Opponents of new Slovakia’s vaccination law block traffic in Bratislava

Photo: EPA Slovakia`s PM Eduard Heger during the EU summit, Brussels, 24 June 2021.

About 1,500 people demonstrating against Slovakia's coronavirus policies blocked traffic in Bratislava on Thursday, demanding the government to withdraw a new law on vaccination rules, news wires reported. Police said the protesters were blocking one of the most important thoroughfares in central Bratislava. Some of the protesters said they planned to stay through the night and into the days beyond.

The country's parliament passed a law on Sunday that would give health authorities the power to reinstitute restrictions for people not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in the event that infection rates begin to rise sharply.

That would mean those without vaccinations would need to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test to enter stores or head to work. The measure was signed into law on Monday.

Protesters were shouting for the government and the president to return power to "the people." Demonstrators cursed at journalists and accused police of serving a "dictatorship" that is implementing "apartheid," dpa reported. They said the law is setting up a two-class society: those who are vaccinated and those who aren't.

The country's two social democrat opposition parties voted against the measure and have since announced plans to file a lawsuit with the constitutional court, arguing that the law indirectly creates a requirement to vaccinate.

The right-wing extremist LSNS party is against all coronavirus rules and has repeatedly called the pandemic a "creation" to keep people under control.

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