Number of black-tier districts doubles, but national emergency will not be declared

The districts in the black tier of the Covid automat follow the strictest anti-pandemic measures.

The number of districts following the strictest anti-pandemic measures set by Slovakia’s alert system, known as the Covid automat, will more than double starting next week.

There will be a total of 24 districts in the black tier starting next Monday, November 1, up from the current 10. Another 39 districts will be in the dark red tier and eight in the red tier. Eight districts, namely the five districts of Bratislava, plus Galanta, Komárno and Šaľa, will be in the orange tier with the least strict measures.

The situation across the country keeps worsening, proven by the share of positive PCR test results out of the total taken. In 29 districts, it is higher than 25 percent, while in three districts (Bardejov, Humenné and Medzilaborce), the share is as high as 40 percent.

Still, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) says a national emergency will not be declared. The declaration of a national emergency would make it possible to ban travelling between districts or enforce a curfew, the measures that according to the Covid automat should be applied in the dark red and black districts.

What happens to districts in the black tier?

The measures applied in the black tier are quite strict, including for those who are fully vaccinated against Covid.

Here are some selected restrictions people have to follow:

Masks: Everyone must wear an FFP2/KN95 respirator when inside buildings, on public transport and in taxis. Outside, every person must cover their face with a mask or other alternatives if people outside of their own household are less than two metres away. The same rules apply to the dark red districts.

Mass events: Only mass events open solely to fully vaccinated people can be held in the black-tier districts, with a maximum of 100 participants. Organisers are required to keep the list of participants and their contact details for 14 days after the event is over; they must destroy itafterwards. The same rules apply to sports and cultural events in the black-tier districts.

Church services: Three entry regimes are allowed:

  • fully vaccinated: no more than 100 people;
  • OTP: 1 person per 15 square metres of the space (if the space is smaller than 90 square metres, no more than 6 people);
  • basic (i.e. everybody is let in): 1 person per 25 square metres (if the space is smaller than 150 square metres, no more than 6 people).

Weddings, parties or other mass events held in restaurants and similar venues: Forbidden.

Swimming pools: Open for fully vaccinated people only, with a maximum of 10 people.

Accommodation facilities: Short-term stays are forbidden for everybody. Exceptions: long-term accommodation, quarantine stays.

Restaurants: Closed, only take-out and delivery allowed.

Fitness centres, wellness centres, water parks: Closed.

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