Slovakia will shut most of its schools and require the population to stay home apart from work, essential shopping and nature trips, in a partial lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Thursday. After getting through the first wave of the global pandemic with one of the lowest infection rates in Europe, Slovakia is facing a surge of new cases, forcing it to bring back restrictions. “This is the last way to avoid a total lockdown that many other countries have gone for,” Matovic told reporters. “This wave that has arrived is 100 times bigger than the first one.” Most schools will close for a month from Monday, Matovic said. Even tougher lockdown rules will apply in the four most severely affected districts. The new measures add to existing restrictions that ban indoor dining at restaurants and close public venues such as pools, fitness clubs and theatres.