Slovenian authorities declared a 30-day nationwide state of emergency on Monday, October 19, due to an uptick in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rates in the country. Officials will also tighten pandemic-related restrictions for the duration of the state of emergency. From Tuesday, October 20, a nightly curfew will be in effect from 21:00 to 06:00 (local time) nationwide. All movement outside of residences during the curfew hours will be restricted for reasons of work, emergencies, and urgent family assistance. There will also be a ban on travel between regions, excluding for work, healthcare, and emergency situations. Gatherings of people from different households will be limited to six people. All public events and religious ceremonies will be prohibited.
Slovenian authorities previously introduced a traffic light system to determine which COVID-19 measures should be implemented in which regions. The red, amber, and green ratings are determined by the number of cases per 100,000 over the previous 14 days, the number of hospitalized patients, and the number of patients in intensive care units. There are no regions rated as green, the Goriska, Coastal-Karst, and Primorsko-Notranjsha regions are rated as orange and Central Slovenia, Gorenjska, Koroška, Savinska, Posavska, Southeastern Slovenia, and Zasavska are rated red. Among the measures in place in red regions include a ban on travel between regions. Face masks must be worn in all public spaces unless exercising alone. Restaurants and bars must close, with only takeaway services permitted. There is also a ban on all events, rallies, weddings, and religious ceremonies in these areas, and gyms and sports facilities for recreational sports have also closed. The measures in place in red regions are in addition to measures in place in amber regions. Cafes, bars, and restaurants will only be allowed to operate in orange regions between 06:00 and 22:30 (local time) and guests must be seated.
Many nonessential businesses previously reopened, following strict health and social distancing guidelines that require persons from different households to distance themselves at least 1.5m (5ft) away from each other. All businesses must conduct temperature checks and screenings of their employees before entering the premises. Face coverings are mandatory nationwide in all indoor public areas, on public transport, and in busy public outdoor spaces such as high streets, where maintaining social distance is not possible.
International travelers remain restricted from entering Slovenia dependent on their country of origin. A color-coded three-tier system is in place on travel from foreign countries based on their levels of COVID-19 transmission. Travelers from "green" locations, epidemiologically safe, and those arriving from "orange" countries within the EU or Schengen Area may enter without restrictions. Those arriving from all other "orange" countries will be required to self-isolate for ten days on arrival. Travelers arriving from "red" countries will also be required to self-isolate for ten days on arrival. Providing a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 48 hours of arriving, may exempt travelers from quarantining.
As of October 19, there have been 13,679 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 190 associated fatalities in Slovenia. Further international spread of the virus is to expected.
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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with 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 disease.
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