News digest: Bratislava mayor warns against 130 km/h speed on capital's bypass

Cross-border commuters will not need to quarantine as of Monday. Art Nouveau building in Bratislava's centre shines again. Second medal for Slovakia at the Tokyo Paralympics.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes with the Friday, August 27 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

For weekend tips and reads, check out our Spectacular Slovakia roundup. This week, Peter Dlhopolec covers two Slovaks, one featured on an NYC attraction and the other celebrated in Japan. Our weekend read is on Slovakia's Camino de Santiago.

People can drive their cars at up to 130 km/h on the Bratislava bypass as of Wednesday, August 25. This change is part of the smart highway system launched by the National Highway Company (NDS). The new system is intended to significantly reduce the size and occurrence of tailbacks, improve the flow of traffic and increase road safety.

Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo objects to the change, claiming that it may have some disadvantages.

“Higher speed causes higher noise pollution and emissions directly in the city, in some cases only tens of metres from apartments and houses," Vallo wrote on social media, adding that an increase in speed on the city highway could lead to the exclusion of public transport vehicles from the bypass.

The Dopravný Podnik Bratislava (DPB) public transport operator already has a temporary exemption to the minimum permitted speed for buses valid until August 2022.

Picture of the day

Feature story for today

When a fire gutted the Art Nouveau building that housed the legendary Roland Café on Main Square in the very centre of Bratislava in late November 2018, many feared for its future.​

But while the fire damaged the façade, the interior of the café, and the second floor of the building, which housed offices, the building has now been restored.

And despite a different look – it has attracted much criticism among Bratislava residents on social media - its owners have pointed out that its current appearance is now almost identical to when it was first built when the city was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and an independent Slovakia had yet to come into being.

Slovaks in Tokyo

Jozef Metelka earned Slovakia's second medal at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo on the third day of the competition. He won a gold medal in the men's C4 4000m Individual Pursuit.

Anniversary of this week

Slovakia will mark the 77th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP), one of the key moments in Slovakia’s World War II history, when rebels in the Nazi-allied Slovak state stood up to the oppressive regime, on Sunday, August 29.

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Coronavirus and vaccination news:

  • As of September, cross-border commuters who do not meet the definition of a fully vaccinated person will be able to arrive in Slovakia without having to undergo quarantine. But they will need a negative PCR test result no older than seven days, reads the new ordinance valid as of August 30. This means that the rules for cross-border commuters do not change as of September 1.
  • 89 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 5,017 PCR tests performed on August 26. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 81 people. The vaccination rate is at 42.96 percent; 2,366,218 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.

Other news:

  • The Bratislava Regional Prosecutor Office pressed charges against Police Corps President Peter Kovařík on August 26. It is the first time a Police Corps president has faced charges while in office. Kovařík has been charged with abuse of power as a public official and marring justice, punishable by two to five years in prison.
  • Three people, most likely from the Czech Republic, were killed in a crash of a small four-seater aircraft close to the village of Mokrý Háj in the Skalica district on Friday, August 27.
  • After a one-year break, the spa town of Smrdáky in western Slovakia will hold its traditional wine harvest festivities, Vinobranie, on Saturday, August 28, from 16:00.
  • Hella Group, a manufacturer of lighting technology and electronic products for the automobile industry, has opened a development centre in Bánovce nad Bebravou. The centre will focus on the development and construction of rear lights for all European vehicle brands in the group's portfolio.
  • Last year, Slovaks undertook almost five million private trips including overnight stays at home and abroad. Compared to the last pre-pandemic year (2019), this is a significant drop of almost 59 percent. (The Statistics Office)
  • Open-air swimming pools in Bratislava will close their summer season on Sunday, August 29.

Do not miss on today

How I walked Camino de Santiago in Slovakia Read more  Who would have thought flying could be made any more miserable Read more  From grazing sheep to internationally recognised resort. Demänovská Dolina marks 100 years of tourism Read more  Blog: The ultimate guide to where to stay in the High Tatras Read more  Some escaped, some established beer gardens. Berlin Wall stories displayed in Bratislava Read more 

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