Pope Francis events now open to the tested and those who have recovered from Covid

The events are at just 13 percent of capacity.

Pope FrancisPope Francis (Source: TASR/AP)

Organisers are changing the rules for people attending events attached to Pope Francis' visit to Slovakia at the very last moment. When registration for the events was launched, only the fully vaccinated were able to get tickets.

The Conference of Bishops of Slovakia (KBS) announced that not only the fully vaccinated will be able to attend events, but also those with a negative test result and those who have recovered from Covid-19. All of them have to register on navstevapapeza.sk.

The organisers added that visitors in the OTP regime (fully-vaccinated, tested, recovered) will be placed in separate groups at events in Prešov, Košice and Šaštín in accordance with valid ordinances of the Public Health Authority.

Vaccinated people can choose between the sector of vaccinated people or the OTP sector. When entering the OTP sector, visitors must show their entrance ticket, ID and a negative RT-PCR test or LAMP test (no older than 72 hours) or a negative antigen test result (no older than 48 hours) or confirmation of recovery from Covid no older than 180 days.

Tests should be done prior to arrival in the visitor's city of residence. “We will inform visitors about possible Mobile Testing Sites (MOM) in front of the event venues in advance. For now, we ask visitors to take tests before travelling to the event,” organisers added, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Only 13 percent of capacity registered

Pope Francis will arrive in Slovakia on September 12. He will visit Bratislava, Prešov, Košice and Šaštín, where he will end his visit on Wednesday, September 15.

As of September 2, only 57,000 people have registered for all events with the Pope; about 30,000 out of these people plan to attend the Holy Mass in Šaštín.

The overall number of registered people is only 13 percent of the expected 450,000 estimated by KBS when registration was launched three weeks ago, the Sme daily reported.

The Slovak Railway Company (ZSSK) will on this occasion dispatch 95 extra trains in the surroundings of Prešov, Košice and Šaštín between September 14 and 15, which will be used for the existing 335 connections according to the valid schedule. They will be able to transport between 15,000 to 18,000 travellers to one event, according to spokesperson Tomáš Kováč. Tickets for these extra trains will be available for purchase by the end of this week.

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