Coronavirus & Slovenia’s Borders: Trucks, Buses Stuck, Humanitarian Convoy Planned

By , 15 Mar 2020, 11:08 AM Politics
Images from the scene Images from the scene Ciprian Laurentiu Muresan

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STA, 14 March 2020 - The situation on Slovenia's borders with Italy and Croatia remains complicated as different countries have opted for different levels of border checks to contain the coronavirus epidemic. There are long lines of lorries in particular on the border with Croatia, but the authorities say they are working to address the situation.

Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec visited Gruškovje, one of the biggest crossings on the border with Croatia, Saturday afternoon to say that talks were under way with neighbouring countries.

"Goods are trapped on motorways, which is not good... We're in regular contact with ministers from neighbouring countries to resolve the situation. We're making various proposals, in particular to ensure uninterrupted supply and that the trapped lorry drivers could cross Slovenia faster," he said.

Many lorry drivers, in particular Romanian nationals, have been stuck in Slovenia because of restrictions imposed by Croatia and Hungary. At the same time, transit through Slovenia has been heavily affected due to restrictions that Slovenia adopted.

Vrtovec said that whatever the solution is, it must not cause new coronavirus infections. It must also apply to the entire transit route through Slovenia.

At Gruškovje the line of lorries waiting to cross into Croatia was nine kilometres long late in the afternoon. At Obrežje, another major crossing further south, the line was four kilometres long.

But cargo is not the only portion of traffic affected. Slovenia's restrictions on the border with Italy have left 95 Eastern European passengers stuck on two Ukrainian buses in the zone between the Slovenian and Italian border at the Fernetiči crossing since Friday morning.

The buses were allowed through the Italian checkpoint but were turned back at the Slovenian border, reportedly out of fear that they would be stuck in Slovenia. Italian authorities however refused to let them enter Italy and now they are stuck.

The local civil protection service from Sežana provided food and water last night and today. With the help of the Foreign Ministry it has been agreed that they will be escorted by police to a crossing with Croatia, where Croatian police will take over and see them through to Serbia.

Live updates from the Slovenian traffic service can be found here

Humanitarian convoy organised through Slovenia

STA, 14 March 2020 - Slovenian authorities have organised a humanitarian convoy to get lorries and passenger stranded in Slovenia due to border checks to their destination countries, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday evening.

The convoy of lorries and buses got under way in the evening accompanied by police and vehicles of the national motorway company DARS.

Transit to their destination countries will be supervised and there will be no stop in the transit countries, the ministry said.

The convoy was organised in agreement with Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Two Ukrainian buses with 95 passengers which had been stuck in the zone between the Italian and Slovenian border on Fernetiči for almost two days are not part of the convoy, according to public broadcaster TV Slovenija.

The buses were sent to Padua and the passengers will be airlifted to their countries, the report said.

All our stories on Slovenia and coronavirus are here

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