A Brief History of Coronavirus & Slovenia, March – December 2020

By , 31 Dec 2020, 13:22 PM Lifestyle
The first three stories on coronavirus from TSN... The first three stories on coronavirus from TSN...

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STA, 31 December 2020 - Below is a timeline of major events since the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Slovenia in March 2020.

4 March - The first case of coronavirus infection is confirmed in Slovenia.

6 March - The government bans all visits to hospitals and nursing homes.

7 March - Public events in indoor spaces for more than 500 people are banned. A total of 12 infections confirmed in the country.

10 March - The government bans public gatherings indoors for more than 100 people and arrivals of flights from risky areas.

11 March - Slovenia introduces controls on the border with Italy; entry is allowed only at six checkpoints under certain conditions. Healthcare institutions suspend non-urgent preventive services.

12 March - Slovenia declares an epidemic of the novel coronavirus as almost 100 cases are confirmed. Kindergartens and schools close and primary and secondary school students switch to remote learning. Shops with non-essential goods, restaurants and bars are closed, as well as cultural institutions and libraries. Air passenger transport is suspended and public passenger transport is banned, except with taxis. Non-urgent medical services are suspended. All sporting events are cancelled. The border with Italy is closed for cargo transport and for international railway and bus passenger transport, with some exceptions.

18 March - Slovenia closes 27 local border crossings with Croatia, and only four checkpoints remain on the border with Italy. Many production companies temporarily suspend their work.

20 March - A general ban on gatherings and movement in public spaces, with some exceptions, enters into force.

20 March - The National Assembly passes the first package of measures to help the economy.

30 March - A decree limiting the movement of people to within the municipality of one's residence, with certain exceptions, enters into force.

2 April - The National Assembly passes the first anti-corona legislative package designed to help the affected companies and individuals. The measures were estimated at EUR 3 billion.

11 April - With the first signs of the epidemic waning, suspension of non-essential specialist medical services is lifted.

18 April - Maintenance and seasonal work on private land outside one's municipality of residence is allowed under certain conditions. Some sport and recreational activities are allowed within one's municipality of residence. A few days later, certain shops and service workshops are reopened.

28 April - The National Assembly passes the second anti-corona stimulus package, which includes state guarantees for liquidity loans to companies.

30 April - Exactly one month after being introduced, the ban on leaving one's municipality of residence is lifted. Visits to nursing homes are allowed, and a day earlier, cultural institutions and libraries re-open.

4 May - After several weeks, service is allowed in outdoor areas of restaurants and bars. Churches and some non-food shops, as well as hairdressers and beauty parlours reopen.

9 May - All healthcare and dental services are allowed again.

11 May - Public transport is re-launched after eight weeks, while international passenger transport continues to stand still. International air passenger transport is relaunched a day later.

15 May - The mandatory quarantine for Slovenian citizens and citizens of other EU member states upon entry in Slovenia is lifted. It remains in force for citizens of third countries.

18 May - Preschools reopen and children in the first three grades of primary schools and of the final grade of secondary school return to school. All shops and accommodation facilities with up to 30 rooms are allowed to reopen, and restaurants and bars are able to serve guests indoors as well.

18 May - The government creates lists of red, yellow and green countries relative to their epidemiological situation.

23 May - A majority of sports activities are relaunched, except in fitness centres and similar facilities.

25 May - Students of the final grade of primary school are allowed to attend school in person, while nursing homes and other social security institutions start accepting new residents.

26 May - A decree mandating a 14-day quarantine for citizens of EU member states and third countries enters into force, except for the green-listed countries.

29 May - The National Assembly passes the third anti-corona stimulus package, worth EUR 1 billion. The main measures are subsidies for shortened working time and tourism vouchers for facilities in Slovenia for all citizens. Subsidies for furloughed workers are extended.

31 May - After 80 days, the Covid-19 epidemic is officially declared over, as the daily number of infections drops below ten.

1 June - Students of the 4th and 5th grades of primary school return to school, and the number of children in units in primary schools and kindergartens no longer needs to be limited. Public events for up to 200 persons are allowed and all hotels, fitness centres and swimming pools are allowed to re-open. Night clubs remain closed.

3 June - Students of grades 6-8 of primary school return to school, while students of grades 1-3 of secondary school finish their school year remotely.

5 June - Austria is put on the list of countries from where entry is possible without limitations.

15 June - Public gatherings of up to 500 people are allowed. The restrictions on the border with Italy, introduced on 12 March, are lifted. International road and railway passenger transport is relaunched two days earlier.

19 June - The tourism voucher scheme enters into force, with the Financial Administration (FURS) transferring credit to all residents - EUR 200 per adults and EUR 50 per minor.

22 June - After two months of single-digit number of new daily cases, a double-digit daily number is recorded for the first time, mainly involving cases imported from abroad.

4 July - The government removes Croatia, France and the Czech Republic from the green list. Slovenia records a total of around 200 active infections.

9 July - The National Assembly confirms a new anti-coronavirus stimulus package with an emphasis on job preservation, mostly by extending subsidies for furloughed workers. A mobile contact tracing app is introduced. Gatherings of up to 10 people are banned, and gatherings of up to 50 persons are allowed only if the attendees are registered. Religious ceremonies and sporting events for up to 500 participants are still allowed.

18 July - A Covid-19 death is recorded for the first time after 31 May to increase the overall death toll in Slovenia to 112.

21 July - EU leaders agree on a pandemic recovery package, under which Slovenia may count on EUR 10.5 billion, including EUR 6.6 billion in grants.

23 July - The government adopts a new national plan for protection and rescue of people in the case of pandemic based on the experience with Covid-19. Restrictions on working time of food shops are lifted and stores are allowed to open Sundays.

25 August - Due to a deteriorating epidemiological situation in Croatia and the fact that many infections are imported from there, the government introduces quarantine for travellers returning from that country.

1 September - The new school year starts normally at all levels, albeit with number of precautionary measures in place.

2 September - A jump in new daily cases is recorded (55), and the number of active cases increases to around 500. Two days later, the government orders mandatory use of face masks and hand sanitation in public indoor spaces.

10 September - The daily number of new infections exceeds 100 for the first time, and the trend of a fast increase in the number of new cases starts. Infections start spreading in nursing homes and educational institutions.

13 September - The government reduces the mandatory quarantine upon entry from red-listed countries from 14 to 10 days.

19 September - Face masks are again mandatory in open public spaces where a large number of people gather, for example, at food markets. Employers are recommended to measure body temperature of employees, and opening hours of restaurants and bars are restricted to 6am-10pm.

29 September - The government adopts a new anti-coronavirus legislative package introducing new and extending the existing measures focusing on job preservation, care for the elderly and prevention of the spread of infections.

9 October - New restrictive measures enter into force. Gatherings are restricted to up to 10 people, and events with up to 500 people are allowed only with a permit from the health authorities, and held without food and drink served. Service in restaurants and bars and the number of shoppers in shops is limited.

12 October - A decree enters into force under which no country in the EU or the Schengen Area is on the green list.

15 October - The total number of confirmed cases in Slovenia exceeds 10,000, and a day later a record daily number of new cases (almost 900) is recorded.

16 October - Almost all statistical regions are classified as red zones based on epidemiological parameters, meaning that movement from and between them is banned. Face masks become mandatory in the open and gatherings of more than 10 persons are prohibited. Restaurants and bars are closed and certain sport activities are suspended in these regions.

19 October - An epidemic is declared once again, and the national protection and rescue plan is activated. Primary school students up from and including the 6th grade and secondary school students switch back to remote learning.

20 October - Slovenia enters a lockdown as a 9pm-6am curfew is imposed, gatherings are capped to six people and a ban on movement between statistical regions is instituted.

24 October - The fifth economic stimulus package enters into force. The principal measures include an extension of the furlough scheme until the end of the year, income support for the self-employed and farmers, new bonuses for health staff, and an extension of the liquidity scheme for companies until the summer of 2021.

24 October - The majority of consumer-facing activities are shut down, including hotels, bars, restaurants and cultural institutions.

26 October - The lockdown is tightened as kindergartens close except for the children of workers who cannot work from home; student dorms close.

27 October - A ban on movement between municipalities is put in place, albeit with many exceptions. A record 2,605 new cases are confirmed, 612 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, of whom 99 in intensive care.

30 October - Some services with minimum contact with consumers are allowed to resume, including construction and maintenance works.

2 November - Autumn holidays are extended by a week for primary school students. Universities switch to remote teaching.

4 November - The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital exceeds a thousand for the first time.

9 November - Remote learning resumes for primary schools after the end of the extended autumn holidays.

10 November - The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care exceeds 200 for the fist time. Slovenia joins the common vaccine procurement managed by the European Commission.

13 November - Citing rising hospitalisations and the spread of infections in nursing homes, the government bans all gatherings, except for members of the same household.

16 November - The state of epidemic is formally extended by 30 days. Public transportation is shut down, all non-essential shops close.

25 November - A record 1,302 Covid-19 patients are treated in hospital, of whom 215 in intensive care. Regular testing of health and nursing home staff with rapid antigen tests commences.

28 November - The sixth economic stimulus package enters into force bringing partial coverage of fixed costs for companies, extension of the furlough scheme, and significantly higher fines for organisers and participants of public gatherings during the epidemic.

3 December - The government adopts a five-tier exit strategy. The seven-day average of new infections and the number of patients in hospital are set as the benchmarks for the relaxation of measures. A vaccination plan is adopted.

7 December - Slovenia reports a record 66 Covid-19 deaths in a single day.

15 December - A temporary relaxation of measures is put in place until 23 December. Public transport resumes, hair salons, flower shops, car washes and dry cleaners are allowed to open. In regions with the lowest number of cases, it is permitted to cross municipal boundaries with an activated exposure notification app.

22 December - Mass testing with antigen tests starts in a dozen urban areas across Slovenia. Additional locations are added in the subsequent days. Testing is under way for several days and 5-6% of tests come back positive.

27 December - Vaccination against coronavirus starts at nursing homes a day after the first shipment of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, nearly 10,000 shots, arrives in Slovenia. Several thousand residents and staff are tested on the first day.

29 December - The National Assembly adopts the seventh economic stimulus package, worth an estimated EUR 550 million. It involves income support for pensioners, employees and students, and measures to help business, most notably higher compensation of fixed costs for companies whose revenue declined by more than 70% year-on-year.

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