Hundreds in Slovak capital block traffic in protest against vaccination law


PRAGUE (Reuters) - Hundreds of people blocked traffic in the centre of Slovak capital Bratislava, protesting against a law which gives those who have had the COVID-19 vaccine easier access to public events and spaces, Slovak media reported on Thursday.

The law, which requires people who haven't been inoculated to take a test for such access, was approved by parliament on Sunday and signed by President Zuzana Caputova on Monday.

Slovakia joins a growing number of countries who also stipulate that a vaccine, or a negative test, will be needed for venues such as cinemas, restaurants and other closed spaces.

Small groups of protesters started arriving to a square in front of Caputova's official residence in the morning, with their numbers rising throughout the day, the Dennik N daily reported.

The protest, while peaceful, has disrupted traffic in the whole city, but the police have not moved to disperse the crowd.

A similar protest took place last Friday outside parliament, where riot police fired teargas at people who blocked the entrance and pelted the building with eggs.

As of Thursday, 35.7% of the population was fully vaccinated, data from Johns Hopkins University showed. That is one of the lowest per capita rates in the European Union.

(Reporting by Robert Muller; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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