This is the Tuesday, April 27, 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.
The cabinet has agreed on extending the national emergency by another 30 days, meaning it can stay in place until at least May 28.
This means that the curfew will also continue, although evening restrictions will start later, at 21:00 (instead of 20:00). At the same time, parents will not be required to show a negative Covid-19 test when accompanying their children to schools.
The new rules will come into force on Thursday, April 29.
The cabinet also approved prolonging the ban for travelling abroad for holiday purposes by another month.
Responding to the changed evening curfew hours, retail chains Lidl, Billa, Tesco, Kaufland and Terno have already said that they will close at 21:00 the latest from Thursday.
Anyone older than 16 years will be allowed to register for the Covid vaccination from this Thursday, April 29. The plan was announced by Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) during a political talk show by the private broadcaster TV Markíza, Na Telo Plus.
Currently, the registration form is open for people aged 40+, as well as some special categories like healthcare employees, nursing home staff, in-field workers and people working at mobile testing sites.
The appointment should be given based on the applicant's age or disease. It is still not possible to choose one's preferred vaccine.
Lengvarský also said that Russians have asked for the return of the Sputnik V vaccines samples currently in Slovakia, so that they can be checked in their own labs. As a result, the vaccine will probably not be administered in Slovakia for another month.
More vaccination and coronavirus news
- Labs carried out 8,285 PCR tests on April 26, 488 were positive (5.89 percent). They also conducted 175,910 antigen tests, of which 571 (or 0.32 percent) were positive.
- People were allowed to return to the tribunes of five professional sports from April 27. Their number cannot exceed 2,000 people in the case of outdoor events and 1,000 in indoor events. Two tests (a negative PCR or LAMP test no older than 36 hours and an antigen test no older than 12 hours) and a respirator will be required.
- Less than 0.5 percent of people have been infected with the coronavirus after vaccination in Slovakia, according to the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) data. It registered only 609 such cases after more than 14 days after receiving the second vaccine shot.
- The Indian coronavirus strain has not been confirmed in Slovakia, the ÚVZ claimed.
- Parents and older pupils will not have to show a negative Covid-19 test when going to school, unless it is in the black tier district, from April 29.
- As many as 61 percent of respondents from Slovakia who participated in a new Vaccination Trends study conducted by the Globsec think tank would get vaccinated, quite an increase compared to October 2020, when only 36 percent said they would be willing to receive a jab.
PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) went to Brussels for his first official visit as prime minister. He has met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and other high-ranked European representatives.
The Slovak Recovery and Resilience Plan received positive feedback in Brussels, Heger said. He and von der Leyen also discussed the distribution of vaccines.
"When distributing vaccines against Covid-19, the European Union should take into account the vaccination rates in a given country," Heger opined. "The distribution should also reflect the number of vaccines available to countries to vaccinate their population."
Feature story for today
Bratislava's new downtown, a neighbourhood of high-rise buildings encompassing Eurovea, Sky Park and other projects in the former industrial district, is gradually gaining its final shape. Yet the routing of the tram line to service this area remains undecided.
In other news
- The government is to offer €3 million in funding from the prime minister’s reserve fund to centres that help domestic abuse victims, as PM Eduard Heger and Finance Minister Igor Matovič (both OĽaNO) have announced.
- The number of weddings slumped during the pandemic year. In 2020, there were the fewest weddings since the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918.
- Battery manufacturer InoBat Auto will supply electrical batteries to SOR Libchavy buses, starting in 2023. It is the first agreement of its kind, the company said.
- President Zuzana Čaputová accepted credentials from the new Ambassador of Bulgaria, Vassil Petkov, and the new Ambassador of Turkey, Yunus Demirer.
- Slovakia will send almost €100,000 as humanitarian aid for the people in Ethiopia. The aim of the collection, organised by several NGOs, is to help the inhabitants impacted by a war conflict in the north of the country.
- Meteorologists from the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) warn that temperatures may drop to -3 Celsius degrees in central and eastern Slovakia. The warning applies from midnight of April 28 until 7:00 for the districts of the Žilina Region, Banská Bystrica Region, Košice Region and Prešov Region.
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