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Slovenia tightening lockdown for two weeks

Ljubljana, 12 November - Slovenia will tighten its lockdown for two weeks in a bid to reduce the number of daily new coronavirus cases. Public transport will shut down and all non-essential stores will close. Schools and kindergartens will remain shut down. All gatherings except of persons in the same household will be completely banned.

Ljubljana, vlada.
Novinarska konferenca o aktualnem stanju glede bolezni covid-19.
Minister za zdravje Tomaž Gantar.
Foto: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Some of the measures will take effect on Friday, while others will be put in place on Saturday or Monday, government officials told the press on Thursday.

The narrowing of exemptions for crossing the border without quarantining will take effect on Monday, Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said.

Most notably, those with property in Croatia will no longer be able to spend 48 hours in Croatia and return without quarantining.

Another exemption that will be narrowed is visits up to 72 hours of relatives. This will be restricted to EU and Schengen Zone countries only. "In short, this means no more weekends in Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia," Hojs said.

The blanket ban on gatherings, taking effect on Friday, means that persons who are not relatives or from the same households will not be allowed to socialise at all. At present, gatherings of more than six persons are prohibited.

Public transportation will be shut down on Monday, according to Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec.

Health Minister Tomaž Gantar said the existing measures had been partially successful as the growth in new coronavirus cases went from exponential to linear, but they were not enough the reduce the baseline number of new cases.

"I firmly believe that without [new measures] we cannot speak about a return to normal life," Gantar said.

The new measures return Slovenia to roughly the spring level of lockdown, when all but essential stores were closed, public transportation was suspended and students were doing remote schooling.

Most stores have already been closed for three weeks and all schools are currently in remote mode, but limited non-essential retail, for example at jewellery stores, is still possible.

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© STA, 2020