News digest: Protesting cross-border commuters blocked some border crossings

The pandemic has cost Slovakia almost €8 billion so far, funny traffic signs call on car and bike drivers to be tolerant. More in today's digest.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. The Friday, July 9 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready, providing the main news of the day in less than five minutes. We wish you a pleasant read.

Protests have clogged some border crossings

Drivers entering Slovakia had to wait in long tailbacks at several border crossings after new rules for entering Slovakia became effective on Friday, July 9. In the morning, protestors blocked the Čunovo-Rajka border crossing to Hungary as well as the Svrčinivec border crossing to the Czech Republic.

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Starting July 9 at 6:00, vaccinated people do not have to go into quarantine while unvaccinated people have to enter quarantine until they receive a negative PCR test result. The test can be taken no sooner than after the fifth day of arrival.

The protesters, mainly commuters living in Slovakia and working abroad and vice versa, refuse to comply with the current regulations. They can travel to and from the country with a negative PCR test no older than seven days and they also need to register on eHranica and show their employment contract. More changes will take effect on September 1.

“They significantly disadvantage people from border regions, despite the fact that they live in an area where the epidemic situation is not worse than in Slovakia,” residents of Rajka, a small town in Hungary with a big Slovak community, wrote on social media.

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Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • The State Institute for Drug Control (ŠÚKL) has recorded 6,700 reports of side effects of the Covid-19 vaccination as of June 30. Of these, 566 (8.4 percent) were evaluated as serious including four deaths. (ŠÚKL)
  • Bratislava will support vaccination against Covid-19 with an eight-week lottery for 60 €199 annual public transport passes. The aim is to reach a 75-percent vaccination rate in the capital.

Picture of the day

The hotel ship Albertina, the first to be built in Komárno shipyards after more than 30 years, sailed its first voyage on Thursday, July 8. It was christened in Bratislava by opera singer Adriana Kučerová and therapist Ľubica Hamarová, who followed tradition by breaking a bottle of champagne. The Albertina is 110 metres long, 11.5 metres wide and 7.2 metres high. Its maximum speed is 24.5 km/h. Its home port is Bratislava.

Its name Albertina refers to one of the world’s most important collections of fine art in Vienna. Albert of Saxony-Teshen, who married Maria Theresa's favourite daughter, Maria Christina, in 1766, started this famous collection of artwork while serving in Pressburg, today's Bratislava.

Feature story for today

For Sefo Raclavský, renting flats via Airbnb was initially just a side gig, a way to make money. The earnings helped him repay his mortgage. And he was also driven by the idea of foreign tourists taking home nice memories from Slovakia thanks to him.

Before the pandemic, Raclavský was renting out 80 flats via Airbnb and his mission became a business. He had to set up processes and clean, which led to mental exhaustion.

However, the pandemic buried Raclavský's business on Airbnb. He completely withdrew from the industry, moved to a rural area near Stará Turá in the Trenčín Region, and is now engaged in beekeeping.

'We didn't have worse guests than the Slovaks': An interview with ex-Airbnb property manager Read more 

In other news

  • Slovaks had to work to pay their duties towards the state for a record-long period this year. This year’s Tax Freedom Day falls on July 9, so Slovaks had to work 190 days to pay payroll and income taxes, analysts of the F. A. Hayek Foundation have found. Compared to last year, Slovaks had to work eight additional days, the worst result since 1999 when Slovakia’s Tax Freedom Day was calculated for the first time. (SITA)
  • Operators of driving schools, international regular bus services and centres that train professional drivers can apply for a subsidy from a €19.4 million aid scheme of the Transport Ministry as of Friday, July 9. (TASR)
  • The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) measured record temperatures at several meteorological stations on Thursday, July 8. Temperatures reached 39 degrees Celsius at the Mužla station in the southeast of the Danube plain. The temperature rose to 38 degrees Celsius at the station Hurbanovo.
  • The state has already spent almost €8 billion to fight the pandemic. By our standards, this is a dizzying sum, said PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) in his speech marking 100 days of his government, adding that "we were able to avert mass redundancies, the collapse of health care and prevent a significant increase in personal tragedies.
  • Recently, funny traffic signs have appeared in the Nové Mesto borough of Bratislava to encourage mutual respect between car drivers, cyclists, people driving scooters and others on the roads. Behind the campaign is the company Continental Barum, which under the hashtag #ShareTheRoad calls on people to be considerate of each other on the road.

Do not miss today

Related article The community vineyard in Bratislava’s outskirts serves as an example and inspiration Read more  Related article Murder, hardship and love affairs: The khroniky tell the story of Ukrainians Read more  Half of young, educated Slovaks considering leaving the country, new survey shows Read more 

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