“The situation is extremely serious and I believe that we must take very radical and very bold measures,” Igor Matovic, the head of the Slovak government, said at the end of a meeting of the crisis cell. The measure would be adopted by the government on Wednesday and would be the second of its kind since the beginning of the pandemic.

For his part, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced an extraordinary meeting of his government, also on Wednesday, to approve the state of emergency.

What restrictions come into force

In Slovakia, all sporting, cultural and religious services will be banned from 1 October. Marriages and burials will only be allowed if all participants test negative for coronavirus.

Restaurants, bars and cafés will close at 22.00, and people who do not live together and want to approach less than 2 meters outside will be required to wear a mask. Wearing a mask is already mandatory in Slovakia in public places, indoors.

This country with 5.4 million inhabitants has registered 9,343 coronavirus infections since the beginning of the pandemic, and 44 patients have died. On Friday, the number of daily contaminations reached a record: 552.

The Czech Republic, a country with 10.7 million inhabitants, recorded a total of 65,313 confirmed cases of contamination, of which 615 died.