News digest: Vaccine, test or proof of recovery required for work for one more month

Hotels and restaurants will remain open after January 10. Prepare for the first weekend of 2022. Read more in today's digest.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. Here's your Today in Slovakia overview of news on Thursday, December 30, 2021. Have a pleasant read.

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Hotels and ski centres will stay open

Hotels, hotel restaurants and ski resorts will be allowed to remain open after the end of the school holiday on January 9, Transport Minister Andrej Doležal (Sme Rodina) stated following the cabinet meeting on December 30.

They will follow the same measures that have been applied since they opened on December 25, which mainly means they can only let in the vaccinated and the recently recovered.

Related article Hotels reopen, family visits allowed (Q&A) Read more 

"If we want to continue enjoying ski trips and wellness stays, we all must behave responsibly," Doležal wrote on Facebook, calling on the operators of the facilities to adhere to the measures and strictly check their clients.

Restaurants, cafés, bars and other facilities can reopen on January 3, 2022, for the vaccinated and people who have recently recovered from Covid-19, the government decided shortly before Christmas.

OTP at work until the end of January

The ruling cabinet agreed during its online session on December 30 that the requirement of proof of vaccine, recent recovery or a negative test result will remain in place for workplaces until January 31, 2022.

The OTP regime, as it is known under the Slovak acronym, has been in place since late November and may be further prolonged depending on the situation with the virus in Slovakia.

The state will pay employers €4 per antigen test per employee and an additional one euro for the testing-related costs. Test results are valid for seven days.

Prepare for the first weekend of 2022

In his very last Spectacular Slovakia Roundup edition in 2021, Peter Dlhopolec invites you to feed birds, hike, play a game, and revisit our most-read travel and culture stories of this year.

Related article Weekend: Things to do in Slovakia this New Year's weekend Read more 

The things we lost

In most respects, I count myself lucky: I am able to work from home when I need to, I make enough to live on, I have friends within easy reach. Mercifully, few of them have suffered from Covid, and none of them has died of it.

But not all the losses of the pandemic are direct, writes James Thomson.

Related article Not all the losses inflicted by the pandemic can be tabulated Read more 

On this day in history

Noted Slovak architect Eugen Kramár died 25 years ago, on December 30, 1996, while receiving the state award for lifetime achievement in the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava. He was persecuted for most of his professional career under Communism. Among his most notable works is the project of the winter sports centre at Štrbské Pleso, built to host the World Cup in skiing in 1970, complete with ski jump ramps, cross-country skiing trails, hotel FIS and the local train station.

In other news

  • The government will prolong the deadline for vaccination for people older than 60. To be eligible for the 300-euro bonus, they should register and get the booster shot by January 31 (the deadline was previously set for January 15). Those who receive their second dose by then will be eligible for €200. More about the bonuses here.
  • The number of Covid patients in hospitals dropped below 2,400 by December 29.
  • The Kežmarok district court ordered MP Milan Mazurek to pay €20,000 within three days to infectologist Peter Sabaka in damages for badmouthing. Mazurek has also been ordered to apologise and permanently delete the video that he was sued for. He can appeal against the verdict.
  • Opposition Hlas criticises Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) after the tabloid daily Plus 1 Deň published pictures of him leaving for a holiday in Oman. They see it as "irresponsible, to say the least".
  • The police charged five people aged between 15 and 32 who threatened the staff of a Covid ward in the Svidník hospital in late November. The five relatives of a deceased Covid patient entered the hospital and the hospital staff had to hide from them. They face charges of violent conduct and rioting, punishable by up to three years in prison.

More from our archive

Check out some of the most popular stories on The Slovak Spectator in the past year:

Is Slovakia ready to change its approach to granting state citizenship? Some conditions, like the residency requirement, may not change despite the lobbying of Slovak migrants’ offspring: Descendants of Slovak migrants eye citizenship, see opportunity in a now-debated amendment

Tuscany in Slovakia: Picturesque villages, mountains, valleys and cultural heritage. This northern-Slovak region is still a big unknown.

Show us you belong and we will accept you. The latest Focus poll unveils how an ideal foreigner looks to Slovaks, and if Slovakia can ever become home to foreigners.

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