On Wednesday afternoon, Slovak commuters protested against the conditions for crossing the border. The current measure asking for four PCR tests per month will be replaced by a rule demanding eight tests beginning in September. People who commute from Slovakia to neighboring countries for work call this rule destructive. While currently they pay 50 euros for one test, it will be 70 euros from September onwards. They can however avoid testing if they get vaccinated.
In the afternoon, about fifty people gathered at the Lanžhot-Kúta border crossing on an old road. After 6 p.m., they moved to the D2 motorway, which they blocked. Long bottlenecks formed on the spot, with cars passing through very slowly. After about an hour, the participants agreed with the police to end the event.
According to the protesters, Slovakia discriminates against commuters with new rules for cross-border commuting to work.
Until the end of the holidays, i. e., the end of August, Slovak commuters must submit a PCR test not older than seven days when crossing the border. The price had dropped from seventy euros to fifty for the holiday months.
Starting in September, however, the Slovak authorities want a PCR test no older than 72 hours. The number of tests will then increase from four to eight per month. Furthermore, the cost of the test will return to the original price of 70 euros. However, the measure only applies to people who have not been vaccinated against coronavirus.
“It’s completely destructive for me,” said one of the protest participants. For comparison, he noted that his mother’s monthly pension was 250 euros, but the required PCR tests from September would cost him 560 euros.
Title image: Slovak police carrying out border checks. (Police of the Slovak Republic / Facebook)