As of Monday morning, all small retail shops and service providers with the exception of grocery shops, pharmacies, newsagents, veterinary ambulances, and shops selling animal food. Restaurants remain open but are not allowed to serve clients on their premises. The government has announced national emergency for state-run health care. Read more about the new measures.
17 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Slovakia on Sunday, March 15, increasing the total number to 61. The new cases are located in Bratislava (5 cases), Trenčín Region (5 cases), Nitra (3 cases), Trnava (1 case), Banská Bystrica (1 case), Martin (1 case), and Nové Zámky (1 case). At the same time, 1,375 total samples tested negative.
- Public health authorities have added an English version to a special coronavirus website, korona.gov.sk (click to go directly to the English version). The Slovak Spectator will make sure you will stay up to date with the latest news on coronavirus and measures taken in the country. Follow our coronavirus page.
- The State Material Reserves signed a deal to have 30 million surgical masks and other protection means be supplied to Slovakia within a week and a half, the head of the reserves administration, Kajetán Kičura, said, adding that this should be enough for all citizens. The reserves administration also plans to purchase several hundreds of thousand rapid tests, to be used for the public and for fire and police forces or railway staff. They also expect to get FFP2 and FFP3 respirators, machines for lung ventilation, COVID-19 diagnostic sets, disposable protective suits, protective glasses etc.
- More than 20,000 people might have returned to Slovakia between Thursday and Friday. The Foreign Affairs Ministry reported that they sent an SMS to Slovak mobile phone users outside the country on March 12 to 268,473 phones, and then another one on March 13 that went to 248,759 Slovak SIM cards abroad.
- Stricter measures apply in Austria now, the movement of people outside their homes was further limited. (Sme)
- Hungary reported its first coronavirus death, an elderly man died in Budapest.
“It is only and only up to us all what the course of the virus in Slovakia will be like. It is about responsibility, nothing else.”„
- Designated PM Igor Matovič expects his predecessor in the post, the outgoing PM Peter Pellegrini, to invite him to all meetings linked with the coronavirus outbreak in Slovakia. We must put politics aside given the situation, Matovič said on the Sunday political talk show. (RTVS)
- Slovakia should release money to aid companies suffering from the virus-induced limitations to business, ruling coalition politicians agreed on the political talk show on the news-only channel TA3. They believe the EU funds that Slovakia failed to draw in the previous programme period could be used to alleviate the situation of companies. Delays in paying payroll taxes are an option too.Richard Sulík, Boris Kollár on the left and Veronika Remišová and Eduard Heger on the right. (Source: TA3 printscreen)
- Devínska Nová Ves Mayor Dárius Krajčír calls on the governemnt to order the shut down of the Volkswagen plant in this municipal in western Bratislava. He argues 11,000 people work in the plant and "I do not believe all the hygienic and anti-epidemic measures are being observed". PM Peter Pellegrini admitted that Volkswagen Slovakia might stop its production on March 16, adding there is a suspicion that one of its employees is infected with the coronavirus. (SITA, SME)
- Volkswagen Slovakia confirmed in the press release sent to the media that it is preparing for the interruption of its production until further notice. It has not said yet when this will happen, but stressed that it be working on Monday, March 16.
- People without protective masks, scarves or other suitable alternatives will not be allowed to take city public transport in Nitra, Banská Bystrica, Trnava, Trenčín, and in the Bratislava Region.
- In Nitra, buses will follow the Saturday schedule as of Tuesday, March 18, while regional transport will follow the school holiday schedule.
- In the Bratislava Region, the Slovak Lines Regio carrier changed the schedule to the Saturday schedule as of Tuesday. Travellers will be let onto buses only through back doors and the first eight seats must be left empty. The company recommends buying bus tickets through the IDS BK app.