How Matovič imagines the lifting of coronavirus measures

The prime minister presented four gradual phases, to be greenlighted by the general crisis staff on Tuesday.

(Source: SITA)

All shops and premises offering services measuring up to 300 square metres may open from this Wednesday, April 22. The same will apply for open sports venues and restaurants handing food through a window.

PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) and the team of epidemiologists have presented a plan on how to lift the measures adopted to stop the coronavirus from spreading. The plan is divided into four phases, whose progress will depend on the behaviour of people.

“If we lifted everything at once, the situation could be out of control,” Matovič told the April 20 press conference.

Discipline important

The prime minister now plans to submit the plan to the crisis staff. If approved, the first measures will come into force on April 22.

The idea is to reassess the measures and their impact on the coronavirus pandemic development after two weeks, explained chief hygienist Ján Mikas. The only exception will be the fourth and final phase, where the interval may be longer. The deciding factor will be the increase in the number of new people infected with the coronavirus.

The basic indicator will be the median set by the Institute for Health Policy to 100 new patients a day in a given week. This means that if less than 100 people are infected every day, a new phase will be adopted. If the median oscillates between 100 and 150 people a day, the measures will stay the same. If it exceeds 150 people a day, the measures will be moved one phase back.

“If we approach these measures responsibly, we will be able to continue in lifting the measures,” Matovič said, stressing the need for discipline.

Specific conditions for opening facilities are to be published on April 21.

Shopping hours for seniors to change

Even after the new shops and facilities offering services are open, several strict measures will remain in place. This includes wearing a mask or other protection on one’s face, respecting a two-metre distance between people, having only one person per 25 square metres, as well as disinfecting and ventilating premises regularly, stressed chief hygienist Ján Mikas.

Apart from lifting certain measures, shopping hours for seniors will change. Currently, shops are required to let seniors in between 9:00 and 12:00. This should change to 9:00 and 11:00 on weekdays (meaning Saturdays are exempted from the rule). Moreover, the prime minister stressed that seniors should go shopping only during these hours, and not outside them.

“We would like to ask them to follow these instructions in order to protect their health and life, also regarding the current situation in retirement homes,” Matovič said.

He would also like to introduce special meal vouchers for seniors, which they should use to purchase meals. The meals should be cooked in restaurants and then delivered to pensioners by a taxi service.

New rules for wearing masks

Coming into force on April 21 midnight, state hygienists introduced some new rules for wearing masks. Click here to read all about the measures currently in place.

Although it is still mandatory to cover one’s nose and mouth while being outside, there will be several exceptions:

  • children younger than 2 years of age;
  • people walking in nature, but they have to live in one household and are required to keep a distance of at least 20 metres from others;
  • people suffering from serious autism spectre disorders;
  • people in a car if they live in the same household;
  • public transport drivers if they are in enclosed a cabin.

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