Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Slovenia to allow gatherings up to 50 people, and lift requirements for EU citizens to self-isolate upon entry from May 18.

This alert affects Slovenia

This alert began 15 May 2020 18:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Easing of COVID-19-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: From May 18
  • Impact: Easing of restrictions; travel and business disruptions remain

Summary
Slovenia will ease the COVID-19 related restrictions on public gatherings from May 18, and allow up to 50 people to congregate in cases where social distancing can be ensured. In addition, authorities will lift the requirements for EU citizens to self-isolate upon arrival; the requirement will remain in place for non-EU citizens.

Authorities in Slovenia previously eased some travel restrictions. From May 11, domestic public transport operations were resumed, though the requirement for strict hygiene and social distancing measures means services are likely to be disrupted. All passengers are required to wear protective face masks. From May 12, international flights are permitted to resume; however, no flights have been offered as of May 14; most carriers have canceled flights through the end of May. EU-wide restrictions on travelers from outside the bloc remain in force through at least June 15.

Restrictions on international rail and road passenger transport remain in force, and a number of border crossings with neighboring countries remain closed or operating on reduced timetables. Corresponding, and often stricter, border restrictions imposed by neighboring governments are also impacting movement out of Slovenia; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently advising Slovenian nationals against travel abroad.

The government maintains measures enforcing social distancing and restricting many private businesses and public institutions. Any restrictions may be extended or amended with little to no advance notice, depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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