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Slovakia to allow travel from 16 more countries, ease mask rules

Written by corres2


PRAGUE (Reuters) – Slovakia will allow free travel to and from 16 more European countries from June 10 and no longer require face masks to be worn outside, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Tuesday, as the country further eased its coronavirus lockdown.

There will be no restrictions on visitors from Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

Slovakia last week reopened borders with neighbours Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary.

Slovakia had imposed relatively strict restrictions including border closures before it reported any coronavirus cases, and has moved cautiously in reopening.

Matovic also said that compulsory quarantine upon arrival from abroad will be dropped for countries on the safe list, and people will not have to activate “smart quarantine” on their mobile devices.

Slovaks returning from countries outside the safe list should still quarantine themselves and take a coronavirus test.

“We are switching from bans to personal responsibility,” Matovic said at a televised news conference.

The government will also relax the obligation to wear face masks, which will be required only indoors from Wednesday, Matovic said.

The country of 5.5 million people has recorded 1,531 cases of the COVID-19 illness, with 28 deaths.

Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Jan Lopatka and Ed Osmond

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