News digest: Coronavirus claims two more victims

Read an overview of news from Slovakia for Tuesday, August 18.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

To catch up with the latest news from Slovakia. Here's a news summary for August 18, and don't forget to scroll down to our tips for reads.
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Guidelines for schools revealed

“We're ready for a new school year,” Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS) announced on August 18 when presenting basic guidelines for opening schools in September.

Part of the new school year will be a so-called semaphore warning system.

All schools will open on September 2, and all children are obliged to attend. Masks will be mandatory for older pupils.

Slovakia stands by Belarus

Belarusian Ambassador to Slovakia, Igor Alexandrovich Leshchenya, has decided to resign from his post following his support for protests in Belarus.

Even though it is not a common practice to comment on the staff matters of other countries, Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) said: “Given his previous political statement criticising the actions of Belarusian leadership, which he has represented so far, it is a logical step.”

Meanwhile, nearly 60 MPs from all four coalition parties, as well as nine MEPs, have signed the We Stand for a Free Belarus call. Tonight at 21:00, Bratislava Castle will be coloured in white and red to show solidarity with protesters in Belarus.

Coronavirus developments in Slovakia

  • The coronavirus disease has claimed two more victims, increasing the total number to 33. An 80-year-old patient hospitalised in Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Košice, and a 79-year-old man from Spišská Belá, hospitalised at Ján Adam Reiman University Hospital in Prešov, have been described as the latest victims of the disease. See the latest developments in graphs.
  • People working in the creative industries sector consider the planned anti-epidemic measures, such as a ban on mass events from September 1 to October 1, discriminatory. Various associations have agreed that the pandemic has hit creative industries the hardest and new measures will not help at all.
  • Responding to the deteriorating epidemic situation in the Trenčín Region, the authorities have decided on adopting precautions to stop the coronavirus from spreading in the districts of Trenčín, Bánovce nad Bebravou and Nové Mesto nad Váhom. Starting on August 20, visits to hospitals and nursing care facilities and mass events in exteriors for more than 500 people and in interiors for more than 250 people will be banned.

In other news

  • Photographer Tomáš Slovinský observed a Perseid meteor shower, counting about 100 meteors, in the village of Nová Sedlica, the easternmost geographical point of Slovakia. Because of very low light pollution, the place is known for one of the clearest night skies in the country.

  • The Slovak Go2Sky company, which has leased four Boeing 737-800s, is closing down its business. The crisis in the aviation industry caused by the coronavirus pandemic has become fatal for the company. (Index)

  • Three companies have made it to the final round of a public procurement on the construction of the cross-country D1 stretch in northern Slovakia, which includes Višňové tunnel, worth €261 million. This includes the consortium of Strabag and Doprastav, Váhostav and TuCon; Skanska; and Metrostav. The Spanish company Ferrovial, the constructor of the Bratislava ring road, was excluded.

  • The Slovak beekeeping sector has reported the biggest drop in honey production in the last three decades as a result of weather changes.

  • The Trnava Self-Governing Region will launch a new bus line between Dunajská Streda and Bratislava on September 2. It will use the recently-opened stretches of the R7 express dual-carriageway, with the journey lasting less than 50 minutes.

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