News digest: Slovakia will remain green, despite worsening situation abroad

Border rules will not change, despite protests. 72 cases of Delta variant confirmed. Slovakia commemorates 141 years since Milan Rastislav Štefánik was born.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Check out the main news of the day in less than five minutes with the Wednesday, July 21, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

Measures in Slovakia will remain mild

The situation in Slovakia remains stable, which is why all districts will continue following measures corresponding with the green tier of the Covid automat alert system next week.

This means that the restrictions are very mild, though people still need to cover their faces when inside buildings and during mass events (including those held outside). A negative test result is also required when going to a swimming pool, wellness centre or a wedding.

The situation abroad does not seem as positive, though. Matej Mišík of the Institute for Health Analyses, running under the Health Ministry, has warned of the worsening situation and the relatively high increase in new daily cases in several European countries, including holiday destinations. In this respect, he has warned that “the risk of importing the virus is quite high.”

This is one of the reasons why the country does not plan to change the current valid borders rules, which stipulates that unvaccinated incomers must undergo 14 days of self-isolation (which can be ended sooner if the person takes a PCR test on the fifth day after their arrival).

Some cross-border commuters object to the new rules. They announced protests on some border crossings with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria for Wednesday afternoon. Under the new rules, they will follow a special regime until early September, according to which they can show a negative PCR test result no older than seven days when going to Slovakia to avoid self-isolation. The rules are expected to toughen up in September.

Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) said that no changes are planned until August 9 and that some negotiations with cross-border commuters about the rules after this date are underway.

His cabinet colleague, Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO), has said that the planned protests will not help cross-border commuters in any way.

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More Covid and vaccination news

  • 46 out of 6,603 PCR tests completed on July 20 came back positive, and of 5,098 new antigen tests, 5 were positive. Three more people died of Covid.
  • 72 new cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed by labs in Slovakia; 63 percent of them were imported from abroad. There have been altogether 107 Delta variant cases confirmed since June.
  • The regional public health authorities have already taken 90 samples of wastewater in Slovakia and tested them with the RT-PCR method. 77 of them were positive. The SARS-CoV-2 virus was confirmed in 85.56 percent of cases, the ÚVZ reported.
  • Slovakia is the seventh least vaccinated country in Europe. The only states with a lower percentage of vaccinated people are Ukraine (with the lowest share), Kosovo, Russia, Romania, Montenegro and Croatia. (Denník N)
  • Only 14,000 people are currently registered in the virtual waiting room for the Covid vaccine. Most of them are teenagers. Around 1,000 are waiting for the unlicensed Russian vaccine, Sputnik V.
  • The Finance Ministry will launch registration for the vaccination lottery on August 1. People who persuade others to get vaccinated are also entitled to a bonus.
  • Travellers to Croatia should consider their date of vaccination before entering the country since Croatia recognises a person as fully vaccinated only if less than 210 days have passed since they received the vaccine. This means that people who were fully vaccinated in Slovakia in January have until August 16 to travel to Croatia without having to take a test.

Picture of the day

The discovery of an unexploded WWII-era bomb paralysed downtown Bratislava yesterday. The city’s crisis staff decided to detonate it outside the city. The bomb was transported to an uninhabited part of Rusovce, where it was set off.

Feature story for today

“Everyone looks at Štefánik positively because he was never in Slovak politics. He couldn't make anyone angry,” said Michal Kšiňan, a Milan Rastislav Štefánik expert and historian. In his opinion, Štefánik was a narcissist who mastered the skill of twisting people around his finger and turned himself into a legend. But he played an important role when founding the first Czechoslovak Republic.

Slovakia commemorates 141 years since this important historic personality was born in the village of Košariská on July 21.

Štefánik was a gifted networker. He would have enjoyed social media Read more 

In other news

  • The crossing in Veľké Slemence on the border with Ukraine will reopen on August 1. It will be open every day between 8:00 and 20:00.
  • The cabinet approved the lease contract with the European Labour Authority that should be seated on Landererova Street in Bratislava. The EU agency will thus be able to start using the space, which belongs to JTRE Properties, at the end of this year, the TASR newswire reported.
  • A person in Nitra Region has been infected with a lungworm, an infection caused by a roundworm parasite. The disease has been detected in dogs in the region, but this is the first confirmed case in a human in Slovakia.
  • The Slovak-US company Tachyum has received further capital amounting to dozens of millions of euros for its development of chips. This happened after it reached several milestones, including the confirmation of serial production.
  • The Supreme Court has confirmed the decision of the Council of the Antimonopoly Office from April 2009 sanctioning Slovak Telekom for abusing its dominant market position. The company was fined more than €17.45 million. (SITA)

More on today:

Flooded cars from Germany, Belgium and Netherlands may endanger Slovak market Read more 

Slovakia will have two flag bearers at the Olympics opening ceremony Read more 

Labour market in Slovakia (online content of Career & Employment Guide) Read more 

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