TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

News digest: Should we prepare for hard lockdown?

Terraces have been closed. Police officers who allegedly beat Roma not guilty. Kia Motors Slovakia manufactured the one-millionth Sportage.

A closed terrace in Bratislava. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia that happened on Friday, December 11, 2020. This is a free-of-charge service for our readers. If you want to support us, become a subscriber and get access to more detailed news and interesting feature stories from Slovakia.

Police officers who allegedly beat Roma not guilty

The Košice Regional Court acquitted 10 police officers who reportedly bullied a group of Roma boys from Lunik IX back in 2009.

It in fact turned down a complaint submitted by the prosecutor and accepted a verdict issued by a lower-instance court last December. The court senate said at the time that it had not been proven that the deed for which the defendants are prosecuted happened.

The case thus ends after more than 11 years.

The lawyer representing the Roma was critical of the verdict, though. Due to the lengthy proceeding, her clients have already turned to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Related articleCourt acquits police officers who reportedly bullied Roma boysRead more 

Slovakia may switch to hard lockdown

The closure of restaurants, schools and shops announced on December 9 by PM Igor Matovič and Health Minister Marek Krajčí (both OĽaNO) came too late. It will not help us stop the spread of the coronavirus infection before Christmas, experts agree.

The Sme daily spoke with chief epidemiologist Henrieta Hudečková, data analysts Richard Kollár and Ivan Bošňák, and doctor and member of the central crisis staff Peter Visolajský, asking them to evaluate the recently adopted measures and whether they are sufficient to reverse the rising trend.

Due to the increasing number of patients in hospitals, Slovakia will probably have to adopt a hard lockdown with a curfew and restrictions on travel at least in the hardest-hit areas during the weekend. One such territory is Upper Považie.

Related articleWe should prepare for hard lockdown, experts sayRead more 

Meanwhile, hygienists agreed on toughening up restrictions in seven districts of theTrenčín Region as of Saturday, December 12. This is what changes:

  • Ban on organising occasional markets and meetings linked to eating and drinking, including for groups smaller than six people. Family meetings with direct relatives have an exception.
  • Ban on mass cultural events held inside. Every second row should be empty, while there should be an empty seat between the participants.
  • Masses in churches can be held only with seated participants. Their number cannot exceed one person per 15 square metres. Every second row should be empty, while there should be an empty seat between the participants.

The restrictions apply to the districts of Trenčín, Nové Mesto nad Váhom, Bánovce nad Bebravou, Myjava, Považská Bystrica, Púchov and Ilava.

Other coronavirus-related news

  • 2,166 people were diagnosed with the coronavirus out of 10,938 tested on December 10. Another 18 have died.
  • Pupils of grades five-nine of primary schools and secondary school students will be required to show a negative test result no older than 14 days when attending in-person classes. Until now, the tests could not be older than seven days. At the same time, children from a socially disadvantaged environment will not be required to show any negative test results.
  • People from Slovakia can enter Bulgaria without a negative test result or the need to undergo isolation. The same conditions are applied when Slovak citizens travel from Bulgaria to EU countries, the UK and the Schengen Zone countries including San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican.
  • The police carried out nearly 1,200 inspections in restaurants and 42 inspections in fitness centres, and revealed violations of the currently valid rules in 26 cases. The most were revealed in the Banská Bystrica Region (10) and Nitra Region (6).

Picture of the day:

Restaurants, bars, cafés and other facilities providing food and drinks had to close their outdoor terraces on December 11. Takeaways are allowed.

Feature story for today:

Homeless facing harder winter during pandemic

Slovakia’s homeless are facing a more difficult winter than usual as the coronavirus crisis continues, NGOs helping them have warned.

Existing COVID measures have already brought extra hardship for people living on the streets this year - quarantines and lockdowns have meant fewer donations from passers-by, and services provided by organisations helping them have been limited, leaving some struggling to get money for shelter or food.

With current restrictions about to be tightened as a three-week lockdown comes into force on December 21, aid groups working with the homeless say they fear this winter will be harder than usual for many people without a home.

Related articleHomeless facing harder winter during pandemic Read more 

In other news

  • The US Embassy awarded three Slovak personalities on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day. Eva Mosnáková, Monika Tódová and Jaroslav Macek received an award for their extraordinary contribution to the pursuit of human rights and transparency.
  • Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok called the agreement of EU leaders on the EU budget and the recovery fund a victory for everybody, particularly the Slovak citizens and the entire EU.
  • MPs are expected to vote for the new special prosecutor at the session starting on January 26, 2021. The previous special prosecutor Dušan Kováčik resigned from the post after being detained and charged with corruption-related crimes.
  • Police detained several mayors of the Bratislava Region on Thursday, December 10. The operation pertains to the machinations during a public auction and public procurement, and damage to the EU financial interests.
  • Žilina-based Kia Motors Slovakia manufactured the one-millionth Sportage model of the fourth generation in December 2020. The current version has been in production since late 2015.
  • Employment in October 2020 rose only in selected market services, while other sectors reported an annual drop. The negative trend was most obvious in accommodation services and gastronomy. The salaries developed better, although they fell in accommodation and construction sectors. (Statistics Office)

Weekend read tips:

Related articleVirtual tour shows more of Bratislava than a classical one Read more 

Related articleSlovaks give up too early. They must be like Vlhová to win, ex-ballet dancer says Read more 

Related articleCloseting, inhumane therapies and pink files on LGBT+ people: ‘Communism with a Gay Face’ Read more 

Theme: Today in Slovakia

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