When will Slovakia open more shops? Will travelling to the sea be possible this summer? What will happen with summer festivals? Will children go to schools before the end of this school year?
Governments in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Denmark have started opening shops and plan to send pupils to schools; some will open restaurants and pubs before the summer. In Slovakia, the council of epidemiologists working for PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) is drafting the timeline for lifting measures, to be published on Monday, April 20.Related articleRead more
Compared to neighbouring countries, Slovakia is behind in lifting the lockdown despite the fact that it has the lowest number of coronavirus infections, even in the per capita comparison.
Many European countries that have announced that easing the measures led to a drop in new daily COVID-19 cases at the turn of March and April. Slovakia has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases recently in some social services homes and among excluded communities, yet retains a very low day-to-day increase of cases.
The prognoses suggest that there might be fewer cases in Slovakia, but they will be spread over a longer period of time than in other countries, and easing the measures might be spread over a longer period of time as a result.
How the timeline of lifting the measures could look
Small and medium-sized shops outside shopping centres, outdoor terraces of restaurants and pubs under strict hygienic measures could possibly open by the end of June.
Fitness centres could reopen while their showers and locker rooms remain closed.
During the summer, if the number of new infections is low, hotels, swimming pools and wellness centres could open. Indoor restaurants, cafés and pubs are considered too risky.
Music and culture festivals, and cultural and sporting events will be the last to restart, probably no earlier than September.
Masks might remain obligatory and other hygienic measures could remain in place for many more months.
Source: Zuzana Krišúfková, epidemiologist
The plans that other countries have presented suggest the direction Slovakia will take as well. Whether that materialises will depend on three factors that might cause an increase in infections: the spread of the coronavirus in Roma settlements, the number of people who returned infected from abroad and the number of people who did not follow the Easter limits and could have spread the coronavirus around Slovakia.
The impact of these three factors will only be clear at the end of April.
Shops first, events later
17. Apr 2020 at 15:12 | Michal Katuška