STA, 18 May 2020 - Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto announced on Monday a gradual approach to lifting restrictions on the Slovenian-Hungarian border by 1 June after talks with Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek. The Slovenian minister confirmed the goal was to reopen borders in early June, provided a suitable epidemiological picture.
Szijjarto wrote on Facebook that relaunching the economy meant resuming international cooperation which includes easing border restrictions. People's health should not be put into jeopardy though, he highlighted in a post reposted by the Hungarian Press Agency MTI.
The Hungarian foreign minister added that he and Počivalšek agreed that both Slovenia and Hungary had successfully contained the coronavirus epidemic.
Szijjarto pointed out that trade between the two countries exceeded EUR 2.5 billion per year with close-knitted communities on both sides of the border.
In a post on his Twitter profile, Minister Počivalšek said that he had suggested stepping up procedures to reopen borders in his talks with the relevant ministers from Hungary and Austria.
The Slovenian minister added that protocols should be put in place on how to cross the border and that everything should be done "not to jeopardise our health in the process".
Slovenian government coronavirus spokesman Jelko Kacin announced on Sunday that Počivalšek would be holding talks today with both Szijjarto and Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger.
In the wake of Sunday's government decision to take a more gradual approach to reopening Slovenia's borders to EU citizens, Kacin told the press today that the relevant strategy was focussed on preventing the cross-border spread of the virus.
A list of countries that will enjoy a restriction-free entry has not yet been delivered, however the government has said that it will be regularly updating the list taking into account epidemiological situations in individual countries, presented by the National Institute of Public Health, as well as agreements with member states and Schengen countries and EU-wide agreements.
There are no border restrictions for Slovenian citizens upon entering Slovenia though.