News digest: Testing is go, several MPs positive

Slovakia-style lockdown starts tomorrow. Take a look at the latest development in our news digest.

Disinfecting the testing site in Trstená, Orava. (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Friday, October 23, 2020. If you enjoy our service and would like to help us continue bringing news from Slovakia you can trust, become a subscriber today and get access to more detailed news and interesting feature stories.

Nationwide testing has started

Testing sites opened in four northern districts of Slovakia on Friday morning, some with delays. This weekend, locals will be able to attend free-of-charge antigen testing as part of the pilot phase of the nationwide testing.

Those who fail to attend will need to stay quarantined at home for ten days.

Thousands of people were tested on the first day of testing. Some lucky ones in Bardejov were tested by the health minister personally.

More on testing and coronavirus in Slovakia:

Related articleNo test, no work. Employees will have to take paid or unpaid leave Read more 
  • PM Igor Matovič said on Radio Express that if the numbers do not start going down after the testing and curfew, Slovakia will need to go into a hard lockdown.
  • The certificates for those who test negative during the nationwide testing are provided by the Mincovňa Kremnica mint, within an order worth €459,000 excluding VAT. This includes 10 million certificates for all three phases of the testing.
  • The parliamentary session was interrupted and postponed until Tuesday, October 27, after several MPs tested positive. Most MPs and parliament staff are getting tested after ĽSNS MP Marian Kotleba announced he tested positive on Thursday.

Picture of the day:

Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) signed a joint declaration on Slovak-US cooperation in building secure 5G networks. At the meeting with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on October 22 they discussed transatlantic cooperation and Slovak-US relations.

Feature story for today:

Anyone who has ever wandered through a Slovak forest has almost certainly seen them – squares with three horizontal stripes, two white and one coloured in between them.

These trail markings guide hikers to mountain tops or other destinations.

But while they may look simple, there is actually a complex “science” behind them, as Stanislav Kučera, who has been drawing these signs for six decades, explained to The Slovak Spectator.

Related articleTrails and tribulations: the important work of Slovakia’s unpaid hiking route markers Read more 

More newsworthy moments:

Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik, who was arrested by the police on Thursday, faces corruption and other charges. He has also been suspended as prosecutor, the first deputy general prosecutor, now acting general prosecutor Viera Kováčiková, decided.

At 3 AM on Sunday morning, we will move the clock one hour back to 2 PM, to Central European Time. The change will affect night trains: fast trains 614/615 Zemplín will stand still for one hour on Sunday night, the ZSSK railway operator informed.

The Bratislava plant of Volkswagen Slovakia launched the production of the SUV Škoda Karoq, the ninth model in its portfolio.

Some weekend reads for subscribers:

Spectacular Slovakia roundupAnniversary of the 1930 launch of President Masaryk into the Danube Read more  Related articleOne of Bratislava's oldest parks will regain its historical look Read more  Related articleSlovakia's best-selling thriller writer: I fear a fragmented society more than the themes of my books Read more 

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