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The Summer Archbishop's Palace is the seat of the Government of Slovakia, Source: LMih, Wikipedia, CC BY SA-3.0

Slovakia adopts stricter lockdown rules

Slovakia adopts stricter lockdown rules

If the new measures fail to produce the desired effect by 21 March, the country will have to seal off completely

New, tougher mitigation measures will enter into force across Slovakia in response to the rapidly deteriorating Covid-19 situation. Their aim is to slow down community transmission of the coronavirus, prevent new variants from being imported from high-risk countries and curtail the growth in hospitalizations, reports TASR newswire. The government is adamant that if the new measures fail to produce the desired effect by March 21, Slovakia will face a hard lockdown, production shutdown and sealing of the entire country.

Restrictions on movement, FFP2 mask mandate

From 3 March until 19 March, a daytime and night time curfew will be in effect. Some exceptions are foreseen for leaving one’s home between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m., while between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. people will only be able to go to work or see a doctor.

As of 3 March, it will be possible to go to the countryside and perform individual sports only within one’s own district of residence. The exemption for people with a negative test certificate will no longer apply.

Wearing FFP2 face masks will be mandatory in shops and in public transport as of 8 March and in all interior public premises as of 15 March. From 8 March, people who have tested positive for the coronavirus will be allowed to leave their homes only to visit a doctor or a pharmacy (currently they can go shopping).

Working requirements

Home office should remain the norm. Where this is not possible, employees must have proof from their employer with job address and working hours indicated. A negative test remains compulsory for going to work or for visiting other institutions. The list of exceptions is unchanged. Only children of employees who have to go to work in person can attend nursery and primary school.

Updated testing and vaccination strategy, financial supports

At least 500 randomly selected coronavirus-positive samples should be sequenced on a weekly basis. All positive samples should be re-tested once every two weeks to detect mutations identified in Britain and South-Africa.

The vaccination strategy will be updated based on available data from clinical testing. To speed up the vaccine rollout, the government will procure two millions doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, the first batch of which arrived on 1 March. The COVID automaton will also be updated in line with the adopted testing strategy and other measures.

Regarding pandemic supports, a COVID bonus will be introduced as a financial compensation for all household members who are placed in home isolation. It should motivate people to strictly adhere to quarantine rules. The so-called pandemic sickness allowances will be increased.

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