STA, 18 June 2020 - Slovenia will impose stricter rules on its border with Croatia starting on Friday to prevent the import of new coronavirus cases, after the bulk of a surprise surge in new cases in recent days was found to have originated abroad.
Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia have thus been put on a black list of countries from where arrivals are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine regardless of residence status in Slovenia or nationality.
Additionally, the number of exemptions for these countries has been narrowed so as to minimise travel, in particular of migrant workers, government officials said Thursday.
The decision comes after half of the 26 new coronavirus cases confirmed in the past two weeks were found to have been imported, mostly from Bosnia and Serbia. Most other new cases are contacts of these imported cases.
Health Minister Tomaž Gantar said it was premature to talk about a second wave of the epidemic, but he stressed that Slovenia was making the move out of an abundance of caution to make sure the number of new infections does not increase to the point where there are too many infections and their contacts to trace.
Gantar also noted that Slovenians had started becoming "too relaxed, as if we have forgotten that it took huge efforts to defeat the epidemic" and indicated that some restrictions, for example on the size of crowds in public, may be tightened if needed. Currently gatherings of up to 500 people are allowed.
At the same time, the government is making preparations for the event that the number of infections increases substantially, in particular in care homes and in healthcare. The government is also working on solutions that would allow the economy to function normally in the event of a second wave, he said.