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Vladimir Lengvarsky (C) visiting F.D. Roosevelt University Hospital in Banská Bystrica, Source: Slovak health ministry on Facebook

Slovakia extends curfew and state of emergency

Slovakia extends curfew and state of emergency

Stores will reopen from tomorrow for the vaccinated and recovered, schoolchildren will study online until the Christmas break

The Slovak government is extending the curfew-based lockdown, which was scheduled to last until 9 December but was open to review, reports TASR newswire. Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky announced this alongside other anti-Covid measures which were updated after a government session on Wednesday. All of the measures will last until 9 January 2022.

Opening in OP mode

As of Friday, 10 December, shops and churches will open with limited capacity in the OP mode (for vaccinated people and those who have recovered from COVID-19). The number of customers in shops will be limited according to the size of the store. Places of religious worship can allow a maximum of 30 people or one person per 25 square metres.

Basic body care services and ski lifts will also start operating in the OP mode on Friday. Gondola lifts can operate at up to 25 percent of capacity with ventilation and disinfection in place. Fitness centres will also open, with capacity capped at six people or one person per 25 square metres.

Accommodation establishments, such as hotels and guest houses, can open in the OP mode from 25 December with wellness and food delivery to the room. Restaurants in hotels and elsewhere will stay shut.

OTP mode in transport

The OTP mode (vaccinated, tested and those who have recovered) will apply on long-distance buses and on trains.

Primary school children of grades five to nine and all of the secondary school students will switch to remote education from Monday, 13 December until the Christmas break on 20 December. In nearly half of Slovakia's 79 districts, schools have already been closed.

Care home visits will not be allowed during the Christmas holidays.  

Soldiers helping medics

On 8 December, the 7 day average of new cases in Slovakia reached 10 361, putting a serious strain on hospitals. Under a “handbrake clause” empowering the health minister to propose tightening or relaxation of measures depending on the Covid-19 hospital admissions, the critical limit is now set at 3,800 patients.

Before Wednesday’s government session, Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad informed that 595 professional soldiers had been deployed to help medics in the pandemic combat. Some 400 servicemen are helping out in hospitals, about 150 are lending a hand at regional public health offices, with the rest assisting the Police Corps, said the minister.

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