Slovakia extends partial lockdown to Nov. 8

FILE PHOTO: People are seen at a COVID-19 testing site as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Nizna, Slovakia October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Slovakia’s government has extended the country’s partial lockdown until Nov. 8, adding people with negative tests for coronavirus to the list of exceptions, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Wednesday.

The government tightened restrictions last week by closing most schools and requiring people to stay at home except for work or essential travel.

Authorities are planning to carry out a countrywide test for the coronavirus this weekend in an attempt to curb the recent surge in infections.

“Those who will participate in the countrywide testing and they will have a certificate for passing the test, they will be able to live relatively freely from Monday,” Matovic said.

In a pilot testing programme in four regions, conducted last weekend, more than 90% of people participated.

As of Oct. 27, there were 48,943 coronavirus cases recorded in the country of 5.5 million, up by 2,887 in the past 24 hours.

Reporting by Robert Muller, editing by Ed Osmond