'extraordinary situation' under Act No 42/1994 Coll. On Civil Safety, effective as of 12 March 2020, 6 am. During the extraordinary situation, any legal entity can be ordered to provide material support to handle the situation. This could include the supply of medicinal products for healthcare providers. Following declarations of some public officials and information provided by the media, in case of shortages of necessary medical products and/or drugs for healthcare providers, the State will seek to replenish these supplies from private entities under this special regime. The actual quantities and specific products would depend on the actual need.
The law does not specifically stipulate whether this obligation can also be imposed on foreign legal entities. We believe such obligations can also be imposed on foreign entities to the extent there is some factor making them subject to Slovak jurisdiction – e.g. we believe a foreign manufacturer or wholesaler could be ordered to supply medicinal products located on Slovak territory. It could probably not be ordered to supply products located elsewhere without any connection to Slovakia.
Once the material support is no longer required, it must be returned to the entity which provided it. If this is not possible, it must be replaced by the same product or compensated in money. In the present situation, the third option (compensation in money) seems to be most likely.
The legal entity, which provided such material support is also entitled to compensation of losses, if it incurred any.
The order for the provision of such material support needs to be made in writing.
Currently, we are unaware of any explicit bans on the export of medical materials and/or supplies imposed on private legal entities.
II. Further restrictions
Furthermore, the General Crisis Staff in Slovakia has adopted several restrictive measures, including:
- Closure of all three international airports in Slovakia (Bratislava, Koaice and Poprad)
- Introduction of border checks with only the "big" border crossings being open and Slovak nationals and residents being permitted entry
- Suspension of international transport, except for the food-supply
- Mandatory quarantine for everyone arriving from higher risk countries for 14 days
- Closure of schools and schooling facilities for 14 days as from 16 March 2020
- Closure of cultural and social facilities
- Limited opening hours for shopping malls (during weekends only food, medicines and drug-stores can be open)
- Closure of bars, restaurants, ski areas, wellness facilities and aquaparks
- Domestic trains will be working under the holiday schedule
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