|Status – Has any special status been introduced?
State of Emergency (núdzový stav) in effect (which give to the state the power to restrict fundamental rights and freedoms, to the extent and time necessary)
Extraordinary state (mimoriadna situácia) in effect (which gives more powers to state authorities in taking the necessary measures to prevent and mitigate a threat to public health due to COVID-19).
|Which retail units are Open
According to measures in force as of January 11, 2021, the following are open:
- natural healing spas or spa treatments,
- public eating establishments (only with to go packaging or delivery service),
- food stores (only certain products for necessary living conditions),
- petfood stores (including veterinary supplies),
- dispensing points, mail order sales and other forms of expenditure of goods purchased at a distance under certain conditions,
- motor vehicle spare parts stores, tire services, towing services, car services, bicycle services,
- telecommunication operators,
- postal, banking and insurance services,
- laundry and dry cleaning services,
- gas stations,
- funeral services and crematoria,
- car technical/emission control services,
- services of IT,
- taxi services under certain conditions,
- attorneys, notaries, mediators, auctioneers, arbitrators, experts, interpreters and translators
- key services,
- waste collecting courtyards,
- long-term accommodation services, quarantine accommodation, services short-term accommodation (only for necessary accommodation for the purpose of visiting the medical facility), and
- shoe repair shops.
In shopping malls only the stores and operations providing services mentioned above are permitted to be opened.
|Which retail units are Closed
||All other retail stores and operations providing services.
|Leases - Have special laws related to COVID-19 been implemented
Measures in force as of June 17, 2020:
- provision of a rent contribution by the state to the lessees which closed (had to close) their establishments during the pandemic, if the lessor and the lessee agree on rent reduction for such a time;
- the amount of the rent contribution shall equal the amount of the rent reduction;
- if a 50 percent rent reduction is agreed, the remaining 50 percent of the rent will be paid by the state;
- if less than a 50 percent rent reduction (including no reduction) is agreed
- the same amount will be paid by the state (no state contribution if no rent reduction is agreed);
- the remaining amount (discounted rent decreased by the state contribution) will be left to be paid by the lessee in equal installments spread over no more than 48 months (e.g. 40 percent rent reduction is agreed; state contribution is 40 percent of the rent; remaining 20 percent of the rent is paid by the lessee in the instalments);
- during the payment of these installments, the lessor cannot unilaterally increase the rent, if the right of the lessor to unilaterally increase the rent was not agreed before February 1, 2020.
According to measures in force as of December 9, 2020, relating to the provision of the above mentioned rent contribution:
- the rent contribution by the state shall also apply to leases and similar rights, which began no later than August 1, 2020:
- if the lessor and the lessee have agreed on a rent reduction and the rent contribution has been applied, the payment of the unpaid part of the rent (in the above mentioned installment) shall begin no later than April 1, 2021; and
if the lessor and the lessee have not agreed on a rent discount, the payment of unpaid rent shall begin no later than April 1, 2021.
55% of the gross wage of employees in quarantine or employees taking care of their children will be paid by the state Social Insurance Company.
Measures in force as of April 4, 2020:
- if an enterprise is closed or the employees’ activity is reduced as a result of the pandemic, the employees are entitled to wage compensation of at least 80%, which should not be lower than the minimal wage;
- the employer has under certain conditions the right to order employees to work from home. The employee has also a right to work from home, provided that the nature of the work permits and that there are no serious operational reasons;
- new provisions in the area of social security include an extension of the unemployment support period, nursing care payments that include persons caring for children personally during the pandemic, and the Slovak government has the authority to adjust the conditions of unemployment benefits payments;
- postponement of certain obligations in the area of health and safety at work (e.g. participation in recovery stays, collective events, performance of preventive medical examinations, completion of relevant trainings).
As of September 1, 2020, employers are also obligated to control their employees who have returned from high-risk countries due to COVID-19. Such employees have to prove to the employers when entering the workplace or premises of operation the fulfillment of the relevant obligations (e.g. home isolation, negative RT-PCR test result). If no such proof is provided by the employee, the employer must notify the relevant authorities and deny this employee access to the workplace.
Measures in force as of April 4, 2020:
- delay of income tax deadlines for filing tax returns, declarations, annual accounts for employees, notifications of non-monetary income tax of health care providers and motor vehicle tax in specific cases;
- delay of statutory deadlines with respect to financial statements, annual reports and auditors' reports and their recording in the register of accounts;
- basic legal framework for provision of financial assistance to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises – the assistance may be provided in the form of:
- a guarantee for a bank loan,
- a payment of interest on a bank loan;
- the provider of such financial assistance will be the Ministry of Finance and the intermediaries of the Export-Import Bank of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Guarantee and Development Bank;
- set-off of the loss of previous years as of 2014 (if not set-off so far) against tax base;
- the application of the measures is limited to the period from March 12, 2020, until the end of the month in which the state of emergency is withdrawn by the Slovak government.
Measures in force as of April 6, 2020 ̶delay of payment of social/health insurance levies if turnover decreased by more than 40% in March 2020.
Measures approved by the Slovak parliament on April 22, 2020:
- new provision that taxpayers are allowed to deduct the tax loss (“odpočet daňovej straty”) reported for the tax years 2015 to 2018 (the taxpayer has the possibility to apply the tax losses up to the total amount of €1,000,000).
|Selected other COVID-19-related legislation relevant for retail business
The opened stores must adhere to the following hygienic measures for both employees and customers:
- allow entering the store only with face masks (or other suitable coverage of nose and mouth);
- at entrance to the store provide disinfection of hands or one-time gloves;
- ensure at least 2 meters distance in queues;
- number of customers in stores must not be more than one customer for 15 sqm of selling area of the store between customers (with children of up to 10 years being exempt, if accompanied);
- put on all entrances to the store a notice of the above requirements;
- perform frequent ventilation of the premises and regularly disinfect contact surfaces and relevant devices, tools and aids; and
- ensure that floors are washed every day;
- grocery stores, public eating establishments, including fast food stalls, must ensure regular and effective cleaning and disinfection thoroughly as part of the daily sanitation regime.
Between 9.00 am to 11.am, food stores and drugstores must allow entering the stores only to persons over 65 years.
Additional strict hygienic measures apply to certain specific types of establishments (e.g. public eating establishments, accommodation establishments, taxi services, wellness and fitness centers, libraries etc.).
Customers are prohibited to consume food and beverages indoors or exterior parts of the establishment, or in the vicinity of the establishment.
Measures in force as of April 9, 2020, regarding postponement of loan installments:
- debtor (small employer = small or medium-sized enterprise employing fewer than 250 persons with annual turnover not exceeding €50 million and/or annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million) may apply to have the instalments postponed once and for a maximum for up to nine months (nine months applies for banks; for other creditors three + three months are applicable);
- the application must be filed with the creditor during the pandemic crisis;
- postponement includes (i) payment of principal, (ii) payment of principal and interest or (iii) payment of loan payable in one payment.
According to measures in force as of January 11, 2021, mass events are generally prohibited (with the exception of certain activities professional sport matches under strict conditions). This does not apply to one-off mass events lasting a maximum of 48 hours, if, among other conditions, all participants thereof have a negative RT-PCR or antigen test result not older than 12 hours at the time of the mass event).
A large number of smaller measures were approved by the Slovak National Council on July 9, 2020 in order to improve the business environment and reduce administrative burdens, such as:
- raising the threshold for mandatory financial audits,
- simplification of energy audits,
- cancellation or reduction of various fines,
- regulation of the amount of administrative fees,
abolishment of several notification obligations of entrepreneurs etc.