Status: 11/20/2021 10:39 a.m.
Slovakia is being hit hard by the new corona wave – also because many people are not vaccinated. The government has now announced new measures, but they will also affect people who have been vaccinated.
November 17th, national holiday in Slovakia, is actually the day of remembrance of a positive event: the beginning of the “Velvet Revolution” in 1989. This year it is an opportunity for thousands to get rid of their frustration with the government’s corona policy . Fireworks are thrown. One causes minor injuries to two police officers.
The atmosphere in Slovakia has become rougher, especially since the government in Bratislava once again announced new corona restrictions: 2G should apply where the Covid traffic light colors the districts red to black – i.e. practically throughout the country. Only those who have been vaccinated and recovered are still allowed to go to restaurants, hotels or shopping centers.
Allegedly “lockdown for the unvaccinated”
“We are introducing a Covid traffic light with significantly stricter rules,” says Prime Minister Eduard Heger. Yes, it is a lockdown for those who have not been vaccinated. An imitation of a lockdown, writes the Sme newspaper today, and points out that the government could not make up its mind to reinstate the state of emergency.
The freedom of movement of the unvaccinated is not restricted, although this is actually required by the rules of the Covid traffic light. For this, vaccinated people are affected. Because in the black districts, public events are in fact prohibited again. Restaurants, hotels and fitness facilities there are still closed to vaccinated people.
Governing parties at odds
There is no benefit in freedom to those who have been immunized. This also criticizes the neoliberal SaS and has therefore abstained from the government. “We keep saying that vaccination brings freedom,” says party leader Richard Sulik. “So we can’t sign a document that tightens the rules for people who are vaccinated.” The opposition in parliament is opposed to the fact that corona tests should no longer count in the future. This is how ex-prime minister Robert Fico, the head of the social democratic Smer, complains:
Forbidding a tested person, who is as healthy as a fish in the Danube, to go to a department store in Bratislava, but to let in an infected person who has been vaccinated – who can think of such stupidity at all?
The confusion is now complete in the country, where only 46 percent of the population are fully vaccinated and the number of new infections is rising dramatically. Of 23,500 PCR tests, more than 7400 were positive as of Thursday. There are only a few hundred beds left in the hospitals. Then a medical emergency threatens.
Hope three weeks will be enough
Prime Minister Heger hopes that the situation will soon improve again. “This is an intermediate step. We have to stabilize the situation in the hospitals. As soon as we have achieved that – and I think three weeks will be enough – we can return to the planned relaxation for vaccinated people.”
At the moment it sounds more like whistling in the dark forest. It is more likely that Slovakia, like neighboring Austria, will not be able to avoid a real lockdown.
The big corona frustration in Slovakia
Peter Lange, ARD Prague, 20.11.2021 · 09:35