News digest: Restaurants will reopen after New Year's

Slovakia will sell vaccines to Denmark. President signed reforms and law on state budget.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Read the Wednesday, December 22 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.

Registration for children vaccination launched, restaurants will reopen

The first children aged five to 11 will likely get vaccinated against Covid at the beginning of 2022. The Health Ministry today launched registration for vaccination for this age category.

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Jabs will be administered in 22 vaccination centres around Slovakia. If interest is high, peadeatricians will also vaccinate in their offices. Children will get a child dose of the Comirnaty vaccine, which is one-third of the adult dose.

The government also agreed today on reopening gastronomic facilities. Under the current conditions, only restaurants in hotels can reopen as of December 25, but just for accommodated guests. Restaurants, cafés and pubs across Slovakia could reopen on January 3, 2022.

Minister Veronika Remišová called it a compromise, Economy Minister Richard Sulík lobbied for the earlier opening of the gastro sector while Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský wanted to remain cautious. He said that there are currently 180,000 people in the virtual waiting room for vaccination. Most are waiting for the booster dose.

Restaurants will be allowed to operate at half of their capacity and open just for the vaccinated and people who have recently recovered from Covid.

More coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 5,080 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 17,059 PCR tests performed on Tuesday. The number of people in hospitals is 2,920 people and 69 more deaths were reported on Tuesday. 2,728,605 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • As of December 25, all travellers flying to Slovakia from high-risk countries need a negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours to board the plane.
  • Half of the population living in Slovakia is vaccinated with at least the first dose of the vaccine, said Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský. When looking only at the vaccination rate of people older than 18, six out of 10 Slovaks are vaccinated.
  • The Bratislava-based National Football Stadium large-capacity vaccination centre will only vaccinate against Covid between 8:00 and 18:00 on December 29 this year. It will administer the first, second and third doses. The vaccination centre will reopen on January 7, 2022.
  • 61 percent of fully vaccinated seniors over the age of 60 have received a booster shot. However, there are still 368,000 seniors of this age who are not vaccinated.
  • Slovakia will sell 200,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech's Cormirnaty vaccine to Denmark. The deal is slated for January 2022 as a display of loyalty in the fight against the pandemic in the EU. The cabinet approved the proposal on Wednesday. The Health Ministry's spokesperson Zuzana Eliášová reported in a press release that Slovakia has nearly 8 million vaccine doses contracted for 2022, which will suffice even if demand for the second and third shot increases.
  • Seychelles, Israel and Hong Kong will not be included in the list of countries at risk of the spread of the omicron variant. The Public Health Authority said the list was prepared quickly with the information available at the time and has since been revised on the basis of new data.
  • As of December 23, people who have a contraindication to vaccination will be put among people in the OP regime, which includes the vaccinated and recovered. These people have to have confirmation from their doctor that they are not able to get the vaccine due to their health condition. They also need a 72-hour PCR test or a 48-hour antigen test result, which will be free for them.

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Photo of the day

A group of bikers in Santa Claus costumes brought pizza and coffee to the UNLP University Hospital in Košice for paramedics to the ward where patients with Covid-19 disease are hospitalised.

Feature story for today

Slovak national parks will attain the European level in terms of environmental protection, following the approval of the amendment last week by the parliament.

Slovak national parks won't need to envy Poland and Ukraine anymore Read more 

In other news

  • President Zuzana Čaputová signed the hospital reform, national park reform and the law on the state budget for next year.
  • Petra Vlhová finished 5th in the second giant slalom in the World Championships in Courchevel. The Slovak skier lost by 1.24 seconds to the winner Sara Hector. Mikaela Shiffrin finished second, Marta Bassin finished third.
  • From Thursday, December 23, grocery stores will be exempt from the curfew in connection with the provision of necessities for life. At Wednesday's meeting, the government approved an amendment to its resolution on December 14. The resolution specified the anti-pandemic measures and the regime of operations at the time of the curfew, which the cabinet determined was valid between 20:00 and 05:00.
  • The share of foreigners in the total number of visitors to Slovakia is growing. In October, it was the highest number since March of last year. The number of visits more than doubled year on year. After many months, the share of guests from abroad reached almost 29 percent.
  • The government approved the amendment to the law on higher education. The period for external studies will be shortened, performance contracts will be introduced and rectors will now be elected.
  • Car production company Volkswagen Slovakia will start its annual winter company-wide holiday on Thursday, December 23. The planned shutdown will include all plants. The production of cars and gearboxes at the Bratislava plant, the production of components in Martin, as well as the operation in Stupava will be suspended for two weeks. Production is scheduled to resume on Monday, January 10, 2022.

One last note: The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute has issued a first-degree warning against low temperatures. In northern and eastern Slovakia, temperatures could drop after 20:00 to between -15 and -19 Celsius degrees. The warnings apply until 10:00 the next day.

Do not miss on today

The trdelník capital of Slovakia has a scrumptious history Read more  "New Rules" and "Don't Start Now" singer to perform in Bratislava Read more  Bratislava not satisfied with census results, city demands explanation Read more  Easier to succeed among optimists Read more 

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