Projection: Epidemic might be getting out of hand
LJUBLJANA - The Jožef Stefan Institute warned the number of new coronavirus cases in the country is growing exponentially with the effective reproduction number higher than 1, which means "the epidemic might be getting out of hand". The institute's new model forecasts that between ten and 35 infections will be confirmed per day in the coming period. The seven-day average of the effective reproduction number - the number showing to how many people the infected person transmits the virus, currently stands at 1.16, whereas the three day-average is 1.55. Health officials said new restrictions would be imposed should the number of infections start to grow exponentially.
19 new coronavirus cases in 848 tests on Thursday
LJUBLJANA - Nineteen out of 848 coronavirus tests conducted in Slovenia on Thursday came back positive. A total of 23 persons were hospitalised with Covid-19, one fewer that the day before, including two in intensive care. No Covid-19 related deaths were reported. Three persons were meanwhile discharged from hospital. So far, Slovenia has recorded 2,052 coronavirus cases, with the national death toll standing at 115. The national infections tracker shows there are currently 259 active infections. The new cases include a health worker and a care home employee, but no nursing home resident.
Covid-19 drags tourism down 63% in June year-on-year
LJUBLJANA - The number of overnight stays generated by tourists in Slovenia in June dropped by 63.2% to nearly 610,000 compared to the same period last year. As many as 67% of overnights were generated by Slovenians. While their number increased by 2% over June of last year, the number of foreign guests was down as much as 83%. The Statistics Office said that 154,000 guests were from within the country, while the number of foreign guests dropped to 89,000. The number of nights spent by Slovenian tourists was down 3% year-on-year to 408,000, as those spent by foreign guests slumped by 84% to 201,000.
UK puts Slovenian on air bridges list
LONDON, UK - Slovenia was added to the UK's list of air bridges, which allows travel to England without needing to self-isolate. The decision, which also expands the list to Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia, is effective from Tuesday 28 July. Meanwhile, Slovenians will be required to self-isolate when entering Finland from Monday 27 July. Otherwise, Slovenians can travel to virtually all EU and EEA/Schengen countries restriction free, one rare exception is Ireland.
DeSUS executive committee backs Pivec and govt coalition
LJUBLJANA - The executive committee of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), meeting on Thursday, expressed full support for the party's leader Aleksandra Pivec and efforts to meet commitments set down in the coalition agreement. The committee also backed DeSUS deputy leaders. Pivec urged the closing of ranks in the wake of disagreements emerging in the party recently. The meeting came after some DeSUS regional committees issued a vote of no-confidence in Pivec in recent weeks.
Business sentiment up for third consecutive month in July
LJUBLJANA - Business sentiment increased for the third consecutive month in Slovenia in July, the Statistics Office said. At -18.0 percentage points, the figure was 5.6 percentage points higher than in June, but remained 24.3 points below July 2019. It was also 18.1 points lower than a years-long average. In monthly comparison, the figure was pushed up by confidence in the processing sector, services, retail, consumers and construction. Year-on-year, business sentiment was dragged down by a drop in confidence in services, among consumers, in processing, construction and retail.
Households showing signs of struggle, says survey
LJUBLJANA - An increasing number of Slovenians are struggling financially in the wake of the corona crisis, a survey by Mediana shows. More than a third of respondents think the government anti-corona measures are doing a good job in preserving public health and shoring up the economy. The survey shows that more and more Slovenians are breaking into their savings or considering taking out a loan. So far, the share has increased by four percentage points to almost 29%. The proportion of respondents planning to get a loan to deal with financial difficulties rose to 9% from 4% in May.
Some stores to reopen this Sunday
LJUBLJANA - Several major retailers will be open this Sunday after the government revoked a ban on Sunday shopping put in place in the earliest stages of the coronavirus epidemic. Others will wait and see how the competition responds to a decision that has come under heavy criticism from trade unions. Mercator, the country's no. 1 grocer, will initially open hypermarkets, supermarkets and stores in tourist areas. So will Tuš, Hofer and Bauhaus stores be open this Sunday, while Spar and E.Leclerc will return to Sunday opening hours on 2 August.
Anti-govt protesters take to streets again
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian capital witnessed anti-government protests for the 14th consecutive Friday, with a new focus this time on women's rights. The protesters, many of them on bicycles, gathered in Prešeren Square before doing a round of Ljubljana's centre, calling at government departments and other spots on the way, including RTV Slovenija where they expressed their support for the public broadcaster service. Protest campaigns were also held in Maribor, Piran and Velenje.
Police pull over a van with 22 illegal migrants
NOVO MESTO - The police said they had found 22 citizens of Pakistan smuggled to Slovenia in a van registered in Slovenia and driven by an Afghan and a Pakistani citizen. The van was pulled over Thursday night in Dolenjske Toplice (SE), some 20 km east of the border with Croatia. The pair of drivers, who have a residency permit in Italy, are facing criminal charges.