News digest: Two-week lockdown planned, pending cabinet's approval

First four Slovak pilots finish their basic training for F-16 fighter jets in the US. Slovaks establish new companies despite pandemic.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, November 23 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.

President supports national lockdown

President Zuzana Čaputová and Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský visited the Covid department in Ružinov today. After the visit, the president spoke to media and called for a lockdown for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and admitted that it is not fair for the vaccinated.

“We have to stop spreading hoaxes about Covid, stop talking nonsense about Covid and start listening to the experts," she said. “Experts are clearly saying that mobility should be restricted, that we need a lockdown.”

The coalition has also agreed on lockdown, even though the specific details should be yet discussed at the governmental session on Wednesday and presented only after.

The Sme daily reported that it should last two weeks, but it should not be so harsh as the lockdown in the second wave. People should be still allowed to attend work, school, doctors and the vaccinated should have more shopping possibilities than the unvaccinated. Curfew will be probably imposed during night hours.

The government will also vote about the national emergency, which is needed for the more effective employment of doctors in hospitals but is also necessary for curfew.


Matovič shows changes for the self-employed and restaurants

Finance Minister Igor Matovič concluded his presentation of what he calls the tax revolution with new rules proposed for the self-employed and gastronomy sector.

The self-employed should pay only one tax and one levy, similarly to employees and employers. Their income tax rate should amount to 19 percent of their gross salary while their insurance contribution should amount to 29 percent of their tax base.

Changes for restaurants would include lower taxes and changes to restaurant menus, including a free jar of water for customers.

He also proposes a bonus for the vaccinated. Every person aged 60 and over who has gotten vaccinated or plans to get vaccinated against Covid between early July 2021 and December 12, 2021 should be entitled to a recreational and gastro bonus of €300.


More coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 6,739 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 23,107 PCR tests performed on Monday. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 3,182 people. 66 more deaths were reported on Monday. The vaccination rate is at 47 percent, 2,591,618 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • Trenčín regional Public Health Authority detected more than 800 Covid positive cases in the last week. Regional chief hygienist Ľudmila Bučková said that it is not excluded that Trenčín will go into the black tier despite the high vaccination rate, which allows decreasing a tier by one degree.
  • The Košice Region recorded increased interest in the vaccination and so they opened a vaccination stall in another shopping centre. Healthcare workers will be available in Galéria Košice every Tuesday.
  • It is necessary to contact a general practitioner after positive Covid-19 test, said the Health Ministry, even in case a person does not need sick leave to consult with a doctor about the current health condition and curing method.

Photo of the day

A replica of the famous Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Europe, has been created out of ice at Hrebienok, a popular tourist site in the High Tatras.


Feature story for today

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on Slovakia’s economy as restrictions, including strict lockdowns have impacted all sectors. As businesses have been forced to adjust and adopt new ways of operation over the last 18 months, the country’s labour market has also changed.

Pandemic brings lay-offs, but transforms labour market Read more 

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In other news

  • The prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office filed a criminal complaint against oligarch Miroslav Výboh for the crime of corruption. Výboh, currently on the run, is charged with taking a large bribe. He could face 10 to 15 years in prison.
  • Slovaks are establishing new companies despite the pandemic. The first nine months of this year, almost 15,000 were established in Slovakia. Almost one third opened in the capital and its surroundings, the least in Trenčín and the surroundings. (Dun & Bradstreet)
  • The first four Slovak pilots finished their basic two-year training for F-16 fighter jets in the US. Their further preparation will continue with training where they will obtain more experience and then they will be trained for leaders of groups.
  • Almost 152,000 people will change their health insurer from 2022, showed the initial results of re-insurance campaign. (Health Care Surveillance Authority)
  • The Devín - Bratislava national run will not take place due to the worsened epidemic situation. The organisers plan to hold a symbolic race on Sunday, November 28, which will be attended by a hundred selected runners.
  • The Slovak writer living in Switzerland, Irena Brežná, was awarded the prestigious German Hermann Kesten Prize.

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If you have suggestions on how this news overview can be improved, you can reach us at editorial@spectator.sk.

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