News digest: Rules for September and Slovaks' hesitancy about foreigners

Read your overview of news on Friday, August 28, 2020.

People cycling in PrešovPeople cycling in Prešov (Source: TASR)

Read your overview of news from Slovakia on the last Friday of August 2020. If you appreciate our work and want to support good journalism, buy our online subscription. Thank you for being our readers.

Red list extended and compulsory isolation rules change

Ahead of the start of the school year next Wednesday, the authorities have extended the list of countries that Slovakia views as high risk. People arriving from a country on this red list are required to self-isolate and take a COVID-19 test not earlier than on the fifth day after they enter Slovakia.

The authorities expect the testing capacities to be overwhelmed after holidaymakers return in the first weeks of September and have changed the rules for self-isolation as a consequence.

Health Minister Marek Krajčí, chief hygienist Ján Mikas and the council of epidemiologists announced the new measures late evening on Thursday. They are to become effective as of September 1.

Related articleNew countries on the red list, quarantine shortened Read more 

Poll: Slovaks have yet to embrace diversity

A recent poll carried out by the Focus poll agency for the Milan Šimečka Foundation has found nearly half of 1,009 respondents would want to talk to a foreign neighbour but Slovaks would prefer Ukrainians to Saudis and Afghans as neighbours. However, only about 30 percent of those polled would consider spending more time with them.

The poll - carried out on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the [fjúžn] festival - has shown, in addition, that nearly 10 percent of Slovaks would consider moving away if a foreigner were their neighbour.

Related articleSlovaks have not fully embraced diversity yet Read more 

Cycling still a long way from being a full-fledged means of transport

Cycling remains a popular pastime rather than a practical means of transport for commuting.

This remains true despite the fact that the coronavirus situation has resulted in record sales of bikes in Slovakia and some have already chosen the bicycle as a way to minimise their contact with people on their commute to work.

This mental setup is mirrored in the cycling infrastructure in Slovakia: most regions boast a network of recreational cycling routes, bringing people to nature. The Transport Ministry admits that the network of cycling routes that people could use to commute to work, schools or shops is not as dense and this infrastructure requires more support.

Related articleCycling in Slovakia: A free-time activity rather than means of transport Read more 

Some practical info ahead of the weekend:

  • Shops will be closed this Saturday, August 29 and on Tuesday, September 1.
  • The old road from Bratislava to Senec will be closed in the vicinity of the Metro store from Friday 22:00 until Wednesday, September 1 at 4:00. The road closure is due to works on the construction of the D4 highway.

What to do and what to read this weekend:

Check out our Spectacular Slovakia weekly newsletter for news from culture and tips for trips. You can also browse through our Travel section for more travel tips.

Spectacular Slovakia:Origins of SNP Bridge, Muppets Tonight, and forgotten biscuits Read more 

Baker of legendary rolls tries a forgotten Bratislava delicacy Read more 

Fulbright Program remains with people long after they return home Read more 

Listen to our podcast‘I pretended I wasn’t Roma to avoid being pointed out’ Read more 

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