Good evening. The Thursday, December 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.
Enjoy safe Christmas holidays
December 23 is the last working day for many people. The Christmas holidays start on December 24 and last until December 26.
On December 25, more anti-pandemic measures will ease up. If you have a question about whether it is allowed to visit family and friends, when the curfew applies, what rules are in place for hotel stays, check out our Christmas FAQs.
Scientists and doctors also provided seven points for minimising the risk of infection when meeting other people during holidays. Vaccination, testing, meeting in small groups and boosting immunity are among them.
The majority of shops will close on December 24 before noon and reopen only on December 27. Shops will also be closed on January 1 and January 6, which are also national holidays. Post office branches will close between December 24 and December 27, and on January 1 and January 6.
Check out classic and new Slovak and Czech movies on Netflix with English subtitles.
Learn why opekance, bobaľky or pupáky should not be missing from Christmas Eve Dinner in Slovakia and listen to the podcast where people from Ethiopia, Argentina, Spain, Bulgaria and the Philippines discuss Slovak traditions.
To help you fully soak in the Christmas atmosphere, check out our cultural roundup where Peter Dlhopolec writes about the festive weekend weather forecast, ice climbing, food and tips on how to spend Christmas in Slovakia.
Coronavirus and vaccination news
- 3,391 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 13,531 PCR tests performed on Wednesday. The number of people in hospitals is 2,803 people. 41 more deaths were reported on Wednesday. The vaccination rate is at 50 percent, 2,731,463 people having received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
- Health Ministry claims that vaccination against Covid will also be held during the holidays. Many vaccination centres will reopen their doors on December 27 and will vaccinate until December 31. The list of centres that vaccinate people without prior registration is available at the ministry’s website. Scroll down for Očkovanie dospelých (vek 18+) v očkovacích centrách (Vaccination of Adults in Vaccination Centres).
- Testing sites for antigen testing will be available not just on December 24 and January 1. Find the list of testing sites here.
- For people who lost their Covid pass number necessary for vaccine registration in Slovakia, there is a new service provided by the National Health Information Centre. A new form is published on the korona.gov.sk website, which is used to automatically send a forgotten nine-digit code that contains numbers, letters and hyphens. The person needs to fill their name, surname, birth number or other personal identifier. Then they will receive a text message or e-mail with the number.
Photo of the day
Fifteen Slovak artists have created a joint light installation that will illuminate the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) building. Each artist prepared their own version of a winter and Christmas symbol - the snowflake. The screening of the art installation will be held on the building from today until December 26.
Feature story for today
Although the coronavirus pandemic dominated 2021 once again and affected events in Bratislava, the year was a notable one in many other ways for the Slovak capital. The Slovak Spectator has picked five of the most notable developments in the capital this year.
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In other news
- The traditional health difficulties about which patients call the 155 emergency line during the Christmas holidays are acute stomach aches and injuries. During last year's Christmas Day, regional emergency medical service operations centres sent paramedics to 1,649 patients. Compared to the previous year, this was an increase of more than 200 hits.
- The National Mental Health Support Line operates on weekdays from 14:00 to 22:00 and on weekends from 10:00 to 18:00. The ministry is expanding its operating hours during holidays. On Christmas Eve (December 24) the line will operate from 10:00 to 22:00 and during New Year's Eve (December 31) from 10:00 to midnight. Anyone who needs advice and guidance from an experienced psychologist can call. The number of the National Mental Health Support Line is 0800 193 193.
- When a fish bone is stuck in the throat, a piece of dry bread or boiled potatoes will help swallowing it. "Stomach acids then dissolve the bone in the stomach," explained Alena Krčová, a spokesperson for the Emergency Medical Service. If the bone gets stuck in such a way that it causes severe pain and makes breathing difficult, it is important not to panic and breathe through your nose, she said, and call 155 in order to receive further instructions.
- The Bratislava City Waste Collection and Disposal Company (OLO) will ensure waste collection in the capital during the upcoming Christmas holidays, i.e. from December 24 to 26, as well as on 6 January 2022. The exception is New Year's (January 1, 2022), when waste will not be collected. Instead, it will be picked between January 3 and 5, 2022.
Do not miss on Spectator.sk today
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