TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

Slovakia has two coronavirus victims (news digest)

The government toughens up measures on the movement of people at its April 6 session.

President Zuzana Čaputová met with PM Igor Matovič (r) and Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (l) on April 6.President Zuzana Čaputová met with PM Igor Matovič (r) and Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (l) on April 6. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from April 6.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.
Read more about the measures currently in place in Slovakia.
For your overview of last week’s events, read Last Week in Slovakia.

Coronavirus in Slovakia (updates)

- Two people in Slovakia have died of the coronavirus. The second victim is a woman older than 65 years who tested positively for the coronavirus, was on a ventilator and suffered from various complications.

- President Zuzana Čaputová met with PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) and Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina). She welcomed the recommendations of experts for the government to limit the movement of people during Easter, and helped people who observe strict rules. She asked them to continue being disciplined. She also stressed it is important for government representatives to present more constructive solutions and less proposals to the public.

Coronavirus measures during Easter

- The government has approved restrictions on the free movement of people during Easter, which effectively bans people from moving around. It will apply from April 8 at 0:00 until April 13 at 23:59. It does not concern people travelling to work, do their shopping, visiting a medical facility or going to nature within the district they live in, or travelling to care for a relative. In the case of Bratislava and Košice, the restrictions apply for the territory of the entire city. The government also approved a ban on the gathering of several people except for members of the same household. Read more here.

It’s a serious decision that has no parallel in Slovakia’s history.

PM Igor Matovič on restricting the free movement of people during Easter.

- Public masses remain banned during Easter. Only officiants and their assistants or technicians ensuring a broadcast to believers can attend private mass. Churches may be opened at times masses are not held, and people can visit them only when wearing a mask or supplements.

- Suburban bus service in eastern Slovakia will not operate during Easter. As Milan Majerský, governor of the Prešov Self-Governing Region, declared, all lines will be cancelled between April 10 and April 13.

Other coronavirus measures in Slovakia

- Slovakia will restore controls on the borders with Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland between April 8 and 17. The government also defined the border crossings people will be able to use during this period.

- Chief hygienist issued new instructions concerning coronavirus testing and expanded the group of people who can be tested. Under the new rules, those who have a body temperature of over 38 degrees Celsius for more than four days will be sent for testing, even though they do not have a travel anamnesis and were not in contact with an infected person. The testing of seniors will increase. Anyone older than 65 years will be sent for testing if they have symptoms of the respiratory disease. (Denník N)

- Primary school teachers will not provide any grades to pupils until the end of the school year, starting on April 6. The National Institute for Education (ŠPÚ) recommends teachers to use a verbal evaluation. At the same time, pupils cannot fail and repeat a grade. As for secondary schools, teachers can still use grades but these cannot be lower if there are objective reasons as to why students cannot attend supplementary education, like no internet access. The ŠPÚ recommends adding a verbal evaluation.

- The government approved the increase in the monthly contribution for reception centres from €120 to €150. The Labour Ministry also proposes giving the contribution to every bed in a social care facility regardless of being vacant or not.

- The public cemetery and crematorium in Košice will remain closed to the public in the following days, with the exception of funerals. The reason is that the visitation rate was similar to that during All Saints’ Day, with about 1,000 people daily.

Coronavirus in business

- The PPS company from Detva (Banská Bystrica Region) will dismiss its entire staff. This concerns 736 permanent employees, as well as people hired through agencies and the self-employed (about 1,000 people in total). The reason is a drop in orders and slump in revenues. The company will suspend its production and close its gates on April 9 (Hnonline.sk)

- The production in the Trnava-based carmaker Groupe PSA Slovakia, suspended on March 19, will not be restored before April 12. (TASR)

- The Chirana T. Injecta company, based in the town of Stará Turá (Trenčín Region), is ready to produce needles in the case a vaccine against the coronavirus is developed. The state-run Administration of State Material Reserves started to be interested in needles only on March 31. The original ambitions of the state talked about tens of thousands of pieces. Head of the company Teodor Lysák expects the most massive vaccination in history. He said Slovakia would need a million and there is already indication of huge orders from abroad. (Hospodárske Noviny)

- The coronavirus pandemic has an increasing influence on the self-employed and small companies. The current limitations and concerns have influenced more than 90 percent of the providers of services, and 36 percent of them have already suspended their activities. This stems from the poll of the Wilio.sk platform and Slovenský Živnostenský Zväz carried out between March 24 and April 2, in which 924 self-proprietors and small entrepreneurs took part.

- President Zuzana Čaputová signed laws adopted by the parliament on April 3. They concern social measures and health care measures adopted in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

In other news

- Miroslav Marček, who killed investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová in February 2018 and businessman Peter Molnár in December 2016, was sentenced to 23 years in prison. The ruling is not valid yet as the prosecutor has appealed.

- President Zuzana Čaputová challenged the 13th pensions in the Constitutional Court, questioning the legislative process in which the law was adopted. (TASR)

- Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár said he did not know he had taken a picture with the members of the infamous Night Wolves motorcycle club on April 5, during the celebrations of Bratislava's liberation during WWII, held at the Slavín memorial. “I didn't heat any Russian,” he said, adding that he usually takes pictures with anybody who approaches him.

- Altogether 1,150 personal bankruptcies were declared in Slovakia in March. In the first quarter of 2020, the number of bankruptcies amounted to 3,636, which is 2.57 percent more annually. This stems from the data presented by the CRIF – Slovak Credit Bureau company.

- Slovakia borrowed €1.5 billion through quarterly and half-year vouchers.

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