News digest: Slovaks will pay more for Christmas than last year

Making your own beeswax candles, Jasná and Štrbské Pleso open for the winter season, and the vaccination of children will start later in December.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. The weekend is coming and we have prepared a quick summary of the main news of the day in our Friday, December 10, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

For weekend tips and reads, check out our Spectacular Slovakia weekly roundup. This week, Peter Dlhopolec is writing about th e Peace Light of Bethlehem's arrival in Slovakia on Saturday, Žilina's poetry jukebox, and cross-country skiing.

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Grape growing and wine production have a long tradition in the Slovak capital. The Bratislava city council wants to ensure it survives in the future. Therefore, it has announced a transparent competition to select new tenants for the city’s vineyards. They should come from a group of local winegrowers and winemakers or local communities and initiatives.

“The main goal of the competition is to be a good manager and not to let the vineyards decay, but to make them accessible to honest local winegrowers and community initiatives in an open and transparent competition,” said Klaudia Lušpaiová from the leasing department at the city council, as cited in the press release.

Photo of today

Touristic resorts Jasná and Štrbské Pleso in the Low and High Tatras will reopen for the skiing season on December 11. The popular Tatra Ice Cathedral, which features a replica of the famous Santiago de Compostela Cathedral this year, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Europe, will reopen as well.

Feature story for today

Zuzana Kopanicová has always loved candles and there was always a burning candle in her household. However, when she found out that when toxic substances are emitted into the air when burning paraffin, a petroleum product from which candles are usually made, she began searching for healthier alternatives. She tried to make candles out of soy or palm wax, but it was beeswax that tugged at her heartstrings.

“For me, making beeswax candles encompasses a wonderful spiritual moment of how this material is made and how fragile these resources are,” said Kopanicová at the beginning of a workshop for the production of beeswax candles, held at the Hostinec u Klačkov inn in the Biele Karpaty mountains. “Unlike the world of humans, in which we compete for more success, bees do not need such stimuli to fulfil their mission.”

Making your own beeswax candles is easier than you think Read more 

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Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • The expert consilium criticises the new anti-pandemic measures as a political decision. In a joint statement sent to the TASR newswire, it stated that its proposals included an incentive for the vaccinated, but at the same time takes into account the bad epidemic situation. "We consider as unfortunate the premature wide opening of shops and services in exchange for the general closure of schools. Equally, we did not propose a ban on family visits,” they wrote, adding that such a ban was neither logical nor enforceable.
  • Any further potential easing of epidemiological restrictions will apply exclusively to the vaccinated and those who have recovered from Covid-19, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský said on Friday. Details concerning the Christmas holidays will be discussed by the cabinet at its session next week, preceded by a session of the expert consilium.
  • The state may directly address unvaccinated Slovaks with a concrete date for vaccination, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský said at his news conference on Friday. “We are looking for all options to bring that vaccine to people as close as possible,” he said, as cited by the SITA newswire.
  • 6,620 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 19,585 PCR tests performed on Thursday. The number of people in hospitals is 3,434 people and 57 more deaths were reported on Thursday. The vaccination rate is at 48.84 percent; 2,686,274 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • The vaccination of children from the age of five against Covid-19 will be launched in December, spokesperson for the Health Ministry Zuzana Eliášová told the TASR newswire on Thursday. Children between the ages of five and 12 will be vaccinated at three specialised centres in Bratislava, Martin (Žilina Region) and Košice at the request of a parent and following approval by a doctor. A number of Slovak parents have already been using the opportunity to vaccinate their children in neighbouring Austria.
  • In total, 65 hospitals, 27 polyclinics, 19 large-capacity vaccination centres and a few hundred outpatient doctors and mobile vaccination teams across Slovakia will take part in the project “Let’s Share Christmasvaccination week between December 11 and 17. All people interested in the first, second, or third vaccine dose can come to get the jab.

Other news

  • The third unit of the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant will not receive a final license for its commissioning this year. The Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic (ÚJD) will not have time to issue its second-instance decision for the commissioning of the third unit, Miriam Vachová, the head of the office of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, told SITA newswire. It is unclear at the moment when Mochovce could obtain a final permit from the authority.
  • The average Slovak household will pay more for this year’s Christmas purchases of food and most other gifts than last year. Eva Sadovská, an analyst at Wood and Company, estimates that a Slovak household will pay about 5 percent more for this year’s Christmas food purchases than last year. However, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Slovaks do not plan to save up more for Christmas.
  • Industrial output decreased in October for the second month in a row, but the downward trend slowed down from 4.8 percent in September to 0.6 percent. Compared to the output reported for October 2019, the current figure was 3.1 percent lower. According to analyst with Slovenská Sporiteľňa bank Matej Horňák, some energy-intensive companies faced problems in October and had to suspend production for some time due to spiking energy prices.
  • Bratislava will not hold New Year’s fireworks and celebrations in the city centre due to the unfavourable epidemic situation as well as the city’s reduced budget.

Do not miss on today

She did not speak a word of English when she moved to New York. Now she teaches German to Americans Read more  Feast on the best roasted goose in all of Slovakia Read more  Slovakia betting on hydrogen Read more  Elegant metalhead from Iran: People forget freedom when they moan about life in Slovakia Read more  Bratislava lights up its Christmas trees, other big cities follow suit Read more 

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