News digest: International trains return, minister shows new vax certificate

Cyprus has listed Slovakia as a red country. The Defence Ministry plans to purchase two Black Hawk helicopters.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

This is the Thursday, May 20, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia .

In today's digest:

Bilingual confirmation for vaccination available from Saturday

The Slovak Railway Company (ZSSK) has resumed the operation of some trains that were halted due to the coronavirus. The first InterCity train will return to railways in mid-June. It will connect Košice with Vienna via Bratislava.

The decision came after the ban on travelling abroad for recreational purposes was lifted. It will thus be easier for inhabitants of Slovakia to travel abroad, but they should check which rules are valid in the country of their interest. You can find the rules for travelling to the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Italy, United States of America and Canada here.

People vaccinated against Covid-19 in Slovakia will not have an exemption from the rules in place at the borders of foreign countries yet. This is mainly because Slovak vaccination certificates are only in Slovak and do not have a unified form.

This should change on Saturday when vaccination centres start issuing unified bilingual confirmations. Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský showed what the new confirmation will look like. People who have been already vaccinated will be able to ask for the certificate from Monday via e-mail that will be provided at

Monetary Fund expects a strong economic recovery this year

The International Monetary Fund expects a strong economic recovery this year, claiming that the real GDP growth could achieve 4.7 percent this year and accelerate further in 2022. Uncertainty remains high, though.

“With the second wave of infections receding, the economy seems headed for a strong recovery this year and next, though uncertainty remains very high,” the IMF commented in its recent report.

Continued fiscal support is warranted until the recovery is well entrenched, but policies should be increasingly targeted and focused on facilitating resource reallocation and strengthening the economy’s potential, according to the IMF.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • The most frequent cause of death in Slovakia in the first quarter of 2021 was Covid-19; 39 percent of deceased people died of this disease. In the first three months of this year, more people succumbed to Covid than what is usually the most common cause of death - circulatory system diseases. Nearly four-fifths of those killed by the coronavirus were over 65 years of age.
  • A homeless person who was fined in Bratislava for breaching lockdown rules does not have to pay it. The fined man was in Bratislava despite having permanent residence in Slovenská Ľupča.
  • Cyprus listed Slovakia as a red country as of May 20. Travellers have to undergo PCR testing before the flight, the result of which cannot be older than 72 hours. Upon arrival to Cyprus, travellers must undergo another PCR test, paid for from their own pockets. They must stay in home quarantine until they receive the result. They also have to fill in a Cyprus Flight Pass.
  • During the negotiations on the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, the demands of the Health Ministry were accepted, said Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský. However, he did not specify the department's requirements. He also confirmed after Wednesday's negotiations at the Finance Ministry that the purchase of 2 million pieces of Sputnik V is still being allocated.

Photo for today

Flooded rivers in some places around Slovakia have damaged crops. Farmers close to rivers are counting their losses.

Feature story for today

It's World Bee Day today, a good day to read about bees in Bratislava.

Bratislava honey tastes like a blend of meadow flowers and trees Read more 

Other news

  • The Defence Ministry plans to use the USA's $50-million offer to purchase two UH-60 M Black Hawk helicopters with equipment. The ministry would have to pay an additional $61 million. The contract should include a new system or spare parts for helicopters.
  • The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) detained eight people for corruption crimes linked with the Slovak Land Fund (SPF). Seven were charged. The lawyer of the financier Martin Kvietik confirmed that his client is accused in a new corruption case involving the Slovak Land Fund. He filed a complaint against the accusation. Kvietik is still in a pre-trial detention cell.
  • The registered unemployment rate in April in Slovakia increased by 0.02 percentage points m-o-m to 8 percent. The Central Office for Labor, Social Affairs, and Family said that in a y-o-y comparison, the registered unemployment rate rose by 1.43 percentage points.
  • General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka transferred former general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office Žilina. Trnka, who is being prosecuted in connection with the Gorilla case, had worked at the General Prosecutor’s Office. He has been temporarily suspended.
  • Cash controls will be tightened from June 3. Under the new rules, it will be necessary to report the transportation of currency when sending money by post or cargo from the European Union to non-EU countries or vice versa. The sender or recipient must deliver a report on the sender, the recipient, the origin of funds and their probable use to the Financial Administration within 30 days.
  • Production at the Trnava carmaker Stellantis Slovakia is still suspended due to the shortage of semiconductor components. A large part of the plant has been shut down since the beginning of this week. According to the carmaker's website, only employees unloading trucks are coming to work right now.

Do not miss on today

Lost and found on the highway to Košice Read more  Slovak MPs object to EP report on sexual health Read more  A merchant and a farmer will walk tourists through the town Read more  Poll: Party of previous PM would win the election (+graphs) Read more 

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