Gov't Introduces Strict Curfew from January 1; Only Few Exemptions Remain

Gov't Introduces Strict Curfew from January 1; Only Few Exemptions Remain

Bratislava, December 31 (TASR) – At its extraordinary session on Thursday, the Government decided that a curfew with a minimum of exemptions will be in force in Slovakia from 5 a.m. on January 1, 2021, TASR learnt from Health Minister Marek Krajci (OLaNO), Slovakia’s Chief Hygienist Jan Mikas and representatives of the coalition parties on the same day.

The measure will apply until January 24.

The Cabinet has significantly narrowed the range of exemptions, the most fundamental is scrapping the meetings with loved ones in the so-called bubbles.

The only exemptions to the curfew are travel to work or business and similar activities, if the work can’t be carried out from home, as well as travel for the purpose of ensuring essential needs – food, medicine, medical devices, hygiene and drugstore goods, feed and other needs for animals, fuels.

Exemptions also include travel to medical facilities for urgent medical care, travel to a pharmacy or for testing for novel coronavirus. Exempted from the curfew is also a trip to an insurance company, bank. Travel is also permitted in the case of providing care for a close person who is dependent on such care.

Going to nature is permitted too but only within the district where the person lives.
All ski resorts are also to be closed from midnight on January 1, 2021. Conditions for hotels are also changing – already accommodated guests can stay, without the possibility to extend their stay. At the same time, the hotel must not accept new guests.

Churches will also be closed; it won’t be possible to consume food outside the establishments either, food can only be taken home.

People will be permitted to carry out their work only from a home office, said Krajci, adding that exemptions will be given to some employees due to the nature of their work and based on the decision of the employer. The measure is to be in force from Friday (January 1) to January 24.

Meanwhile, head of the Education Ministry Branislav Groehling (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) said that if the measures are observed in Slovakia, children could return to school from Monday, January 11, when their holidays are over, adding that this would be preceded by testing, which would start on January 8. The minister pointed out, however, that it’s very early to talk about the return of children to school. If the situation doesn’t improve, the date would be unrealistic.