STA, 16 October 2020 - Wide-ranging restrictions are taking effect across Slovenia on Friday, with a number of regions going into partial lockdown as a response to a high number of new coronavirus cases over the past fortnight. Among other things, socialising will be restricted to no more than ten people and remote teaching will be introduced for older students.
CLASSIFICATION OF REGIONS
Based on the coronavirus infection rates in individual statistical regions, these are being designated either orange or red. No region has been designated green, as all have a 14-day average of cases per 100,000 residents above 40, the limit at which a region is designated orange. Regions with an incidence of over 140 per 100,000 are designated red.
Seven of Slovenia's 12 statistical regions are currently red: Gorenjska, Koroška, Osrednjeslovenska, Posavska, Savinjska and Zasavska, or 117 of 212 municipalities.
The list will change based on official infections data released by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) at least once a week; the first will be posted on Friday.
The list, in Slovene, can be found here
GATHERING OF PEOPLE
Temporarily, gathering of people is being restricted to ten persons. Moreover, these are only allowed to meet if a minimal required safety distance prescribed by the NIJZ can be observed.
Exceptions apply to close family members and members of the same household, as well as groups of up to six co-workers commuting to work together, but only if they wear protective masks.
A general ban on events, rallies, weddings and religious ceremonies has been put in place in the red regions. Some events which have already been approved by the NIJZ will have to be cancelled.
Exceptions apply to one-time events, such as concerts, that have already been approved by the NIJZ, but not to recurring events, such as film screenings at cinemas, said Interior Minister Aleš Hojs.
INTER-REGIONAL MOVEMENT RESTRICTIONS
Red-region residents are no longer allowed to leave their region.
However, a number of exceptions have been put in place: going to work, agricultural and forestry work, providing healthcare and property protection services, care for a family member, access to a pharmacy, healthcare services and hospitals, access to foreign diplomatic and consular representation and access to emergency services, among several others.
Residents of red regions may also cross over into an orange region if they own a piece of property there, or if they are travelling to a foreign country, meaning that a red region's resident may travel across regions to cross into a neighbouring country.
Moreover, people who have previously booked a holiday may also travel across regions, although the government advises against it and has also said that it would extend the tourism voucher scheme beyond 31 December.
People are also allowed to leave a red region to visit a grave, but this is discouraged. Slovenians flock to cemeteries on 1 November, All Saint's Day, often meeting family and friends as they visit the graves of their their loved ones.
To be able to leave a red region, people will need to show some formal proof if they get pulled over in a random police check.
Orange region residents are free to move across regions and may also enter red regions, albeit this is not advised.
Grounds for movement restrictions described above are determined by the government every seven days.
Masks are no longer obligatory only indoors, but also outside and in cars, when carrying persons who are not members of the same household.
Exceptions include children up to the age of six, primary and secondary school student in their home class, preschool teachers and teachers up to grade 5 when working with children, and university teachers when using a protective screen; persons in one-on-one fitness training sessions provided that a safety distance of three metres can be observed.
Masks remain obligatory indoors.
Remote learning will be reintroduced on Monday for students in 6th grade and older. Currently, the plan is for this to remain in place for a week, until the one-week autumn vacation.
Remote teaching will also be in place at music schools and higher vocational schools, in case of the latter until end of October.
Institutions and schools for children with disabilities will continue in person.
Universities have decided to switch to remote teaching wherever possible.
A ban will take effect on Saturday on services in fitness centres and sports facilities, as well as group exercises.
School gyms will be closed to outside users, exceptions being competitions and club members with registered athlete status training at the facilities.
Fitness centres and other sport facilities remain open, however attendance is capped at 1 person per 20 square metres.
The restrictions do not apply to athletes with registered athlete status without regard for their location, Educations and Sport Minister Simona Kustec said.
BARS AND RESTAURANTS
Bars, restaurants, coffee shops and pastry shops will close their on Saturday. They may still prepare food, but only for take away or delivery services.
Tourist accommodation facilities may still serve food and drink, but only between 6am and 10.30pm and only to guests.
Serving of food and drink is allowed between 6am and 10.30pm. Guests are only served at tables, which must be appropriately spaced.
HAIR AND BEAUTY SALONS
Only one client will be allowed in the salon as of Saturday.
The number of clients in the salon is capped at one person per 20 square metres.