Less Demand than Expected as Some Stores Reopen in Slovenia; Push to Open Bars, Restaurants 15 May

By , 21 Apr 2020, 12:08 PM Lifestyle
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STA, 20 April 2020 - As a string of retail and services establishments reopened on Monday the demand for the services was not excessive. It was quite busy at tyre replacement shops but not as busy as expected, the Slovenian Automobile Association (AMZS) said. The Chamber of Craft and Small Business (OZS) would like bars and restaurants to reopen on 15 May.

Today DIY stores, car showrooms, stores selling bicycles, technical goods and furniture, dry cleaners and some repair shops, including tyre replacement shops resumed their operations after being shut down for five weeks.

Jurij Kočar of the AMZS said that because of high demand for such services working hours would be extended somewhat in the next few days.

Vehicle inspection stations were full of customers this morning but then the situation calmed down. Bogdan Poljanšek, who is in charge of insurance, vehicle inspection and registration at the AMZS, said drivers seem to have considered the fact that registration documents will not expire until 16 June.

Avtotehna Vis said its car salons opened their door today but were not crowded.

In contrast, DIY store Bauhaus saw an exceptional turnout, but CEO Samo Kupljen said this had been expected. "That's why we increased our sales teams," he said.

The government closed all shops bar grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, post offices, petrol stations, newsstands and stores selling agricultural products on 16 March. Pet food shops reopened on 21 March and florist shops and nurseries on 3 April.

Yet more services will be available from 4 May, with the reopening of hair salons, beauty parlours, dog and cat grooming salons and shops of up to 400 m2 sales space, except for those in shopping centres.

Further easing of measures is expected after the results are in of a comprehensive random testing of the population for coronavirus starting today.

The OZS is pushing for the reopening of bars and restaurants as of 15 May, following Austria's example. All activities would have to be conducted in line with health recommendations, it added.

"Since the season allows this, we would provide for additional safety of guests and staff by serving guests outdoors, on terraces," Blaž Cvar of the OZS said in a press release.

The hospitality sector will be particularly affected by the epidemic and the recovery will be lengthy, the OZS said, proposing extension of state measures for the sector for the next six months and cutting the VAT rate on beverages.

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