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Slovenia tightens restrictions as cases surge

Ljubljana, 14 October - PM Janez Janša announced additional restrictive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus on Wednesday, including remote learning from the fifth grade of primary school as of Monday, an inter-regional movement ban, limited gatherings, and mandatory masks outdoors in red-listed regions as of Friday.

Ljubljana
PM Janez Janša announces additional restrictive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus amid rising case and hospitalisation numbers.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Ljubljana
PM Janez Janša announces additional restrictive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus amid rising case and hospitalisation numbers.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Ljubljana
Prime Minister Janez Janša.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Janša said that given the latest epidemiological situation, the government had to take additional measures, one of them being activating reserves in the healthcare system.

Another measure will be restricting direct work in schools, meaning that children from the fifth grade of primary school up will continue school remotely as of Monday at least until the autumn holiday, when an evaluation will be made.

The week-long autumn holidays start the last week of October.

The same will apply to secondary schools, and colleges and universities are also urged to do as much work as possible remotely.

As for regional measures, the prime minister said that seven out of the 12 Slovenian statistical regions had already exceeded the threshold of 140 cases per 100,000 residents in a 14-day period.

In these seven red-listed regions, inter-regional movement will be banned, and gatherings capped at 10 persons. Masks will be also mandatory outdoors, and certain services activities, including sport activities, will be cancelled.

These regions are Central Slovenia, Gorenjska, Koroška, Zasavje, Posavje, Savinja and South-eastern Slovenia.

The government is also thinking about extending the validity of tourism vouchers beyond their current expiry at the end of 2020, Janša said.

Janša added that the government had evaluated the latest epidemiological situation and its possible development to assess that "we are between the orange and red phase" as the number of infections was increasing.

The decree detailing the measures is to be published tomorrow.

A total of 707 new Sars-CoV-2 cases were confirmed in Slovenia on Tuesday, almost a doubling of Monday's figure and a new record by far, which comes on 4,902 tests, a new high as well. The positivity rate hit a record 14.4%.

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© STA, 2020