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Slovakia tightens lockdown on New Year's Eve as hospitals fill - Metro US

Slovakia tightens lockdown on New Year’s Eve as hospitals fill

Spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Zilina

PRAGUE (Reuters) – The Slovak government ordered ski resorts and hotels closed and banned travel between districts at an emergency session on New Year’s Eve after new coronavirus cases hit record high and hospitals filled up with patients.

The new restrictions, taking effect from Jan. 1, also ordered home office work where possible, banned visits between families, and ordered closure of churches.

People will be allowed to leave home only for work or essential errands, or walks in nature within their own district, the country’s health minister and chief public health officer told a televised news conference.

The measures will last until Jan. 24.

The central European country of 5.5 million reported a new high of 6,315 new cases on Thursday detected by laboratory PCR tests, and another 5,954 cases from rapid-result antigen tests.

There were 2,946 people in hospitals as of Thursday. An expert group has warned that the healthcare system’s capacities including personnel and lung ventilators could run out within two weeks.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by David Gregorio)

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