Cabinet prolonged national emergency

The proposal needs to be approved by the parliament.

The curfew emptied the streets in Bratislava.The curfew emptied the streets in Bratislava. (Source: TASR)

The cabinet approved the prolongation of the national emergency by another 40 days at its March 17 session. Originally, it was supposed to expire this Friday, March 19.

The proposal was passed unanimously, said Finance Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO), who is temporarily in charge of the Health Ministry following the resignation of Marek Krajčí.

“Everybody understands that keeping the national emergency is important to protect people’s health,” Heger said after the cabinet session.

The decision still needs to be approved by the parliament within the following 20 days. If passed, the curfew will be prolonged until late April.

Why is the national emergency important?

With a national emergency in place, the government can order medical workers to work in order to secure medical treatment. It is also important for the reprioritisation of hospitals and hospital beds.

At the same time, it allows the government to impose a curfew in order to reduce mobility and social contact with people.

Changes to curfew rules proposed

The Health Ministry proposes three changes to the current curfew rules and preventive measures:

  • an exception for university students who go to practical training in medical facilities;
  • adding KN95 respirators to the mask ordinance, which currently only mentions FFP2 respirators;
  • trips abroad should be allowed, but not for those travelling on holidays.
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