STA, 12 January 2020 - The Alpine resort of Kranjska Gora has seen its official population double during the epidemic as over 2,000 have registered temporary residence, which allows them to invoke one of the exceptions to the ban on crossing municipal borders. While this is legal, local authorities say rules are being bent.
Accommodation capacities are "surprisingly full" and there are a lot of people who are not locals, said Gregor Jarkovič, the head of a municipal inspection service covering Kranjska Gora and two neighbouring municipalities.
The local authorities have discovered that accommodation typically reserved for tourists is being leased out to businesses, which are not covered by the Covid-19 rules that have shut down hotels and other tourism accommodation.
According to Jarkovič, it is very hard for inspectors to verify whether such conduct constitutes an infringement of the rules, which means they cannot sanction potential violators.
"The fact is that we all know what is recommended and what is not. We know it is necessary to refrain from contacts and keep a distance. Any such bending of rules does not contribute to an improvement of the epidemiological situation," he said.
Blaž Veber, the director of Kranjska Gora Tourism, noted that the current rules allowed property owners to lease out to business clients, but since this is poorly defined, it is very difficult to check how such leases are implemented in practice.
"We depend on tourism and place all of our hopes in compliance with the measures and stemming this wave. It seems that this is not the way to achieve that," he said.
Kranjska Gora has near perfect snow conditions and roughly a meter of snow at the moment. While the ski lifts are shut down, social media posts show hundreds hitting the slopes to go sledding at the weekend.
According to current Covid-19 restrictions, outdoor recreation is allowed within the statistical region of residence and in observance of general precautions, but those who have temporary residence in another statistical region may go there as well.