News digest: Slovakia to switch to light red tier on Monday, anti-Covid measures keep relaxing

Shops will be closed on Saturday, May 8 due to national holiday marking the end of WWII.

Fountains across Slovakia, including the famous Singing Fountain in Košice, have been put into operation after the winter season.Fountains across Slovakia, including the famous Singing Fountain in Košice, have been put into operation after the winter season. (Source: TASR)

This is the Friday, May 7, 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 the Spectacular Slovakia roundup for weekend reading tips

Nameless Bratislava Old Town places to receive names Read more 

Special shopping hours end, some isolation rules change

Slovakia will switch to the light red tier on a national level from Monday, May 10, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský and Chief Hygienist Ján Mikas announced at a press conference on Friday morning.

On the regional level, two districts will remain in the dark red tier, while 33 will be in the red tier and 44 in the light red tier.

The improving epidemic conditions mean an easing of anti-Covid measures as of Monday. These concern the operation of shops and services, sporting events and mass cultural events. There will also be some changes to the isolation rules, benefiting people who have already been vaccinated.

Special shopping hours end, some isolation rules change Read more 

More Covid and vaccination news

  • Slovakia has, in the last two weeks, ranked 23rd in the number of new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people from the 28 EU member states. However, for deaths per capita, Slovakia took the fifth worst place, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) announced on Thursday.
  • Slovakia on Thursday received the results of tests carried out in Hungary on its supplies of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (an OĽaNO nominee) announced on Friday, claiming that the results are in order. The Health Ministry is now set to hold talks with experts and the Russians on how and whether the vaccine should be put to use in the country.
  • The State Institute for Drug Control (ŠÚKL) has concluded that, given that the 47-year-old woman who died from a thrombosis post inoculation with the AstraZeneca vaccine suffered from a blood-clotting disorder, there was a probable link between her vaccination and the thrombosis.

Activists want more 30 km/h zones in Bratislava

Environmental activists are calling for more traffic calming measures in Bratislava. They believe that the security of people in the centre can be increased by zones with a maximum permitted speed of 30 kilometres per hour. The maximum speed limit in the municipalities in Slovakia is 50 km/h. Bratislava already features some 30km/h zones. One is in the city centre and others are in some housing estates in the boroughs of Petržalka and Karlova Ves.

The organisations Greenpeace Slovensko, Znepokojené Matky (Concerned Mothers) and the Cyklokoalícia delivered a report on sustainable mobility in Bratislava, pointing out the absence of any long-term vision of mobility, to Bratislava deputy mayor Lenka Antalová Plavúchová on Thursday.

Activists want more 30 km/h zones in Bratislava Read more 

Feature story for today

Traditional folk festivals, trade fairs, squares and castles are the places where you can meet them. Wearing period costumes, some forge, tinker or carve, while others operate a furnace, a potter's wheel or a spinning wheel.

But along with the closure of society because of the pandemic, artistic and folk craftspeople have also had to suspend their activities.

Last year brought liquidation for many, others are trying to find new outlets to sell their goods and make a living. Everyone is hoping that this season will be better than the last.

Near rock bottom, artisans in Slovakia pray for a better season Read more 

Picture of today

Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) laid a wreath at the Slavín War Memorial in Bratislava on Friday, May 7 to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the end of WWII. Even though Victory in Europe Day is celebrated on May 8, Heger commemorated the anniversary one day in advance as he is to attend a summit of EU leaders in Portugal on Saturday.

Other news

  • Shops will be closed on May 8 due to the national holiday marking the end of WWII.
  • Production of SUV models at the Volkswagen plant in Bratislava, which was suspended on April 29 and was supposed to remain so until May 7, will now remain suspended until May 14 due to the continuing shortage of semiconductors.
  • Slovakia’s exports broke national records in March when they exceeded €8 billion. The Statistics Office attributes the March export rate that rose 38.7 percent y/y, to the record export of cars which is being driven by high demand around the world.
  • Bratislava’s Old Town has launched an extensive revitalisation of the Medical Garden in the city centre.
  • STaRZ, the operator of sports facilities in Bratislava, started filling the 50-metre pool of the Pasienky swimming facility on May 3, hoping that it will be able to resume operation along with improving epidemic situation. The smaller, 25-meter pool, has been in operation since April 26.
  • The Trnava-based carmaker Stellantis Slovakia (former Groupe PSA Slovakia) produced the millionth Citroën C3 vehicle on May 7, a model that is exclusively produced in Trnava.

Do not miss on today

Visitors to opal mines can explore a renovated trail Read more  A pool turned into a cultural centre Read more  A pilgrimage destination for many Jews from around the world Read more  Tombstones thought lost after wartime destruction of historic Jewish cemetery found again Read more 

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