BRATISLAVA: Following four months of lockdown in Slovakia to combat one of the world's highest per capita Covid death rates, shops re-opened in the EU member on Monday bringing crowds onto the streets.
Despite the rainy weather, the streets of the capital Bratislava were filled as residents tried to catch up on shopping after the lengthy closures.
Hairdressers were in particularly high demand.
Churches, museums, libraries and swimming pools also re-opened on Monday, as well as hotels.
Slovaks still have to wear masks inside shops and have to produce a negative antigen test to enter shops but these documents are now rarely checked.
"In the morning we started to control people but afterwards there were too many of them, so now we do it only randomly," Marta Juriova, a shoe shop manager, told AFP.
The easing of restrictions comes as the eurozone country as recently seen a decrease in new coronavirus cases and deaths.
On Monday, it reported 93 new infections, bringing the total to 376,067. The daily death toll was 66, bringing the total to 11,172.
Only weeks ago, Slovakia had the world's highest rate of Covid deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. –AFP