TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

News digest: Travel rules may change soon, experts discuss potential restrictions

Two more Delta variants uncovered. Trnava-based carmaker plans a huge investment in e-mobility. Wood waste shredder plant in Bratislava catches fire.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Monday, June 28, 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.


For a more in-depth view of the week’s events, check out the latest Last Week in Slovakia overview published earlier today. You can also sign up for the weekly newsletter with one click here.


Travel changes to be introduced soon

The exceptionally good epidemiological situation in Slovakia may not last long.

Currently, the districts are following only very mild restrictions, with the worst colour in its Covid automat alert system being orange. Moreover, as many as 26 districts are green, meaning the restrictions there are minimal.

This may be changed if the Delta variant starts spreading. Since it is more contagious than the Alpha variant, first detected in the UK, some experts warn that the cases may start surging quite quickly. Two more cases were confirmed in Slovakia on June 28. The persons were abroad and not vaccinated.

To fight the variant, the authorities plan to introduce a stricter border regime, which includes more intensive border checks, stricter checks of adherence to rules (mostly related to quarantine), and the better tracing of positive cases and their contacts.

Though the state announced the planned changes some time ago, not many details have been revealed so far, as the Sme daily reported. The daily looked at the current preparations for the third pandemic wave, and recalled what did not work prior to the second pandemic wave.

Meanwhile, the central crisis staff met on June 28 to discuss the changes at the borders. Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) commented that it is not clear for now whether the new rules will become effective on July 1 or 5, adding that the decision should be made by the cabinet.


More Covid and vaccination developments

  • 15 out of 804 PCR tests carried out on June 27 came back positive, while out of 26,610 antigen tests 18 were positive. More than 2 million people have been jabbed with the first Covid vaccine shot.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová has signed a law on Covid passes, meaning that the European digital green passes meant to simplify travel in the EU should be completely ready in Slovakia as of July 1.
  • People in Slovakia interested in being inoculated with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V have time only until Wednesday, June 30 to register.
  • 190 general practitioners and paediatricians have registered for vaccinating at their place of practice so far.
  • Bratislava is the only city in Slovakia that may reach collective immunity, i.e. 75 percent of its inhabitants being fully vaccinated, said Mayor Matúš Vallo, and called on Bratislavans to get vaccinated. Currently, 52.5 percent of the city’s inhabitants have been administered the first shot.
  • Russia has become a black-tier country based on the current valid travelling traffic light system used by Slovakia. It means that every incomer from the country must register with the eHranica online form and self-isolate until receiving a negative test result (the test can be taken 8 days from arrival).
  • People travelling from Slovakia to Switzerland are no longer required to self-isolate.

Trnava carmaker will invest in e-car models

Stellantis Slovakia, based in Trnava, has announced the largest investment since its arrival to the Slovak market.

The carmaker plans to invest €180 million into its new production programme, which will include mostly electric and hybrid vehicles. The preparations should start in the second half of this year, but most of the work will be carried out throughout next year. The new production is scheduled for 2023.

For now, the carmaker does not want to specify the car brands or models it will manufacture.

The state will provide the plant with investment aid, but the government representative have not specified it yet.


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Picture of the day

At precisely 6:00 on Monday, June 28, designer Štefan Klein safely landed his AirCar at the Bratislava airport. “It was a comfortable flight; the weather was beautiful, everything worked well,” said Klein after the smooth landing. He added that it took him some 25 minutes to fly 80 km from Nitra with little circling above Senec, where the D1 highway was clogged with cars during morning rush hour.


Feature story for today

Theoretical physicist Samuel Kováčik is attempting to show the wider public that physics does not have to be some abstract otherworldly thing, but something that can bring joy, even if you do not work in the field. His Vedátor (Scientist) project soared in popularity during the pandemic, which explained many topics related to Covid in a friendly way. His activities reach much farther, though.

Big Bang Theory in Slovakia: Young physicist making science cool Read more 

In other news

  • 24 people received state decorations from President Zuzana Čaputová on June 27, on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the creation of independent Slovakia.
  • Finance Minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) will be another cabinet member to face an ousting attempt, after 39 opposition MPs supported a proposal to initiate a special parliamentary session to remove him from the post.
  • Marian Kočner, sentenced for forging promissory notes and facing charges in the Kuciak murder case, has been accused of making preparations for the murders of Maroš Žilinka (current general prosecutor), Daniel Lipšic (current special prosecutor), and Peter Šufliarsky. The law enforcement bodies brought the charges after the Supreme Court cancelled the verdict in the Kuciak case against both Kočner and his alleged decoy, Alena Zsuzsová.
  • A fire broke out in the wood waste shredder plant in Bratislava’s Petržalka borough, and spread to nearby parked vehicles. About 20 firefighters arrived to the site. The fire was probably caused by a technical failure, according to the police.
  • The second case of the African swine fever was uncovered in the Lučenec-based Agrospol pig farm, meaning that they had to kill the entire herd consisting of more than 7,000 pigs. (Denník E)
  • The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute has issued several warnings for the coming two days. Nearly all Slovakia (except for the northern districts) should prepare for extremely high temperatures, while the north may be struck by storms on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the southern districts of central Slovakia and the entire eastern Slovakia should brace for high temperatures.

More on Spectator.sk:

Slovakia has to return more than €50 million to Brussels Read more 

Defence Ministry fails to justify the purchase of F-16 fighter jets Read more 

Slovak game changers: Happy brothers, rose lady, and Panna Cinka Read more 

If you have suggestions on how this news overview can be improved, you can reach us at editorial@spectator.sk.

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