Responding to the Global Detention Project’s Covid-19 survey, the Slovakian Border and Aliens Police Office of the Presidium of the Police Force reported that the Slovak Republic had not established a moratorium on new immigration detention orders and that it was not considering such a measure. In addition, no immigration detainees were released due to the Covid-19 crisis.
According to the Slovakian Border and Aliens Police Office, measures to prevent the spread of the virus have been taken by the Public Health Office of the Slovak Republic, including the use of protective equipment such as drapes, gloves, goggles, and the implementation of social distancing, frequent hand washing, use of disinfectant and the limitation of personal contacts. Migrants released from detention are obliged to comply with these measures in the same way as all residents in the Slovak Republic.
While no detainees were released as a result of the pandemic, the Border and Aliens Police said that “alternatives to detention”–such as the deposit of a financial guarantee or accommodation in a designated non-secure housing unit–are measures provided in law, as per Act No. 404/2011 on the Residence of Foreigners and Amendment and Supplementation of Certain Acts. These measures may only be applied if non-citizens provide an address where they will be accommodated and demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources.
Immigration detainees in Slovakia are reportedly tested for Covid-19. Detained non-citizens that have contracted the virus are placed in isolation. In addition, detained non-citizens are provided with information on hygiene and basic rules in English. Also, several measures have been adopted to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading:
– Use of protective equipment when placed in detention (veil, gloves, goggles, protective coat for personnel, protective veil, and gloves for non-citizens);
– Isolation from other detained persons in the restricted area;
– Covid-19 testing;
– Quarantine for detainees that test positive for the virus;
– Increased hygiene (frequent washing of hands with soap and disinfectant);
– Limiting visits and personal contact;
– Increased disinfection during room cleaning (use of high-performance alcohol-based disinfectants); and
– Observance of personal distance of approximately 2 meters.
Moreover, the Slovakian border police indicated that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Slovak Republic suspended expulsions of non-citizens. However, they argued that the postponement of expulsion decisions is not a reason for releasing people from detention.
- Global Detention Project, Immigration Detention in Slovakia, January 2019, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/europe/slovakia
- Slovakian Border and Aliens Police Office, Global Detention Project’s Covid-19 survey, 14 August 2020, https://docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/e/1FAIpQLSe16r5vVHGhg8AmhOBHG-LzW_wTKk_nlPNt3RiVfjZzapnBsQ/viewform
- Visegradgroup, “First Prisoner in Slovakia Infected with Coronavirus,” accessed on 17 August 2020, http://www.visegradgroup.eu/news/first-prisoner-in
- Sečovce Immigration Detention Centre, (Korzár Dolný Zemplín, 10 November 2015, https://dolnyzemplin.korzar.sme.sk/c/8066295/v-zariadeni-pre-utecencov-v-secovciach-je-situacia-pokojna.html)