Slovenia will put in place new restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus. Non-essential shops will be closed, as will hotels, kindergartens and student dormitories, with some exceptions, Prime Minister Janez Janša announced on Thursday. The measures, entering into force on Saturday, will initially be in place for a week.
The new measures come after wide-ranging restrictions, including a 9pm-6am curfew, an inter-regional movement ban, limited gatherings, remote education for most children, the closure of bars, and mandatory masks outdoors were already introduced in the past week.
While non-essential shops are closing, delivery, including from restaurants, will still be allowed. Kindergartens, which Janša says were closing to due a significant rise in infections among staff, will still be available for children whose parents work and cannot secure daycare, but Janša also called on employers to switch to work from home if only possible.
Student homes will be closing for all who do not have other accommodation next week, while public transport will be scaled down to a third of full capacity.
The border regime is not changing and transit will continue to be allowed, with Janša saying that no noteworthy import of the virus from other currently was presently being recorded.
While no additional restrictions are being introduced for sports activities – top-level competitions continue, while recreational sport is already mostly restricted to individual activities -hair and beauty salons are closing down.
The prime minister, who urged compliance with protective measures and stressed that Slovenia already braved such circumstances in the spring, explained that the situation would be re-evaluated after a week.
He noted that the option to limit movement to municipalities like was the case in the spring was still on the table. The government will decide on it in the coming days.
Janša said that daily confirmed Covid-19 cases continued to rise and would for a while, which is why it was too early to say whether the measures adopted recently would be enough to contain the spread.
He said the option of mass testing was being examined as well, first for high-risk groups and in the weeks after that for the entire population.
Janša announced that a taskforce is already drawing up gudilines for a new stimulus package and that the measures would be similar to those seen in the spring.
He said that next week, when the autumn holidays are scheduled for school children, will be “the week of the fight to stop the spread of the virus among us”.