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Bratislava

Slovakia partially reopens from 19 April

Slovakia partially reopens from 19 April

No districts in the black tier, but negative test still mandatory

From 19 April, a partial easing of pandemic restrictions will take place in Slovakia, reports TASR. According to the Covid automaton, the entire country will be in the red from next Monday and there will be no district in the black tier.

Subject to conditions

The announcement was made yesterday by former Prime Minister and current Finance Minister Igor Matovic at a press conference in Bratislava also attended by Prime Minister Eduard Heger and Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky.

However, the relaxation is subject to conditions: people must present a negative coronavirus test not older than 7 days, wear a FFP2 or KN95 mask inside buildings and cover one's face outdoors. Curfew rules after 8 pm also remain in place.

Rollback at a glance

The following measures will be relaxed in Slovakia from next Monday:

  • Non-essential shops and services will reopen, subject to compliance with 15 square metres per person rule. Customers will also have to present a negative test. 
  • Movement in natural surroundings will be allowed even outside the district of residence, but with a test.
  • Churches will reopen and religious services will resume, on the condition of one person per 15 sq m and a test.
  • Sports will be allowed outdoors, for a maximum of 6 people and with a test. Swimming pools will reopen.
  • Zoos, museums and botanical gardens will reopen.
  • Libraries will be open for up to 6 people and with a test.
  • Hotels and boarding houses will reopen, but restaurants will remain closed.

“We’re walking on thin ice; if we don’t bear responsibility in the context of eased measures from Monday [April 19], we’ll return to the situation we’ve already been in,” stressed Matovic, quoted by TASR.

Vaccine woes

Matovic and Heger swapped places following a government crisis sparked by two minor coalition partners. These parties protested the unilateral decision of the prime minister to purchase the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia in early March, complaining also about Matovic’s erratic style in politics.

The Russians subsequently terminated the deal and told Slovakia to return the unused vaccines. In a hectic diplomatic shuttle, Matovic arranged the Sputnik V vaccine to be tested at an internationally accredited laboratory in Hungary, the only other EU member state to employ the Russian vaccine without prior EMA authorisation.

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