Four districts near the border with Poland will be tested first, with all residents over the age of 10 undergoing rapid antigen testing under the supervision of the Ministry of Defense.

Slovak authorities plan to test the rest of the country over the next two weekends, from Friday to Sunday.

The Slovak army has deployed about 8,000 troops for this purpose, but there is a shortage of trained medical personnel.

Slovak Health Minister Marek Krajci urged medical students to volunteer.

Those who refuse testing will be quarantined

Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic has said before that participation in the test is voluntary, but that those who will not be able to take a negative test in the days after the mass testing program will have to go into mandatory quarantine for 10 days.

President Zuzana Caputova criticized the rule, saying that “if you threaten sanctions, it cannot be said that (testing) is voluntary.”

Slovakia has registered 2,581 new cases of contamination in the last 24 hours and another 19 deaths caused by COVID-19.

As of Saturday, severe restrictions will be imposed on the entire territory of Slovakia, a member state of the European Union, with about 5.5 million inhabitants.