Slovenia's government said on Monday, May 11, that international passenger air traffic will be allowed to resume from Tuesday, May 12, after having been suspended for eight weeks due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Reportedly, planes from abroad will not be able to land at smaller local airports until June 12. Many airlines have canceled flights to and from the capital Ljubljana until the end of May.
The Slovenian government began partially easing COVID-19 measures from Thursday, April 30, allowing citizens to travel outside their local community. Businesses reopened from Monday, May 4, while public transport resumed on May 11. The education ministry also announced that students in the first three years of elementary and last year of high school will return to school from Monday, May 18. Other students will continue with online classes until the beginning of the new term in September. However, Prime Minister Janez Jansa stated that large public gatherings, including large sporting events, will remain suspended until further notice.
Other quarantine measures remain in place as of May 11. Slovenian citizens and foreign nationals entering the country remain subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine either at home or in designated hotels. The measure does not apply to individuals traveling for work, those involved in freight operations, or those who were transiting through Slovenia without staying overnight. Public transport, including air traffic, has been shut down, and health checks are being conducted on the borders with Italy and Austria.
To date, there are 1418 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 89 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
To reduce the general risk of transmission, individuals are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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