Lockdown on the horizon for Slovakia after president’s emotional appeal

Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová urged the ruling coalition to quickly pass a measure to impose a total lockdown. [EPA-EFE/ OLIVIER HOSLET]

Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová urged the ruling coalition to quickly pass a measure to impose a total lockdown in an impassioned plea after visiting a COVID-19 hospital ward in Bratislava on Tuesday.

“We need to stop spreading conspiracy theories about COVID-19. We need to start listening to the experts. They clearly say that we need to limit mobility, that we need a lockdown,” the president said.

“What more needs to be seen than exhausted medical staff and people dying from other diagnoses because we have no capacity to treat them. What more needs to be heard than that we are the worst in the world with our approach?” she added.

Čaputová said she firmly stands by the medical personnel who work under a lot of stress and deal with threats from the anti-vax groups. “I feel like I don’t understand this country anymore,” she said.

At the same time, the ruling coalition unofficially agreed on rules for a new lockdown.

Slovakia will follow Austria’s lead and impose a lockdown for the unvaccinated and the unvaccinated for two weeks. After that period, the government will meet and discuss the situation again.

It will supposedly include the closure of all bars, restaurants, gyms, and shops except grocery stores, pharmacies, and clothing stores. However, only vaccinated people will have the right to visit clothing stores. A night-time curfew will also be imposed, yet schools will stay open. The government will officially vote on the rules on Wednesday.

(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)

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