Curfew to Start in Slovakia as of December 19

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From left, Vice-premier for Legislation and Strategic Planning Stefan Holy, Health Minister Marek Krajci and Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korcok at a press conference on Dec 16, 2020 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 16 (TASR) – A curfew and lockdown will begin in Slovakia as of Saturday, December 19, said Health Minister Marek Krajci (OLaNO) and Vice-premier for Legislation and Strategic Planning Stefan Holy (We Are Family) at a press conference on Wednesday.

All shops will be closed except for those necessary to meet basic needs.

There will be exemptions from the curfew. People will be able to meet a maximum of one other household during the curfew and Christmas holidays in order to prevent too much mingling. Travel won’t be limited, however. The health minister appealed to people to observe the exemptions properly.

Minister Krajci described the epidemiological situation in Slovakia as extremely serious. He therefore called for a maximum of two households to meet during the curfew and for no further get-togethers. “It’s a kind of a bubble formation,” said Holy. Travel won’t be restricted, but the Government is urging people to consider it carefully.

Other exemptions to the curfew include journeys in order to meet one’s family, to go to work, to procure essential goods, to purchase fuel, to visit a post office and to visit a point of sale for online and other shops.

Holy added that the exemption also applies to the provision of care for children and pets and to visiting a bank or insurance company. The vice-premier confirmed that religious services will enjoy an exemption from the curfew and that it’s up to individual regional hygienists to determine whether churches can be open in their regions and how many people can attend services. Ski resorts will be allowed to operate because skiing is designated as an individual sport practised outdoors, noted Holy.

On the contrary, services such as hairdressing and massages will be affected by the ban.
However, an exemption from the ban also applies to going to a recreational facility. “This applies to members of one household and a maximum of one other household,” said Holy, who followed up with the Government’s recommendation to create a “bubble” of close relatives and friends during the holidays. Another recommendation is for employers to enable employees to work from home as much as possible. “This will also significantly help to prevent the spread of the disease,” added Holy.

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Ivan Korcok (a Freedom and Solidarity/SaS nominee) also appealed to people to restrict travel, to reduce mobility and to accept more personal responsibility. “It isn’t forbidden to travel, but the rules that are set when returning from so-called red countries continue to apply,” he added.