News digest: Christmas gatherings are allowed

Booster shots are available sooner than six months after the second dose without prior registration. Inflation in November was the highest since 2004.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Read the Tuesday, December 14 edition of Today in Slovakia to catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes. We wish you a pleasant read.

Curfew will apply only at night

The government agreed on changes to the anti-pandemic measures. From December 17, the curfew will be valid only between 20:00 and 5:00 the following day and there will be several exceptions, such as going to see a doctor, travelling to work and back and taking care of a dependent person.

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During the day, more services are open for the vaccinated and recovered. These people can visit beauty salons, barbers and solariums, as well as museums, galleries and libraries. Restaurants remain closed. People who do not have proof of vaccination or recovery can only go to essential shops.

By imposing the curfew only at nighttime, the government is permitting family gatherings during Christmas. Health Ministry analyst Matej Mišík recommends self-isolation and testing prior to visiting family.

With the onset of the Omicron variant in Slovakia, analysts expect it will dominate Covid statistics in the upcoming weeks.

More coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 4,762 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 18,079 PCR tests performed on Monday. The number of people in hospitals is 3,343 people and 101 more deaths were reported on Monday. The vaccination rate is 49.13 percent; 2,602,165 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • Slovakia has shortened the interval for administering the booster shot. Previously, people had to wait for at least six months after receiving the second shot of a two-dose Covid vaccine to get the booster. Under the new rules, it will be possible to receive the booster three months after the second shot. In the case of single-dose vaccines, the booster can be administered after two months.
  • People interested in a booster shot can get vaccinated without previous registration. One only needs to show a valid digital Covid EU pass with details on the second dose at the vaccination centre. (NCZI)
  • The state is unable to implement the OTP regime (vaccinated, tested, recovered) in long-distance trains and buses. The Transport Ministry is waiting for chief hygienist Ján Mikas to issue an ordinance and the Public Health Authority claims it has no power to make such a step.

Photo of the day

The first two of the five new electric vehicles on the railway called Kostolík and Stredohrot are already in operation in the High Tatras. The national carrier will use these hybrid vehicles to provide residents of Tatra villages and tourists with connections to Poprad. They were named after the lesser-known Tatra peaks.

Feature story for today

The Slovak government is explicit in its ambition of becoming a leader in the development and usage of hydrogen technologies in road transport. So much so that two hydrogen vehicles were the main lures of its exhibition at the Expo 2020 in Dubai.​

Slovakia has high hydrogen ambitions in road transport Read more 

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In other news

  • Slovakia should conclude an agreement with the US on defense cooperation. The Defence Ministry submitted the proposal for interdepartmental review.
  • The Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) movement has concluded cooperation with former MP Ján Herák. Herák resigned after several women accused him of sexual harassment. Herák denies the accusations. (Joj)
  • The competencies of the Interior Ministry when appointing and removing the Police Corps President and director of the Interior Ministry's police inspectorate will strengthen. The public hearing in front of the committee will have only a consultation character as it will be possible to remove the Police Corps Chair and the inspectorate without stating a reason. The president signed the amendment.
  • Inflation in Slovakia in November sped up to 5.6 percent y-o-y which is the most since December 2004. Consumer prices grew by 5.1 percent in October. Prices increased the most in transport and restaurants as well as in groceries.
  • A new centre producing biogas from communal waste will be built in Nové Zámky, near Martin. Each facility sorts and processes waste from a quarter of a million inhabitants for a total of 30 million euros. The centre will be constructed by the state SPP and the Austrian Brantner. (Denník E)
  • Canadian Magna will receive €13 million in tax relief for the expansion of the transmission plant in Kechnec near Košice. The government agreed with the stimulus. The manufacturer plans to invest about €140 million in the plant.

One last note: The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute issued a first degree warning for most of the districts of northern and northeastern Slovakia. The warnings are in place between 20:00 and 9:00 of the following day.

Do not miss on today

A circular strategy with real value Read more  Long-awaited highway tunnel near Žilina will be completed later Read more  An opportunity for energy companies Read more  Ski season in Bratislava Region is here Read more 

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