Good evening. Find below the Monday, July 26, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia and learn about the main news of the day in less than five minutes. We wish you a pleasant read.
New week, new rules
All districts of Slovakia remain in the green tier this week, meaning that the measures applied based on the Covid automat alert system are very mild.
However, people are still required to cover their faces inside public buildings, on public transport, in taxis and when attending mass events, including those held outside. A negative test result is required when attending a wedding celebration, a funeral feast, a party held in a restaurant and so on, as well as when visiting a swimming pool or wellness centre, except for children younger than six years. An alternative is to have a confirmation of vaccination or recovery from Covid.
Yet, there have been some modifications to the rules effective from Monday. For example, the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) prolonged the validity of negative test results, which need to be shown when attending a mass event with more participants than allowed (i.e. 500 indoors and 1,000 outdoors in green-tier districts). As a result, participants can show a negative PCR or LAMP test result no older than 24 hours before the event starts (up from 12 hours). Antigen tests are not accepted.
At the same time, it unified the definition of a fully vaccinated person and increased the age limit for testing, meaning that from now on, children younger than 12 years do not have to be tested.
To find out more about the most important happenings in Slovakia, check out our Last Week in Slovakia, published earlier today.
More Covid and vaccination developments
- Seven out of 1,432 PCR tests completed on July 25 were positive, and so were 11 out of 4,079 new antigen tests. No more people died of Covid, which means that the total number of deaths remains at 12,534.
- The parliament approved on Sunday, July 25, a draft amendment that will allow advantages for the vaccinated if the situation worsens, with some concessions to the junior coalition party Sme Rodina. These concern testing for the unvaccinated and cross-border commuters.
- After weeks of waiting, the Finance Ministry has finally allocated about €3.9 million for the vaccination campaign planned by the Health Ministry. Yet, Finance Minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) has stressed that the money should be used in “a practical and effective way.”
- 523 general practitioners have shown an interest in vaccinating their patients against Covid, with 70 already administering the vaccine. The highest interest is in Prešov Region (100 outpatient departments participating), while the lowest interest is in Trenčín Region (40 outpatient departments participating), according to the Health Ministry.
- The mobile vaccination team of Košice Region vaccinated 169 people in front of a shopping centre on Sunday, July 25, using a single-dose vaccine by Johnson & Johnson. In the following week, the team plans to visit nearly 50 places, including municipalities, other shopping centres, a festival, and Roma settlements.
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No medals for Slovakia so far
None of the Slovak athletes attending the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo has won a medal so far.
Two of the biggest medal hopefuls, skeet shooter Danka Barteková and slalom canoeist Matej Beňuš, failed to meet their expectations on Monday. Barteková failed to make it to the finals, while Beňuš, who won the qualification rounds, had problems in the final race and ended up sixth.
Meanwhile, boxer Andrej Csemez won the match in the Round of 32 in the men’s middleweight category, and badminton player Martina Repiská won her first match at the Olympics.
On Sunday, sport shooter Patrik Jány placed seventh in the finals.
Picture of the day
The recently opened PumpPark in the Petržalka borough in Bratislava belongs among the biggest complexes of its kind in central Europe, offering nearly 550 metres of tracks with various difficulty. This community project was created after reconstructing the existing but dilapidated bicross cycling track.
Feature story for today
After nearly one year into his term as the UK Ambassador to Slovakia, Nigel Baker is still not sure what some people look like without their masks on. After he presented his credentials to the president in August 2020, he only had a month of what he calls a “relatively normal life” before the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hit Slovakia, resulting in a lockdown that lasted well into the spring.
In an interview, Ambassador Baker, who has returned to Slovakia 24 years after he first served here as the deputy head of missions in the 1990s, admits the coronavirus and Brexit are the two main things that have kept him occupied, but not the only ones, because, as he says, British ambassadors will always have a long list of things to do in Slovakia.
In other news
- The parliament approved the changes to collusive custody as agreed by the coalition. This means that as of August 15, the duration of collusive custody, the strictest type of custody designed to prevent defendants from tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses, will be shortened from the current seven months to five, and it will not be possible to further prolong.
- MPs failed to open a special session to oust Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) today as they did not meet the required quorum. As a result, the session will be held in September.
- Following the Friday protests in front of the parliament, the police charged a 40-year-old woman from Nitra Region in relation to attacking a public official. Other charges may follow after the police check the audiovisual recordings.
- Given his constant disrespect of rules set by the coalition agreement and frequent voting for proposals submitted by the opposition, MP Martin Čepček has been definitively excluded from the OĽaNO caucus. Čepček had submitted several draft proposals intending to restrict access to abortions.
- The National Highway Company (NDS) announced planned traffic restrictions on the cross-country D1 highway stretch between Horná Streda and Nové Mesto nad Váhom, which will be in place from July 31 to August 15.
- The coming hours and days will bring about several weather extremes, with the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute issuing several first-level warnings against storms and high temperatures.
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26. Jul 2021 at 18:13 | Radka Minarechová