COVID-19 & Slovenia, Afternoon 29 March: Deaths, Flight Ban, Spain

By , 29 Mar 2020, 14:19 PM Politics
COVID-19 & Slovenia, Afternoon 29 March: Deaths, Flight Ban, Spain Ciku Peppe

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Two deaths and 46 new Covid-19 cases confirmed on Saturday, putting totals at 11 and 730

Passenger flight ban extended

Group evacuated from Spain quarantined in Postojna

Two deaths and 46 new Covid-19 cases confirmed on Saturday, putting totals at 11 and 730

STA, 29 March 2020 - Two more persons died in Slovenia as a result of Covid-19 on Saturday, putting the total number at 11. The number of confirmed cases rose by 46 to 730, with the increase comparing to 52 on Friday and 70 on Thursday.

A total of 997 persons were tested on Saturday, down from 1,387 on Friday and 1,075 on Thursday.

The number of hospitalised patients increased by 11 to 101 on Saturday, 23 of which need intensive care, the Government Communication Office said on Sunday.

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Passenger flight ban extended

STA, 29 March 2020 - Slovenian air traffic will remain severely restricted as the government has extended a ban on passenger flights that had originally been put in place on 17 March.

Flights to and from non-EU countries are banned until further notice while flights to and from EU destinations will remain suspended until 13 April, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette on Saturday.

The reason why a two-week suspension applies to EU destinations is because EU rules require member states to apply such bans only for 14 days and then extend them if necessary.

The ban does not apply to aircraft transporting cargo or mail, aircraft conducting special transport without passengers or ferry flights, or to foreign planes or helicopters on humanitarian or health missions.

Any other exemptions must by approved by the infrastructure or foreign ministries.

Passenger traffic has ground to a halt across the world as countries try to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Individual flights have landed in Ljubljana since the ban took effect, but most were evacuation flights bringing home Slovenians and other EU nationals.

The Jože Pučnik Ljubljana Airport had already been hammered by last year's bankruptcy of Adria Airways, the biggest operator of flights into Slovenia, and the ban will only add to its woes.

Airport operator Fraport Slovenija says it is impossible to assess the damage to the aviation industry due to the airport closures and aircraft grounding, but it will be "enormous".

"It is unclear how fast and to what extent air traffic will recover," the company told the STA.

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Group evacuated from Spain quarantined in Postojna

STA, 29 March 2020 - A group of 40 Slovenian nationals was flown in from Spain Saturday night on the latest evacuation flight organised by the Foreign Ministry. They have been placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine in a hotel in Postojna.

The individuals had been in quarantine in Spain and none of them has tested positive for coronavirus. They will however be tested again, either on Sunday or next week, Postojna Mayor Igor Marentič told the STA.

The group will spend the next two weeks at Epic Hotel, which its owner had recently made available for quarantine purposes. They will be looked after by members of the civil protection force and the Red Cross, with a security guard stationed in front of the hotel.

This is the second group of Slovenians evacuated from Spain, one of the European countries with the highest number of Covid-19 cases, that has been placed in mandatory quarantine. The first group, numbering 42 people, was quarantined in Velenje on Thursday.

While persons who had been in high-risk areas had previously been told to self-isolate, the government has recently decreed that all those coming from coronavirus hotspots must be quarantined for two weeks. They will be put up in hotels and similar facilities around the country.

Several hundred nationals have been airlifted to Slovenia in recent days and Foreign Ministry information suggests several hundred more are abroad seeking to return home.

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