Petr Dubinsky

Slovakia Enters Lockdown Amid COVID Surge

Today, in connection with the unfavorable epidemic situation surrounding the covid-19 disease, the Slovak government approved a nationwide two-week closure, Economy Minister Richard Sulík told reporters. According to him, at the time of the so-called lockdown, only stores with basic needs will be open from the stores, and employers will check the covid certificates of employees from next week. After ten days, the government will evaluate the measures.

Bratislava is tightening restrictions due to congested hospitals and after record increases in new cases of coronavirus infection. The consortium of experts initially recommended even tougher measures, such as the interruption of full-time teaching at most schools and also a three-week lockdown.

Sulík’s Freedom and Solidarity Party blocked the closure of schools. The package of measures was not supported by the smallest government party For People, who demanded benefits for the vaccinated in order to support vaccination against covid-19, in which Slovakia lags significantly behind the EU average.

On Tuesday, for the first time, five million Slovakia recorded a daily increase of more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus infection. The number of covid patients in hospitals has risen to 3,200. Authorities have previously warned that exceeding this limit will mean that the country is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. Medical facilities in Slovakia have long struggled with a shortage of staff.

From next week until the end of the year, employees in Slovakia will have to submit a certificate of covid-19 vaccination, illness or coronavirus test, or be tested once a week by their employer. If they do not, they will have unpaid leave under a recently approved law.

Further restrictions are also expected in the Czech Republic. The government will take further action against the proliferation on Friday) told reporters today that it would be a matter of reducing contacts, not a complete closure of the country. He called on people over the age of 60 to limit their contacts as much as possible due to the spread of covid-19 and to be vaccinated with a booster dose of the vaccine. At the same time, the Prime Minister did not rule out a declaration of a state of emergency.