News digest: Portugal will be a “no go” country, border checks for Covid variants to be discussed

More districts in Slovakia are lifting measures. Bratislava-based carmaker suspends production again. Meteorologists issue heat warnings.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Wednesday, June 16, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes. We wish you a pleasant read.

Situation in Slovakia keeps improving

Only two districts, Myjava and Kysucké Nové Mesto, will have to adhere to rather strict anti-pandemic measures from next Monday, June 21 as they will remain in the red and light red tiers of the Covid automat alert system, respectively.

The measures in the remaining districts will be more relaxed, with as many as 17 districts switching to the green tier with the least strict regime. Another 45 districts will be in the yellow tier and 15 in the orange tier, as the cabinet decided at its June 16 session.

The cabinet has also updated the travel map. Starting next Monday, Portugal will switch from the green to the black tier, meaning that travelling this destination is not recommended. This is mostly due to the spread of the Indian Delta strain in the country.

The central crisis staff should discuss how to make border checks more efficient in relation to the new Covid strains, particularly the Indian Delta variant, at the June 17 meeting.

More Covid and vaccination developments

  • 62 out of 4,234 PCR tests carried out in Slovak labs on June 15 were positive, and of 33,066 antigen tests 36 were positive. 10 more people died, while the number of hospitalised patients amounted to 230, 182 with confirmed Covid.
  • The National Health Information Centre launched a new function for people waiting for their second Covid vaccine jab, who have already received the date for the appointment. If it does not suit them, applicants can postpone appointment from one day to one month on
  • People will be able to register for vaccination with the uncertified Russian vaccine Sputnik V only until June 30, given its approaching expiration date. The unused doses should then be donated or sold to countries that show an interest. The final decision will be adopted by the cabinet next week.
  • The Health Ministry has confirmed that it plans to launch vaccination by general practitioners and paediatricians from July 1.
  • PCR tests that children will need to enter summer camps will be refunded by the state, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO) said.
  • People will no longer have to wear masks at swimming pools, in water parks or wellness centres from Thursday, June 17. The change applies to both inside and outside premises, regardless of the tier.

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Volkswagen suspends the SUV production again

The global shortage of semiconductor components continues to affect car production in Slovakia.

For the second time, the Bratislava plant of German automaker Volkswagen has decided to suspend the production of SUV vehicles at the beginning of next week, on June 21 and 22. The manufacture of small city vehicles should not be affected.

The first time the company was forced to suspend the production of SUV vehicles was in late April. The production lines were stopped for about two weeks.

Picture of the day

Slovakia commemorates an attack by some 150 bomber planes, during which the Bratislava-based Apollo refinery was destroyed on June 16, 1944.

Feature story for today

The Supreme Court cancelled the acquittal of Marian Kočner and Alena Zsuzsová in the case of the murders of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová on June 15. The case will now return to the first-instance court.

“The Specialised Criminal Court has been ordered to try the issue again and decide,” staed the head of the Supreme Court senate, Judge Peter Paluda, offering vast criticism of the work of the first-instance court in this case.

Roman Cuprik of the Sme daily reports on the problem with the original verdict and what is expected next.

Kuciak case: Court overturned the acquittal of Kočner. What happens next? Read more 

In other news

  • Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) has survived the attempt to oust him from his post. Only 53 out of 135 MPs present supported the proposal.
  • The European Commission approved €203 million for Slovakia from the React-EU programme that is part of the EU recovery package. The money should be used for public transport, cycling trails, the reconstruction of residential houses, IT and education.
  • Five new innovative medicaments will be added to the categorisation lists in Slovakia: two for cystic fibrosis, one for liver cancer, one for inflammatory bowel disease, and one for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Slovak Catholic bishops decided on cancelling dispensation from Sunday masses. The general dispensation will expire on June 30.
  • The cabinet has recalled Adrián Szabó from the post of head of inspection service. Szabó was recently detained by the police and charged with the abuse of power and corruption. The decision was recommended by the parliamentary defence and security committee.
  • The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) carried out a raid in connection with the property of the National Highway Company (NDS) on June 16. About 20 police officers raided the premises in the Bratislava Region and Žilina Region.
  • Nitra-based businessman Norbert Bödör, detained in early July 2020 and charged with money laundering, will remain in custody, the Supreme Court decided. The court thus confirmed an earlier decision of the Specialised Criminal Court, which turned down his request for being released.
  • The Slovak Bar Association has punished Andrej Šabík with public a reprimand. Šabík was the lawyer representing Marian Kočner and the Association has punished him for taking out messages of instructions by his detained client from prison.
  • The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) has issued first-level warnings against high temperatures for Thursday and Friday. The temperatures in selected southern districts may be as high as 34 degrees Celsius.

More on today

Concerns over teaching of other cultures as study reveals students’ attitudes to immigrants Read more 

Money from the recovery package should be invested, not spent Read more 

Another poll confirms the popularity of opposition parties (+graphs) Read more 

Related articleStill much room for improvement in the Labour Code Read more 

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