News digest: Coalition gets second chance one day before Easter holidays

A calculator will provide an estimation of when it will be your turn for vaccination. Journey by train between Bratislava and Prague will take longer.

(Source: TASR)

This is the Thursday, April 1, 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.

New government appointed

President Zuzana Čaputová has appointed Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) as the new prime minister of Slovakia.

She also appointed the new cabinet ministers, except for the labour minister. She did not give any detailed explanation for this but the media have been reporting about his past connection with former PM Vladimír Mečiar.

Čaputová said that the agreement of the four coalition parties on the new cabinet is only “the beginning of the journey.”

Most of the cabinet members remain in their former posts. The main changes were made to the position of health minister, which will be occupied by general and former director of Ružomberok hospital and to that of finance minister, which is now the remit of Igor Matovič who resigned as prime minister only on Tuesday. Matovič will now head a powerful department.

Easter holidays just around the corner

The Easter holidays start on April 2 and end on April 5. Pupils and students also have a holiday on April 6.

Most of the shops will be closed except on April 3 which is not a holiday. The anti-epidemic measures will stay in place, including the curfew which forbids people to be out after 20:00 with only a few exceptions. Travelling between districts is also banned.

Experts do not recommend visits however, authorities have allowed individual spiritual care and believers may visit churches, under strict restrictions.

It is also recommended that people should spend as much time as possible in the countryside in their localities but should not congregate in big groups. There is an exception for the inhabitants of Bratislava who can move around the whole Bratislava Region. Check our tips for outings.

These anti-Covid measures will apply to Slovakia this Easter Read more 

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • A New calculator will estimate when it will be your turn to get the vaccine. For example, a 35-year-old could be vaccinated in May.
  • Altogether 719,418 people have received their first Covid vaccine shot, and 262,071 have been vaccinated with a second dose as of March 31.
  • EU countries are discussing whether they will give up a certain amount of the Pfizer vaccine in Slovakia's favour. Slovakia would get 600,000 extra doses which could be enough to vaccinate 46 percent of population by the end of June. (Bloomberg)
  • The council of experts is negotiating the gradual opening of schools and commercial operations. According to Vladimír Krčméry, an infectologist and a council member, experts are also discussing the Covid automaton. Krčméry added that the testing strategy will be significantly revamped. More information should be available by April 11.

Feature story for today

This tiny common bird even serves as an indicator of environmental health and changes in the urban ecosystem. In other words, if our villages and towns provide enough food and nesting opportunities for sparrows, then they thrive. The tradition of International Bird Day on April 1 comes to central Slovakia.

Sparrows chirp of a healthy environment Read more 

Other news

  • Slovakia’s economy may grow by as much as 5 percent in 2021 and should return to its pre-crisis levels by the end of this year.
  • 86 percent of people participated in the electronic census a significant increase to the expectations of the statistics office which were assuming 70 percent. The most people who participated were in the Žilina Region, from towns in Banská Bystrica.
  • Dôvera insurees will receive only urgent healthcare from the University Hospital of Louis Pasteur in Košice. The hospital and the health insurer have not yet agreed on a contract.
  • More than 682,000 taxpayers fulfilled their legal duty and submitted their tax return on time, by March 31. More than 277,000 tax payers used the option to postpone the deadline for fulfilling this duty.
  • The train journey from Bratislava to Prague will now take 25 minutes longer The reason for this is modernisation of the track in the Czech Republic that will probably last until 2022. Train transport between the Czech Republic and Slovakia is limited due to pandemic.

Do not miss on today

Revenues receive a blow. Shops, restaurants and hotels report major gap Read more  Increasing number of people in Slovakia have encountered Covid Read more  Hong Kong protests inspired Slovak artist during his work on the film Justice League Read more 

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