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Slovakia to declare coronavirus state of emergency

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Slovakia is set to declare a new state of emergency this week to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Monday following a sharp rise in cases.

"The situation is extremely serious, and I think we must adopt very fundamental decisions and very bold decisions," Matovic said after a meeting of the country's crisis management team.

The measure is expected to be approved by the government on Wednesday and would be the second time that Slovakia introduces a state of emergency to combat the pandemic.

Under the proposed restrictions, all sporting events, cultural events, and religious services would be banned from October 1.

Weddings and funerals would only be allowed if all the participants can prove they have had a negative test for coronavirus.

Restaurants, bars, and cafes would close at 10:00 pm (2000 GMT) and if people not living in the same household come closer than two metres (six feet) outdoors, they would have to wear masks.

Masks are already compulsory in public indoor spaces in Slovakia.

The EU country of 5.4 million registered 9,343 coronavirus infections since the beginning of the pandemic and 44 patients have died.

On Friday, the number of daily infections reached a record high of 552.


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