Slovakia orders schools, shops to shut as COVID-19 cases rise
Slovakia will close most stores for at least three weeks due to coronavirus’s spread beginning 21 December. From this Friday, restaurants will not be able to serve food even on the terraces, and from Monday, hotel clients and visitors to ski resorts will have to have a negative coronavirus test result. At the end of December, larger companies should start regular testing of their employees. Stores selling essential items will remain open.
A similar measure in the country below the Tatras was already in force during the first wave of the coronavirus crisis this spring. According to Prime Minister Igor Matovič, the current restrictions could be gradually lifted after three weeks in those regions where the epidemic situation allows.
Unlike the Easter holidays, the Slovak authorities do not intend to restrict the population’s travel during Christmas.
The school Christmas holidays will begin on 21 December. Most students are attending school online. Only kindergartens and primary schools are open to first graders.
Clients of hotels and ski resorts will have to prove themselves with a negative test for coronavirus up to 72 hours old. Czech tourists who would like to go on holiday to Slovakia must also take a coronavirus test.
“The situation in Slovakia has deteriorated epidemically in recent days and will continue to do so in the coming days. There are more new patients with covid-19 in hospitals, and the trend is not favorable. We must do everything we can to prevent the health system from collapsing.” “said Minister of Health Marek Krajčí.
On Tuesday, laboratories in Slovakia confirmed 2,564 infected, which is the highest number since 11 November. Another 3,000 more infected on Tuesday were unveiled by antigen tests, which can be tested free of charge at people at mobile collection points across the country.
Slovakia already applies several quarantine measures. Restaurants are not allowed to serve clients indoors; some entrepreneurs decided to violate this regulation on Tuesday. Selling through the window is allowed. It is still forbidden, except for mass events, and some facilities, including wellness centers, may not provide services.