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Slovakia closes schools, opens shops for vaccinated people

Slovakia's governing parties have agreed on a mixture of relaxations and tightenings of the anti-coronavirus measures currently in place.

Slovakia‘s governing parties have agreed on a mixture of relaxations and tightenings of the anti-coronavirus measures currently in place.

As the conservative Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky explained to journalists in Bratislava on Tuesday, shops that have been closed since November 25 will be allowed to reopen on Friday.

However, those who have neither been vaccinated against Covid-19 nor recovered from it will only be allowed to go into shops that sell essential products such as food.

But restautrants and other outlets serving food will remain closed to all for the time being.

In return for opening the shops, all schools except the first four grades will have to switch to online teaching from next Monday.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger called this compromise a “victory of respect and determination.” Before that, the four coalition parties had publicly argued for days about how to proceed.

For businesses, a similar regulation had already applied for a few days in November as a so-called “lockdown for the unvaccinated.”

However, in view of a dramatic increase in the number of infections, it was changed to a lockdown for everyone from November 25.

Health experts then noted a dramatic decline in Slovakia‘s already low vaccination rate and called for a rapid change of course.

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