Lifestyle

05 Jul 2021, 12:14 PM

STA, 5 July 2021 - More restrictions on the services sector will be lifted on Monday. Casinos will fully reopen and there will be no more restrictions on the number of customers in shops. The rule of reconvalescence, testing or vaccination remains in place indoors.

Shops will no longer be restricted to accepting only one customer per 10 square metres, and bars and restaurants will no longer need to secure a distance of three meters between tables and face masks will no longer be required indoors.

Casinos had so far been allowed to offer up to 75% of their gaming capacities, and now this restriction too will be lifted.

There will also be no more restrictions for convention activities. So far, 75% of seats were allowed to be occupied with one seat empty in-between.

However, the rule of reconvalescence, testing or vaccination remains in place for customers inside bars and restaurants, casinos, accommodation facilities, night clubs, and for visitors of congresses.

Employees of hair salons, beauty parlours, and providers of non-medical counselling and therapeutical services, education and training etc. will also still need to be vaccinated or tested if they are not reconvalescent.

Customers, including in shops, who can prove they have been vaccinated, tested or have recently recovered from Covid-19 no longer need to wear face masks indoors.

Masks are also no longer obligatory for visitors or performers at outdoor or indoor culture events, where the rule of reconvalescence, testing or vaccination remains in place.

Restrictions regarding the number of visitors have also been lifted for libraries, archives, museums and galleries, for cultural events and for visiting cultural heritage sights.

All restrictions for sports and recreational activities have also been lifted for both individual or in group activities. There are no more restrictions on the number of spectators at sports events and they no longer need to wear face masks.

Clubs and discotheques will remain open from 5pm to midnight.

This is the latest in a series of easing of restrictions driven by a favourable epidemiological situation. The new rules will apply until 11 July.

01 Jul 2021, 17:24 PM

STA, 1 July 2021 - As of Thursday, Slovenia is fully green on the map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), as the western part of the country joined the eastern part, which made it to the green list last week.

Being put on the green list of the ECDC are countries, regions or territories where the 14-day incidence of coronavirus infections per 100,000 residents is below 50 and the share of positive tests in all tests below 4%.

The incidence may be up to 75, but in that case the positivity rate must be below 1%.

These criteria are now fulfilled by the entire Slovenia, where the 14-day incidence in the period until 27 June, according to the ECDC, is approximately 40 per 100,000 residents.

Also green on the list is a majority of the EU member states, with the exception of Portugal, parts of Spain, Ireland, Latvia, around half of Sweden, a third of Finland and the majority of Belgium and the Netherlands.

The map based on data reported by member states represents the basis for recommendations of the EU Council regarding non-essential travel within the EU during the Covid-19 pandemic. See more maps here based on the data here

Slovenia Introduces Digital COVID "Passport", Paper Version Coming This Week

30 Jun 2021, 17:40 PM

STA, 30 June 2021 - More restrictions on the services sector will be lifted on Monday, the government decided at a session held as part of its visit to the Podravje region on Wednesday. Casinos will fully reopen and there will be no more restrictions on the number of customers in shops. The rule of reconvalescence [i.e. recovery], testing or vaccination remains in place indoors.

As of Monday, shops will no longer be restricted to accepting only one customer per 10 square metres, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said on Twitter.

Bars and restaurants will no longer need to secure a distance of three meters between tables and face masks will no longer be required indoors.

Casinos have been allowed to offer up to 75% of their gaming capacities as of last Monday, and now this restriction too will be lifted.

There will also be no more restrictions for convention activities. So far, 75% of seats were allowed to be occupied with one seat empty in-between. As of Monday, all seats can be occupied, Počivalšek announced.

However, the rule of reconvalescence, testing or vaccination remains in place for customers inside bars and restaurants, casinos, accommodation facilities, night clubs, and for visitors of congresses.

Employees of hair salons, beauty parlours, and providers of non-medical counselling and therapeutical services, education and training etc. will also still need to be vaccinated or tested if they are not reconvalescent.

Clubs and discotheques will remain open from 5am to midnight.

The government also decided today to lift all restrictions for sports and recreational activities be it individual or in group activities. There are no more restrictions on the number of spectators at sports events and they no longer need to wear face masks.

As of Monday, restrictions will be lifted also for libraries, archives, museums and galleries, for cultural events and for visiting cultural heritage sights.

This is the latest in a series of easing of restrictions driven by a favourable epidemiological situation. The new rules will apply from 5 July until 11 July.

The government also made some changes to the green list of countries today, adding entire Croatia and Germany, as well as Switzerland and Montenegro to the Covid safe list as of Saturday. New to the list are also Estonia, Lithuania and Luxembourg, the government said.

Several administrative units of countries were also added to the list, which now includes most of France, and several Greek regions, including the Ionian Islands and Western Greece.

Most of Belgium remains on the orange list, while the Flanders administrative unit is now on the green list.

These changes too will be in place until 11 July.

29 Jun 2021, 11:17 AM

STA, 29 June 2021 - It is exactly 20 years on Tuesday since an agreement was signed by the countries successors to Yugoslavia to divide the obligations and property of the former common state. The office of the high representative for succession has told the STA that Slovenia is constantly striving for active resolution of open issues.

The agreement, mediated by the international community, was signed on 29 June 2001 in Vienna by the foreign ministers of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (legal successor is Serbia) and Macedonia (now North Macedonia).

Ten years after the break-up of Yugoslavia, it was the first succession agreement, and a peace treaty of sorts, as it was the first agreement to be signed by all five successors. It entered into force three years later, when it was ratified by Croatia as the last country to do so in June 2004.

The agreement regulates division of movable and immovable property of the former Yugoslavia, consular and diplomatic representations, financial issues, archives, social security, pensions, private property and acquired rights.

The shares obtained by Slovenia in various fields reach from 14% to 16.39%, and constant talks and negotiations are taking place in relation to the implementation of the agreement both between the successors and with third countries.

On the occasion of the anniversary, the office of the high representative for succession Miha Pogačnik said that Slovenia and its authorised representatives were constantly striving for active resolution of open succession issues.

These are unresolved issues from the past, whose closure would contribute to reconciliation and improvement of regional cooperation, it said.

Slovenia has already received the bulk of the financial property of the former Yugoslavia it is entitled to in the forms of cash, gold and other precious metals, foreign currency deposits in foreign commercial banks and securities.

This property obtained by Slovenia is estimated at a total of EUR 220 million, and does not include the Triglav patrol boat that was acquired in 2011 as part of a clearing debt from Russia.

Slovenia has also obtained 83% of the former diplomatic and consular offices of the former Yugoslavia it is entitled to - in Washington, Rome, Milan, Klagenfurt, Brasilia, Morocco, Mali, Tanzania and Guyana.

The country got around US$3.5 million from the sale of a residence in New York and the embassies in Tokyo and Bonn that the successor countries have sold together. The procedures to sell the building of the former embassy in Bern and the permanent representation in New York are under way.

Slovenia has so far also taken over around 230 works of art by Slovenian artists that were located in diplomatic and consular representations around the world.

It has also assumed more than 100 original copies of international treaties signed by the former Yugoslavia that relate exclusively to the territory of present-day Slovenia, and documentation related to borders with Italy, Austria and Hungary.

The office of the high representative for succession also noted that Slovenia is the initiator of a project to digitalise the joint archival material of the former Yugoslavia that would enable all successors to access copies.

At the last meeting of the high representatives in November 2019 in Zagreb, all successors endorsed the proposal from Slovenia that funds for the project are obtained also from international financial resources.

The office also emphasised as an important achievement the start of talks with Serbia about the succession to cultural heritage items located in institutions of Serbia and that, in accordance with the agreement, belong to Slovenia.

28 Jun 2021, 15:32 PM

STA, 28 June 2021 - Slovenia reported 12 new coronavirus infections for Sunday and no Covid-19 deaths, show the latest government figures. The 7-day average of new cases fell from 37 to 32 and the 14-day incidence per 100,000 population dropped by one to 35.

The latest cases come from 648 PCR tests with the positivity rate standing at 1.9%. A total of 6,644 rapid antigen tests were also performed yesterday with all positives there double checked with PCR method.

The number of patients in hospital decreased by one to 74 this morning after six were discharged home, and the number of ICU cases also fell by one to 22.

According to an estimate by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), there are now 774 active cases in Slovenia, down from 785 the day before.

See the latest data here

27 Jun 2021, 15:01 PM

STA, 27 June 2021 - Maribor held its second Pride Parade on Saturday, a week after a similar event was held in Ljubljana, with the city's local authorities and the university joining in for the first time.

The organizers said they had distributed all the 300 promotional bracelets among the participants, as many more people took part.

Featuring rainbow flags and banners, the parade set off from the city's Freedom Square to proceed around the old town, calling for solidarity under the slogan For You, for Me for Us.

"The slogan is mean to express solidarity with everyone in Slovenia, not just the LGBTQIA+ community, mainly as a response to the current developments," said Doris Špurej, the coordinator of the programme of the Maribor Cultural Centre that organised the parade.

"Pride Parades have been important and are in particular important now, mainly in Maribor, where we are still lagging behind when it comes to visibility, safe spaces and access to information," she added.

Matej Behin, a member of the organising team, referred to Hungary's new anti-LGBTIQ law, stressing that "even the rights that have been gained cannot be taken for granted".

The biggest round of applause went to Urban Bren, the vice-chancellor of the University of Maribor, who described the rainbow flag on the chancellor's office as a sign "that we are an open and welcoming university in an open and welcoming town".

The event was also attended by representatives of the opposition Social Democrats and the Left.

Maribor held its first pride parade in June 2019. The event was not held last year.

27 Jun 2021, 10:38 AM

STA, 26 June 2021 - The police have estimated that some 9,000 people gathered in Prešeren Square on Friday to join in an alternative celebration of Statehood Day and protest against the government. An inquiry has been launched into the organisers of the unregistered rally, who are also behind Friday anti-government protests, for violating the public assembly act.

The Ljubljana Police Department said on Saturday that both the official Statehood Day ceremony and the protest were policed with 14 violations of the protection of public order act detected at the rally.

A total of 13 people were detained and released after the protest ended. Other procedures are ongoing as inquiries into potential further violations continue, the police added.

The rally started at about 7pm and ended at 9pm. Some 200 participants then proceeded to the crossroad of Slovenska Road and Šubičeva Street, which is close to Republic Square where the formal ceremony was held. They dispersed at around 10pm.

Speakers at the latest anti-government protest criticised political elites, highlighting that Slovenians had had enough of political divides.

23 Jun 2021, 15:59 PM

STA, 23 June 2021 - A new housing complex with almost 110 apartments for people aged 18-29 was inaugurated on Wednesday in Ljubljana in a bid to assist youths in gaining independence, starting family and securing financial freedom. Monthly rent will be some 150 EUR per person.

The first of its kind in Slovenia, the youth complex in Gerbičeva Street (Skupnost za mlade Gerbičeva), , a student dorm district in the south-western part of the capital, features 109 apartments with either single- or twin-bedrooms.

The facility also includes an intergenerational centre with a multi-purpose room, a common room, a kitchen and cafeteria, an office and an atrium. Residents will have 40 parking spots available along with bike racks and EV charging points.

Housing Fund director Črtomir Remec said at the ceremony that the complex was also available to non-Ljubljana residents, adding that employment or education status was not a condition for getting subsidised rental apartments.

The complex is not intended for young families or students, and a tenant may occupy an apartment for a maximum of three years. First residents are expected to move in at the end of July or beginning of August.

This is the first of the three planned youth housing units, the other two being in western Ljubljana and in western Maribor. All three projects are being co-funded by the Council of Europe Development Bank.

Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković is also pleased with such development. "This is true decentralisation. The more housing units outside Ljubljana means less pressure on the capital," he said, adding this was a "beautiful acquisition."

Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Andrej Vizjak pointed out that Slovenia's long term housing strategy is to substantially increase the number of rental apartments as well as build new ones intended for various social groups.

"This pilot project shows how bringing together different generations can help propel young people towards greater independence and enable them to gain ground in their professional and family life," he concluded.

Development and European Cohesion Policy Minister Zvonko Černač, said that his prior experience in managing a housing fund showed how proper living conditions are one of the fundamental prerequisites for youths to gain independence.

Learn more at the website

23 Jun 2021, 12:18 PM

STA, 23 June 2021 - Slovenia reported 50 new coronavirus cases for Tuesday as the 7-day average fell by a further ten to 59. One patient with Covid-19 died, government figures show.

Only 2.5% of the 2,038 PCR tests performed yesterday came back positive, as a total of 17,715 people were screened with rapid antigen tests.

The cumulative 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents dropped by ten from the day before to 56, show data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).

Hospitalisations also decreased, by nine to 83, with 29 patients now in intensive care, down by four.

The NIJZ estimates there now 1,199 active cases in the country, out of a total of 257,117 confirmed since the first case was confirmed in March 2020.

Data released on the government website show a total of 4,743 patients with Covid-19 have died.

A total of 804,193 people have received their first shot of a vaccine against Covid-19 and 605,471 have been fully immunised, which represents 38% and 28.8% of the population, respectively, according to NIJZ.

22 Jun 2021, 16:14 PM

STA, 22 June 2021 - The latest measurements have revealed the Covid epidemic has severely impaired school children's physical efficiency, making 10% addicted to digital devices, and increasing the share of overweight kids by 30%. Experts thus propose several measures to address the issue, such as no more school closures and possibly no homework.

"Zoom-assisted distance learning has increased the time kids sit by 63%, while the share of non-active activities rose by 30% and the share of moderate to intensive activity was at a mere 7%," Gregor Starc, a professor at the Ljubljana Faculty of Sport, told the press on Tuesday.

Kids spent time looking at various screens for more than seven hours a day, he said as he presenting the results after two-thirds of the research into physical efficiency of school children has been completed.

He noted that schools in Slovenia had been closed for more than 100 days whereas the WHO had urged governments to close them as the last institutions in the pandemic.

Starc is also very worried that despite the end of the epidemic, the future holds more distance education than before it.

He stressed that schools provided equal opportunities to children regardless of their social status, meaning inequality increased during the epidemic.

Until 2020, the share of overweight school children in Slovenia was dropping 1% a year over the past 10 years.

But now compared to 2019, the share of overweight children rose by 23% at schools which acted upon similar research results from last year when schools re-opened.

The rise in overweight children at schools which did not have the exact data increased by as much as 34%.

The epidemic took the biggest physical efficiency toll on the most physically successful children, pushing them towards those at the bottom.

"The drop in top physically efficient children in 2020 was as much as 31.4%," said Starc.

This was accompanied by other bad habits, with 10% of the children addicted to video games and 8% to social media, said Martin Korošec, a digital marketing expert.

Too much sitting was moreover coupled with unhealthy diet, a lack of socialising and communication and less time for the family, which all affects the development of brain and increases the risk of digital addiction, he said.

Both Korošeč and Starc urged measures at national level as well as broader to contain the negative effects.

Starc stressed that "foremost, schools must not be closed", and Korošec added that "screen time must be limited, including for schooling".

Sport should not be a "burdening school subject", so the idea is that it should become the first subject without marks where only a child's progress is monitored.

"Taking Finland and Denmark as a role model, homework should be abolished so that schoolwork does not eat into a child's spare time," said Starc.

Another measure to encourage physical activity would be introducing subsidies for sport for children who already have school meals subsidised.

Starc said no new gyms are needed as Slovenia is one of the best in this respect, while children can also spend time outdoors regardless of weather if properly dressed.

However, "in three generations, the radius within which children move outdoors without their parents' supervision has narrowed from five kilometres to one".

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