No Changes to Rules Yet for New Covid Strain, But Borders May Close, Non-Urgent Travel Discouraged Till March 2021

By , 21 Dec 2020, 17:55 PM Lifestyle
No Changes to Rules Yet for New Covid Strain, But Borders May Close, Non-Urgent Travel Discouraged Till March 2021 CC BY-SA 4.0

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STA, 21 December 2020 - Slovenian health authorities are examining the situation and will propose action after a new, highly virulent strain of coronavirus was confirmed in the UK. The government will decide on any measures at the proposal of its medical task force, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

Slovenia does not currently have air links with the UK, so unlike many other European countries, it does not need to ban flights from the UK. And under existing quarantine rules, arrivals from the UK require a negative Covid-19 test or have to quarantine for ten days.

Prime Minister Janez Janša wrote on Twitter last night that Slovenia had "prepared measures to close borders, because there is a chance that the mutated virus is also present in some other EU countries".

Janša added today that intensive coordination talks were being conducted at the EU level on the matter, adding that a possible closure of borders would also be coordinated.

He noted that in addition to vaccination, protection of the most vulnerable groups and all restrictive measures, a "new risk is becoming known in recent days", and was increasing despite the good information related to Covid-19 vaccination in recent weeks.

Janša expects that more would be known later in the day, while adding that it was already clear that the new strain was not present only in the UK, but in many other European countries, including the Slovenian neighbourhood.

As for border closure, he said it was a drastic measure that would need to be coordinated on both sides of the border so that there were no major issues for people.

However, as of today Slovenians are advised against non-urgent travel abroad until mid-March next year, and all who intend to travel to Slovenia are also advised to postpone their trips, Janša said.

At least one case of the mutated strain has been confirmed in Italy in a man who recently arrived from the UK and is now quarantining, according to multiple media reports.

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