Non-vaccinated could attend meetings with Pope Francis

Non-vaccinated could attend meetings with Pope Francis

Access to public meetings with Pope Francis in Prešov, Košice and Šaštín will be granted not only for the vaccinated as planned, but instead the organizers switched to 'OTP' mode (meaning access for the vaccinated, tested and those who have overcome COVID-19), the Episcopal Conference of Slovakia (KBS) announced. Non-vaccinated visitors will need to register on the website, due to be launched as of September 6.

According to the KBS "OTP visitors coming to see the Pope will have their own sectors with separate entrances, in full compliance with health regulations. The fully vaccinated, who will have their separate points of entry can decide freely whether to go to the sector for fully vaccinated or the OTP sector," stated the KBS press department.

The revision of the decision sparked disagreements. It was welcomed by the coalition's 'We Are Family' and Freedom and Solidarity party parties as well as the opposition's Voice-SD, but received scathing criticism from Ordinary People MP Andrej Stančík, who views the relaxed measures as irresponsible and counterproductive in the face of the epidemiological situation.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger said he had not interfered in any shape or form with rules governing attendance at public events. "These were decisions by the organiser, the Episcopal Conference of Slovakia (KBS), which must act in compliance with the directives of the Public Health Office (UVZ)," said the PM's spokesperson Ľubica Janíková.

Pope Francis is slated to visit Slovakia on September 12-15.

Mojmir Prochazka, Photo: TASR

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