News digest: Slovakia enters the new week with green

The country loses an exceptional performer. German flood wave hits Bratislava, but no danger expected. New border rules come into effect.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Monday, July 19, 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.

If you don’t want to lose track of the most important events happening in the country, check out our recent Last Week in Slovakia, published earlier today.

Slovakia turns green

For the first time since Slovakia launched the Covid automat warning system in winter, all of its regions are in the green tier, the best possible classification.

This means that the epidemiological situation is quite good, and the restrictions applied in the respective districts are very mild. People are still required to wear masks in all interiors and public transport, as well as taxis, or when attending a mass event.

At the same time, people still need a negative test result, for example when visiting a water park or wellness centre, or wedding celebrations and parties.

Moreover, new border rules came into force on Monday morning, after the Constitutional Court halted the validity of the latest ordinance issued by the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ). The Court particularly disagreed with a self-isolation exemption applying to people vaccinated with the first dose of two-dose vaccines.

Under current rules, these people need to self-isolate, but can take a PCR test right after their arrival and end their self-isolation if the test is negative. This measure is only temporary, and ends on the morning of August 2.

All incomers need to register through the eHranica form. While fully vaccinated people can avoid self-isolation, those not vaccinated against Covid need to self-isolate for 14 days or take a PCR test no sooner than on the 5th day from arrival.

More Covid and vaccination news

  • Only 4 out of 1,168 PCR tests carried out in Slovakia on July 18 were positive, and of 4,544 new antigen tests, 6 were positive. Three more people died of Covid.
  • The Health Care Surveillance Authority (ÚDZS) has excluded a connection between the vaccination against Covid and the death of a woman from Nitra in mid-June. The death was caused by other health complications that originated long before the woman died, the Authority explained.
  • The vaccination against Covid started in the Lunik IX borough in Košice, known all around Slovakia as being the home to the Roma population, today, with 120 people registering for the jab. The mobile vaccination teams will visit the site once a week.
  • Only 502 out of more than 3,600 general practitioners registered for vaccinating their patients, while only 100 people have been vaccinated in this manner since the project was launched in early July, the Sme daily reported.
  • The low vaccination rate in Slovakia may result from a low trust in the state and a non-transparent communication about vaccines, said analysts of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), the country’s central bank. If communication had been better, Slovakia would have had around 45-49 percent of people vaccinated with at least the first dose by the end of June, instead of 37 percent.
  • The rules for entering the Czech Republic changed today. Under the new rules, all incomers, including those arriving from green countries, need to register.

Milan Lasica has died

Slovakia is mourning the passing of popular humourist, actor, singer and lyricist Milan Lasica.

He died at the age of 81 on stage, during a concert with the Bratislava Hot Serenaders in the Bratislava-based Štúdio L+S. The studio was closely linked to his life and which he had led for years. Lasica fainted and attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

Lasica created an unforgettable duo with Július Satinský in the late 1960s, and they are considered the founders of modern humour in Slovakia. However, the communist regime did not like their political satire and imposed several restrictions on their activities.

“Slovakia has lost one of its most significant figures,” President Zuzana Čaputová commented, expressing her deepest sympathies to the family.

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Picture of the day

The flood wave from Germany and Austria has arrived in Bratislava. Combined with heavy rainfall on Sunday, the water level of the Danube increased to about seven metres on Monday morning and flooded several areas around the Bratislava boroughs. The water level is said to culminate in the afternoon and then it will start dropping. Authorities say the situation is not critical.

Feature story for today

Slovakia has taken steps to ensure the better protection of national parks. In early July, the parliament further processed new legislation, which transforms national parks into viable organisations in accordance with national park rules in Europe. The draft bill was submitted by 18 MPs from all four ruling coalition parties.

The Environment Ministry supports the initiative. In this matter, the ministry found an agreement with activists, who earlier this year launched a petition calling for the reform of national parks.

Slovak national parks lack protection. Amended law should be the first step towards change Read more 

In other news

  • The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović sent a letter to PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) and Justice Minister Mária Kolíková (Za Ľudí), calling on the government to set up a mechanism to ensure prompt and effective access to reparations for victims of forced or coercive sterilisation. While Kolíková responded that this is an important topic for the Slovak government, Heger wants to wait for a concrete proposal.
  • Juraj Kubánek, co-founder of the SĽUK folk ensemble, has died at the age of 92. He was considered one of the pioneers of folk dance choreography in Slovakia.
  • Floods in the Rožňava district reportedly damaged Domica Cave, including its decorations and trail for tourists. Some parts of the cave are filthy.
  • The number of companies threatened with bankruptcy increased by 2,999 during the first five months of this year, with most of them situated in Bratislava, Komárno and Košice. Still, the number is 44 firms less than the year before, as stems from an analysis by Dun & Bradstreet.
  • A person needs more than 10 average annual salaries to buy a flat in Slovakia. Only Serbians and Czechs need to save longer, as stems from a recent study of Deloitte, which compared the availability of housing in 22 European countries.
  • In some places, the measured temperature in the first half of summer was the highest since the second half of the 20th century. This includes the meteorological station at Bratislava airport and Košice, according to the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute.

More on today:

Related articleScattered around Kysuce, quaint hilltop villages work their magic Read more 

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Surprise! When people work less, they feel better Read more 

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