Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Slovenia lifts ban on travel between different municipalities starting April 30. Additional COVID-19-related restrictions remain in place.

This alert affects Slovenia

This alert began 30 Apr 2020 20:08 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Authorities in Slovenia have begun gradually easing restrictions that had been imposed as part of the country's effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government has lifted the ban on intercity in the country as of April 30. Moreover, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to reopen outdoor seating spaces starting May 4. Authorities also anticipate that public transport could resume operating on May 11. Nevertheless, other restrictions that will remain in place include:

  • The suspension of passenger flights through at least May 12
  • A ban on nonessential movement in public spaces
  • The closure of many private businesses and public institutions

In addition, a number of border crossings with neighboring countries are closed or operating on reduced timetables, with authorities carrying out increased health screenings at those which remain open. Most individuals arriving in Slovenia are subject to a mandatory 7-14-day self-isolation period. The restrictions do not apply to freight transporters. 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 measures enacted by Slovenian authorities are in place indefinitely, except where indicated otherwise. Any restrictions may be extended or amended with little to no advance notice, depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Slovenian government are similar to actions taken by other European governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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.

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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