TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

The smart quarantine app is ready for use (news digest)

Ministers have warned of the underground water pollution near Bratislava.

The new app for smart quarantine.The new app for smart quarantine. (Source: SME)

This is your overview of news from Thursday, May 21, 2020.

Coronavirus in Slovakia

  • The number of patients testing positive with the coronavirus in Slovakia has exceeded 1,500. On the other hand, more than 1,240 people have recovered from the disease. Check out the more detailed statistics.
  • The app necessary for the smart quarantine is ready to be put into operation. Internal testing has been successful, the Government’s Office informed. It is now waiting for approval from the Apple and Google companies, but is still counting on launching the smart quarantine on Friday, May 22 at 15:00. However, the Government’s Office recommends people check the Korona.gov.sk website to see if it is functional.
  • Slovakia’s citizens will be allowed to enter Hungary for 24 hours without the need to undergo quarantine from the morning of Friday, May 22. Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Péter Szijjártó announced the government’s decision on Facebook. (TASR)
  • Slovakia will dispatch from Bratislava a convoy with humanitarian aid for Ukraine to fight the coronavirus on May 22 at 10:00. The convoy will transport surgical masks, disinfectant concentrate, portable tables and blankets. At the same time, the country will dispatch free emergency rescue service vehicles that will secure medical aid at the contact line in eastern Ukraine.
  • The hospitals in Košice-Šaca and Zvolen will start testing private payers. Those interested in testing will have to book a date by phone and pay €19 for the test.
  • Police officers detained a 21-year-old repatriate placed in quarantine in Kamenný Mlyn near Lozorno (Bratislava District) who left the state facility to receive a bottle of alcohol booked via a taxi service. He was fined €500.
  • Amnesty International sent an open letter to the Council of Europe, voicing its concerns over the treatment of people from Roma communities in Slovakia and Bulgaria during the coronavirus pandemic. They blame the authorities for not securing their access to clear, understandable and useful information about the conditions of mandatory quarantine. Moreover, they lack access to running water, hygienic equipment, food and health care. (SITA)

Political news

  • Environment Minister Ján Budaj and Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (both OĽaNO) have informed about the pollution of the underground water near Bratislava. It was polluted by the waste from an illegal landfill in Ivanka pri Dunaji.
  • The police have launched a mobile app aimed at helping people in difficult circumstances. In the initial phase, it will enable them to call for help in the case of domestic violence. The app is available only in the Trenčín Region for now. (TASR)

Business and economy news

  • A new commission will be created to deal with the changes to the pension, tax and payroll tax systems. The measures, introduced by Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (Sme Rodina) after the tripartite meeting, should help improve these areas and restart the economy. The commission is also expected to deal with the introduction of kurzarbeit as a permanent insurance model, like abroad.
  • Trnava-based carmaker Groupe PSA Slovakia will add a third shift from Monday, May 25. It will inform about its next steps on May 28.
  • The largest beer producer in Slovakia, the Heineken company, have suspended the Bradáč brewery project due to the coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant and brewery near the Danube with a price tag of €1.6 million was expected to be opened in the late autumn.
  • The second largest beer producer in Slovakia, Plzeňský Prazdroj, wants to offer one beer for free. The aim is to make people return to restaurants that sell its beer.
  • The Aid for Gastro initiative expects that nearly 15 percent of operations will not re-open. They ask for further state assistance, for example by reducing VAT on meals like the Czech Republic, or introducing vouchers for restaurants as in Vienna. (TASR)

Also on Spectator.sk today:

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