Slovenia Announces New Restrictions on Travel, Gatherings, & Schools

By , 14 Oct 2020, 21:48 PM Politics
Slovenia Announces New Restrictions on Travel, Gatherings, & Schools CC-by-SA (via Wikipedia)

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STA, 14 October 2020 - PM Janez Janša announced additional restrictive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus on Wednesday, including remote learning from the fifth grade of primary school as of Monday, an inter-regional movement ban, limited gatherings, and mandatory masks outdoors in red-listed regions as of Friday.

Janša said that given the latest epidemiological situation, the government had to take additional measures, one of them being activating reserves in the healthcare system.

Another measure will be restricting direct work in schools, meaning that children from the fifth grade of primary school up will continue school remotely as of Monday at least until the autumn holiday, when an evaluation will be made.

The week-long autumn holidays start the last week of October.

The same will apply to secondary schools, and colleges and universities are also urged to do as much work as possible remotely.

As for regional measures, the prime minister said that seven out of the 12 Slovenian statistical regions had already exceeded the threshold of 140 cases per 100,000 residents in a 14-day period.

In these seven red-listed regions, inter-regional movement will be banned, and gatherings capped at 10 persons. Masks will be mandatory outdoors, and certain services activities and sport activities will be cancelled.

These regions are Central Slovenia, Gorenjska, Koroška, Zasavje, Posavje, Savinjska and South-eastern Slovenia.

As for inter-regional travel for red-listed regions, Janša said exceptions would be listed in the relevant decree, including work and basic services.

The government also wants to extend the validity of tourism vouchers beyond their current expiry at the end of 2020, Janša said, and this will be added to the fifth stimulus package, which will be discussed in parliament on Thursday.

"Those who have not spent their vouchers should thus not be afraid that they will not be able to do so in the next year," he added.

Janša added that the government had evaluated the latest epidemiological situation and its possible development to assess that "we are between the orange and red phase" as the number of infections was increasing.

The decree detailing the measures which will enter into force either on Friday or Monday is to be published tomorrow, when relevant ministers will also provide explanations of the measures to the press.

A total of 707 new Sars-CoV-2 cases were confirmed in Slovenia on Tuesday, almost a doubling of Monday's figure and a new record by far, which comes on 4,902 tests, a new high as well. The positivity rate hit a record 14.4%.

Janša also called on citizens who have not downloaded the national contact tracing app to do so, saying that consistent use of the app could help avoid certain restrictive measures.

The prime minister said the government had a plan ready in the event the situation deteriorates further, including formally declaring an epidemic.

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