Christmas with curfew, family visits will not be an exception

Stricter measures will come back if hospitalisations reach a critical level.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

The cabinet eased several anti-pandemic measures for people who are either fully vaccinated against Covid or have recovered from the disease in the past 180 days.

The new regime starts on December 10 and will last until January 9.

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The lockdown, imposed on the country on November 25, continues with unchanged rules for those who have not been vaccinated or have not had Covid recently.

However, if the number of Covid patients in hospitals reaches 3,800, the health minister will be able to "pull the handbrake" and re-introduce strict measures for everybody.

For now, the changes are very general. More details should be provided by the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) in the coming days.

Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) confirmed that grades five through nine of primary schools and all grades of secondary schools will switch to distance learning from Monday, December 13. The youngest children, in kindergartens and grades one through four of primary schools, will continue in-person education until the Christmas holidays.

In addition, the cabinet agreed on introducing the vaccinated-tested-recovered regime (OTP in Slovak) on InterCity (IC) trains, express trains and long-distance buses. It is not clear yet when it will come into force. The regime will not be introduced on public transport, as originally planned.

Changes from December 10

The curfew will remain in place after December 10, even though with several exceptions for those fully vaccinated against Covid and those who have recovered from the disease within the past 180 days. Yet, visits to families and friends are not among the exceptions, which means they are technically not allowed.

Exceptions from curfew for everybody (more may be added in the ÚVZ ordinance):

  • shopping in essential shops;
  • going to/from the doctor's or medical facility, vaccination, testing, pharmacy;
  • going to/from work – confirmation from an employer required;
  • going to a job interview (only between 5:00 and 20:00);
  • receiving individual pastoral care (only between 5:00 and 20:00);
  • walking pets within 500m from home;
  • travels to/from a holiday cottage you own;
  • going out into nature (also outside the district where one resides);
  • travels to/from abroad.

The fully vaccinated and recovered (OP regime) can also go to:

  • all shops, including the non-essential ones;
  • basic services for body care;
  • ski centres, ski lifts, cable cars (in closed cable cars, the max. capacity is 25 percent, while ventilation and disinfection has to be secured);
  • church services (30 people max., or one person per 25 square metres);
  • fitness centres (six people max., or one person per 25 square metres).

Changes from December 25

The following facilities will open in the OP regime (i.e. for the fully vaccinated and recovered):

  • hotels and guest houses – accommodation possible only if a negative Covid test (PCR, antigen or self-test in the accommodation facility) is presented
  • accommodation for members living in one household;
  • wellness centres in hotels for accommodated guests;
  • food delivery to rooms.

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