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Slovakia extends COVID-19 restrictions amid infection surge

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By AP
People stand in line to test for COVID-19 in Michalovce, Slovakia, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.
People stand in line to test for COVID-19 in Michalovce, Slovakia, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.   -   Copyright  Roman Hanc/TASR via AP

Slovakia extended tight coronavirus restrictions to more parts of the country on Monday as the latest surge of infections intensified.

The number of counties affected by the measures doubled in just one week, from five to 10. They are mostly located in northern Slovakia, on or near the border with Poland and the Czech Republic.

Slovakia has 79 counties.

The measures include the closure of hotels, bars and restaurants, with people only allowed to buy meals at takeout windows. Fitness, wellness and aquatic centres also have been closed.

The maximum number allowed to attend public gatherings is reduced to 100 fully vaccinated people. It’s also mandatory to wear face coverings both indoors and outdoors.

Slovakia, which has a population of nearly 5.5 million people, is one of the countries in the European Union that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. It has registered around 457,431 cases and 12,917 deaths.

Almost 80% of 1,144 people who currently need hospitalisation in Slovakia have been only partially vaccinated or haven’t received a shot at all.

Slovakia has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the EU. Less than 2.4 million people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.