Delta variant to shake up Slovak summer. Football match in Budapest may have been a critical moment

The government is set to toughen up the conditions for entering the country even from EU member states. The decision will be made next week.

Tens of thousands of fans attended the match between Hungary and Portugal in Budapest. Tens of thousands of fans attended the match between Hungary and Portugal in Budapest. (Source: AP/TASR)

A crowd of 61,000 people watched the victory of the Portuguese team at the Budapest football stadium. The Hungarian team lost to Portugal 0:3. A person wearing a mask was a rare sight among the audience.

Hundreds of people from Slovakia were among the audience too. So were thousands of fans from Portugal, where the coronavirus infection rate has recently doubled in the course of a month due to the Delta variant.

Portugal's vaccination rate is similar to Slovakia's: About 20 percent of the population has received both doses, while some 40 percent have gotten their first jab.

The Slovak Health Ministry now fears that the match may speed up the Delta mutation import to Slovakia. The variant is believed to be 50 percent more infectious than the British variant that became prevalent in Slovakia last winter.

"We call on the Slovak visitors of the June 15 football match in Budapest to register through eHranica," the ministry wrote. The only requirement for travellers coming to Slovakia from Hungary at the moment is a negative Covid test result, but the ministry now fears that may not be sufficient and wants to offer fans free PCR tests.

The Central Crisis Staff convened on Thursday to discuss new border rules to slow down the import of the Delta variant to Slovakia. The government has warned there may be stricter rules for people coming to Slovakia next week.

Hundreds of people from Slovakia at the match

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

News digest: New week starts with several changes to rules

Higher age limit for testing and longer test negativity for events. No Olympic medals for Slovakia so far. Collusive custody will change.

6 h
Sme Rodina leader Boris Kollár (right) and Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee).

The tested and the vaccinated will be treated the same. Coalition passes a Delta compromise

MPs pass a law with mild advantages for the vaccinated, but vaccination will be required to see the Pope live.

12 h
UK Ambassador to Slovakia Nigel Baker

UK Ambassador: Britons in Slovakia are a resilient community

Life is as it was before Brexit for British nationals in Slovakia once they've got their documents sorted.

8 h
Illustrative stock photo

Conditions for mass events and age limit for testing change

Most of the new rules came into force on July 26, 2021.

13 h