STA, 11 August 2021 - Compliance with the recovered-vaccinated-tested rule will be a prerequisite for attending university lectures in the next academic year, Health Ministry State Secretary Franc Vindišar has said. The ministry proposes voluntary self-testing for secondary school students, but if Slovenia enters tier red, they will need the Covid certificate.
"Our wish is for schools to stay open. We know that was a major issue in the past and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport will do its best to ensure they remain open," Vindišar told the press on Wednesday.
He said that student organisations had agreed to the condition of Covid certificate compliance in the case of university lectures.
The ministry's Covid-19 advisory group proposed the same rule for secondary schools, but "everyone wishes to move forward with the gradual model", which envisages Covid certificate compliance as a prerequisite for in-person education after the country moves to the red phase of epidemiological status under criteria by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the state secretary said.
In primary schools, pupils in the last three years could get self-tested if they wish so. If there should be any outbreaks or clusters of coronavirus cases in individual areas, local schools might be closed, however, generally speaking, the ministry will aim to keep schools open, he said.
Vindišar also noted that the vaccination rate among school workers was not sufficient with the ministry urging them to get a jab. According to some sources, the rate stands at approximately 50%.
National Institute of Public Health head Milan Krek called on youths to get vaccinated as well, pointing out that the latest cases most frequently stem from the 15-24 age group. The average age of the infected is 33, he added.
Vindišar said vaccination trends were not favourable as the figures were much too low to contain the epidemic, warning that the situation was deteriorating.
Currently, almost 40% of the population has been fully immunised and 45% has received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Some 31% of the 18-24 age group have been fully protected against Covid-19 and 37% has been jabbed once.
The ministry intends to launch additional mobile vaccination services next week as such units have proved successful, particularly in the countryside.
The Jožef Stefan Institute said today the country has already moved to the orange phase under ECDC criteria and will, given the current trend, move to red in early September.
Such epidemiological developments mean that the recovered-vaccinated-tested rule will have to become mandatory in all areas, including healthcare, education, the hospitality sector, culture, sports and public life, Vindišar said.