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COVID-19 emergency measures in reception system: obligatory quarantine in Visegrad states

Since the beginning of coronavirus pandemic, compulsory 14-day quarantine was introduced by Visegrad states for all those returning from abroad, including applicants for international protection.

In order to combat the spread of the disease in reception and accommodation facilities, V4 countries apply self-isolation, quarantine, placement in emergency structures and health screening. Applicants undergo medical examination and temperature checks before being placed in accommodation centers, obligatory testing has been also introduced in Poland and Slovakia.

In Poland  newly arrived migrants are directed to 14-days quarantine in temporal facilities provided by the local authorities (by the competent voivodes for the region) or they can choose to organize the place for quarantine on their own. Also two reception centres (Biała Podlaska and Podkowa Leśna - Dębak) provide separate space for the obligatory quarantine of newly arrived asylum seekers. After the obligatory quarantine, asylum seekers are obliged to undergo medical examination in an epidemiological filter in the Biała Podlaska or Dębak reception centres. There are  also seven places for the isolation of infectious patients awaiting transportation to the hospital in buildings with an epidemiological filter.

In Hungary the relocated asylum seekers are obliged to stay in quarantine for two weeks upon their arrival. After these two weeks, the same freedom of movement restrictions apply to the residents of the reception centres as to Hungarian citizens.

Since November 2020 all newly admitted applicants have been tested for COVID-19 with PT-PCR tests in Slovakia. Until the receipt of negative test results, applicants are isolated in separate rooms. As part of the standard quarantine – the period lasting until the results of the compulsory medical examination are received – the applicants also undergo quarantine for COVID-19 inside the centre. The length of time has varied according to the current general measures, e.g. 10 or 14 days. After negative results are received and the COVID-19 quarantine terminated, the applicants are accommodated in unrestricted quarters. 

In Czechia asylum applicants are required to remain in the quarantine facility in the reception centre for at least 14 days .