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Slovakia: First doses of Russia's Sputnik vaccine arrive, strict lockdown in place

Christian Fernsby |
Slovakia has received 2 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, which would be enough for a complete vaccination for less than a fifth of the country's population.

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The vaccines were delivered by a Slovak army plane to Košice on Monday.

The vaccine will be used based on an exemption granted by the Minister of Health Marek Krajčí, making Slovakia the second EU country after Hungary to approve the use of the vaccine. According toKrajčí, this step will make it possible to speed up vaccination by 40 percent, which has been hampered by a lack of vaccines.

The Russian direct investment fund, which participates in the production of Sputnik V, has meanwhile issued a statement saying that Slovakia has become the second country of the European Union after Hungary and the 39th country in the world to give consent to the use of its vaccine.

From 3 March until 19 March, a daytime and night time curfew will be in effect. Some exceptions are foreseen for leaving one’s home between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m., while between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. people will only be able to go to work or see a doctor.

As of 3 March, it will be possible to go to the countryside and perform individual sports only within one’s own district of residence. The exemption for people with a negative test certificate will no longer apply.

Wearing FFP2 face masks will be mandatory in shops and in public transport as of 8 March and in all interior public premises as of 15 March. From 8 March, people who have tested positive for the coronavirus will be allowed to leave their homes only to visit a doctor or a pharmacy (currently they can go shopping).

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