News digest: State of emergency continues, vaccine denied to some foreigners

Not all foreigners living in Slovakia have access to the country's vaccination rollout. Interpol releases wanted Slovak national.

(Source: TASR)

This is the Friday, February 26, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. Learn about politics, business, and other notable events of the day in Slovakia in less than five minutes. If you like what we are doing and want to support good journalism, buy our online subscription. Thank you.

Check out our tips for outings and news from the Slovak culture in the latest Spectacular Slovakia roundup.

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Not all foreigners have access to the vaccine

The Covid-19 vaccination is not accessible to everyone in Slovakia. A 75-year-old Iranian who has been residing in Slovakia since 2016 has learned this the hard way.

Soon after his age group, 75+, became eligible for the Covid-19 jab in January, he registered for vaccination. Since the appointments for vaccinations are scarce and fill up quickly in Bratislava where he lives, he travelled to the western-Slovak town of Malacky, about 40 km from the capital.

The problem is his insurance is not the public health insurance provided by the state or one of the two private health insurers. His has the so-called commercial health insurance, often the only option for foreigners in Slovakia who are not entitled to public health insurance for some reason. Commercial insurance covers basic health care, but not the Covid-19 vaccine.

Some foreigners not entitled to Covid-19 vaccine. Type of insurance matters Read more 

MPs prolong state of emergency

Parliament has voted to prolong the state of emergency by another 40 days, following the cabinet's decision on February 8. The government's proposal passed with the votes of 83 of the 118 MPs who were present. Approval from parliament is required within 20 days of the cabinet announcing a state of emergency.

Marián Viskupič (SaS) was the only coalition MP who voted against the proposal.

The opposition refused to support the prolonged state of emergency, arguing there has been no analysis of the measures that have been taken or a plan of what should be done next. They say many of the measures that are in place could be taken without the country being in a state of emergency, the TASR newswire reported.

As of Monday, 20 of Slovakia's districts will be marked as black-tier districts, the highest-level alert. This is what it means for the people living there.

Picture of the day

Thursday was an extremely warm day for a February in Slovakia. In some places meteorologists measured temperatures of up to 20 degrees Celsius. (SHMÚ)

In other news

  • Interpol has released entrepreneur Michal Suchoba, who faces charges in the Mýtnik (Toll Collector) case. Suchoba was detained in the United Arab Emirates on February 17. The Sme daily now reports that he was subsequently released after Interpol seized his passport to prevent him from leaving the country. Slovakia is expected to request his extradition soon.
  • The UK government have donated 67 new germicidal lamps to Slovakia to help counter the coronavirus pandemic. The armed forces will use them in the Central Military Hospital in Ružomberok and at the testing sites they operate around the country.
  • Poland will receive ten Covid patients who are in a serious condition from Slovakia, to be admitted to the hospital in Nowy Targ.
  • Slovakia supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry stated at the seventh anniversary of the Crimea annexation.

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