Smart quarantine still only tested (news digest)

Slovakia continues easing restrictive coronavirus measures, while carmakers renew operation. Read the overview of news from May 18.

The sellers of Nota Bene newspaper returned to the streets.The sellers of Nota Bene newspaper returned to the streets. (Source: SITA)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Monday, May 18.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.
For your overview of last week’s events, read Last Week in Slovakia.

Coronavirus in Slovakia

- Only one of nearly 1,000 tests carried out on May 17 was positive.

- PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) and a team of experts introduced the plan for easing the coronavirus measures in the fourth phase, with many becoming effective on May 20. Schools and kindergartens will open too, but only on June 1.

It’s important for us to feel that our shared sacrifice in the form of restricted social contacts and respecting strict hygienic measures was meaningful.

President Zuzana Čaputová comments on relaxing the measures within the fourth phase.

- Smart quarantine has not been launched yet. Responding to the demands of several Slovaks who came to the borders asking for smart quarantine, the Government’s Office said that they are still testing it. The public will be informed about launching the smart quarantine at a press conference. Martin Klus, state secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said that the launch is a question of no more than three days.

- Austria cancelled the controls at borders with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary at midnight between May 16 and 17. When entering Slovakia, however, the border controls and mandatory state quarantine are still in place. (TASR)

- The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair plans to renew regular flights to and from the Bratislava airport in July 2020. It wants to relaunch about 40 percent of its flights within the European network, which is why flights from Bratislava will be reduced. Other carriers like Wizz Air, Air Cairo, Flydubai and Cyprus Airways want to restore their flights, but the final word will belong to the Slovak authorities. (

- The sellers of the Nota Bene newspaper have returned to the streets of Bratislava after two months. The newspaper is shrinkwrapped and sellers regularly disinfect their hands.

News in politics

- The trial in the murder case of investigative reporter Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová continued on May 18. The court agreed with reading from the Threema communication on May 19.

- The police quarreled over the responsibility for not analysing the communication found on the phone of Italian mobster Antonino Vadala.

- The Defence Ministry has cancelled the public procurement of multipurpose 4x4 vehicles. It also asked the Public Procurement Office to withdraw its complaint against its decision concerning the tender. (TASR)

- Slovakia will send humanitarian financial aid of €80,000 to the Western Balkans. The money will be used to purchase protective equipment and medical devices for hospitals in Serbia and Montenegro. (SITA)

- Slovak soldiers will continue with the NATO mission in the Baltic countries. The government approved the prolonging of their mandate that was to expire on June 30. Slovakia will deploy another 152 soldiers. (TASR)

Economic and business news

- Finance Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) said that he cannot imagine the state paying 13th pensions to seniors this year. The Smer party adopted the respective law, according to which seniors were to receive €460, shortly before the elections. (Markíza)

- The government adopted the programme of stability on May 18. The budget deficit should amount to 8.4 percent of GDP this year, and drop to 2.9 percent by 2023.

- Slovakia borrowed €642.5 million in four state bonds auctions. The bonds are repayable in seven, 10 and 27 years. The average interest rate for 7-year maturity was 0.35 percent, while in the case of 10-year maturity it amounted to 0.62 and 0.67 percent, and 1.01 percent in the case of 27-year maturity. (ARDAL)

- Nitra-based carmaker Jaguar Land Rover renewed its operation on May 18. At the same time, Bratislava-based Volkswagen Slovakia extended its production to two shifts, using all its production lines.

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