The Latest: Slovakia Wants Tests For Nearly All In Nine Days

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Photo credit Travellers walk towards the Covid-19 testing centre at Heathrow Airport in London, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. The UK will close all travel corridors from Monday morning to protect against the coronavirus with travellers entering the country from overseas are required to have proof of a negative Covid test. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Slovakia is launching a project to test almost all citizens for the coronavirus in nine days.

The government hopes the nationwide testing will speed up a recovery from the latest wave of the infections, make it possible for students to return to school in February, help the health system and ease restrictions that harm the economy.

The nationwide testing is set to start Monday and will be completed on Jan. 26. It’s not mandatory, but all people who want to go to work will need to have a negative test for the coronavirus beginning Jan. 27.

Slovakia entered a tough lockdown before Christmas that includes a round-the-clock curfew.

The exceptions include necessary trips to work, to do business or see doctors. People are also allowed to do necessary shopping in the stores that are the closest to their homes.

Close to 3,500 people have died of the virus in the country of 5.4 million.