News digest: Vaccination open to everyone, tens of thousands have applied

Rules for curfew change from May 3. Shops will be closed on the first two Saturdays in May.

People in Košice (Source: TASR)

This is the Thursday, April 29, 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.

Rules for curfew change

The epidemic situation in Slovakia keeps improving and the cabinet have decided to lift some measures based on the current Covid-automat warning system.

Starting next Monday, May 3, only districts in the dark red tier will keep curfew rules between 5:00 and 1:00.

Districts in the red and light red tiers will only have evening curfew, meaning that there will be restrictions between 21:00 and 1:00.

In all districts, whether dark red, red or light red, people should be home by 21:00.

This means that people in the red and light red tiers may, for example, visit each other during the day, which was not allowed previously. Moreover, prison visits have also been allowed.

Other measures regarding shops, services, restaurant terraces and cafés, including wearing masks and respirators, stay in place. The shopping hours for seniors and significantly handicapped people will be scrapped from May 9.

Curfew rules will change. Most restrictions will be kept only in districts in a bad situation Read more 

Thousands of people apply for vaccination

Registration for Covid vaccinations opened on April 29 for everyone 16 years or over. The National Centre for Health Information (NCZI) reported that by Thursday morning, 77,126 people between 16 and 40 had already signed up for registration.

The most numerous category are people between 18 and 30 with 35,075 people registered, followed by 18,803 people in the age category 30 to 35 and 18,290 people aged between 35 and 40. In age category 16-18, 4,958 people registered.

When registering, people can choose the district (one or more) where they want to be vaccinated rather than a specific vaccination centre. Some people reported on social networks that they received an appointment almost immediately after signing up for Košice or Revúca. A 16-year-old has been invited to get a Pfizer jab in Bardejov.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • More than a million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines should arrive in Slovakia by the end of May. The Health Ministry also expects 200,000 doses of AstraZeneca, 159,200 of Moderna and 46,500 of Johnson&Johnson.
  • The large scale vaccination centre in Bratislava plans to increase its capacity. The vaccinations started on April 29 and will continue until May 3 instead of the regular weekend vaccination schedule.

Feature story for today

25 years have passed since the murder of Robert Remiáš, a police officer and the best friend of Oskar Fegyveres, a former Slovak Information Service (SIS) officer who was the principal witness to the 1995 kidnapping of Michal Kováč Jr., the son of the sitting president.

Read more in a story from our archiveRemiáš murder resurfaces Read more 

Photo for today

Devín Castle opened for visitors together with other museums and galleries.

Other news

  • Shops will be closed on May 1 and 8 because of the state holidays.
  • The Finnish company Peikko, which employs 350 people in Slovakia at a plant in Kráľová nad Váhom, is planning to invest €3 million in the further streamlining and automation of production and the expansion of production facilities and is looking for people to resume a third shift in the production of steel beams for building structures.
  • The proposal for the programme statement of the new government is mostly the same as the programme statement of the previous government of Igor Matovič. PM Eduard Heger said that ministers have removed the things they have already completed. Parliament will debate the statement on April 29.
  • In April, the economic sentiment in Slovakia was significantly more optimistic than last month. The seasonally adjusted economic sentiment indicator (ESI), increased by 18.7 points to 104.3, thus reaching its highest level since March 2018 and surpassing the level immediately before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The belief that the quality of democracy has a positive impact on people’s living standards is more widespread among Slovakia’s inhabitants now than it was five years ago.

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