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Cargo curbs causing long tailbacks on border crossings

Ljubljana, 13 March - After Croatia and Hungary closed their borders for vehicles coming for Italy, long tailbacks of traffic are being reported on the border crossings. Slovenia instituted restrictions on lorries, trains and buses crossing the Slovenian-Italian border to contain the spreading of the coronavirus late on Thursday.

Long tailbacks of traffic.
Photo: STA

The situation seems to be the worst at the Obrežje border crossing with Croatia at the moment, where drivers are waiting more than 18 hours to leave the country. At Gruškovje, the waiting time for vehicles going to Croatia is more than ten hours and at Zavrč seven hours.

At Središče ob Dravi, lorries have to wait five hours to exit the country, at Metlika three and at Dobovec one hour.

Hungary and Croatia had closed their borders for all vehicles coming from Italy without a prior notice.

Traffic congestion is now being reported also at the Pince border crossing with Hungary.

The trade union representing workers in transport said that basic necessities had been provided to drivers that are stuck in the congestion for hours without food, water or toilets.

Water and sandwiches are being distributed to them, and mobile toilets are also being set up along the motorway by the motorway company DARS.

Outgoing PM Marjan Šarec told last night's late news show Odmevi that the Foreign Ministry had requested information from Croatia on border measures but had not been "very successful".

"We'll thus continue trying to learn from Croatians what all this is about. The measure has of course caused big problems and this will have to be agreed between the governments beforehand in the future, because this is not the way to do it," Šarec said.

The incoming prime minister, Janez Janša, said on Thursday that Slovenia would have to follow the example of Serbia and Croatia regarding restrictions for cargo transport. He said he had already discussed the matter with Croatian PM Andrej Plenković.

Slovenia imposed a ban for trains, buses and lorries at 10pm last night but shipments of protective gear, medicines, humanitarian aid and mail packages are except.

All small border crossings with Italy are closed. The border crossings Rateče, Robič, Vrtojba, Fernetiči, Krvavi Potok and Škofije remain open but health checks are being conducted there.

© STA, 2020