Only vaccinated allowed during Pope’s Slovakia visit

Only fully vaccinated faithful will be allowed to attend public events during Pope Francis’s visit to Slovakia, officials said on Tuesday, according to Slovak media reports.

“We have been informed that from a security point of view and in terms of technical possibilities, this is the only real way not to radically limit the number of participants,” Stanislav Zvolensky, archbishop of Bratislava, was quoted as saying.

Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky said the aim was to “enable as many people… as possible to participate”.

The pope has been vaccinated and has urged people to get the jab, calling opposition to vaccines “a suicidal denial”.

The pope has also called for vaccines to be shared with the poorest countries in the world, saying they were “an essential tool” in the fight against the pandemic.

Francis has said he will visit Slovakia from September 12 to 15 after a brief stop in Hungary to celebrate a mass in Budapest.

Francis’s visit to Slovakia will include the cities of Bratislava, Presov, Kosice and Sastin, the Vatican has said.