Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Slovenia limits gatherings to 10 people or 50 people with a special permit due to a spike in COVID-19 in the country.
- Alert Begins: 10 Jul 2020 09:15 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Travel, transport, and business disruptions
Authorities in Slovenia have limited gatherings to 10 people from July 8, due to a spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country; gatherings of up to 50 people could be allowed with a special permit containing a list of all guests attending. Sports and cultural events with up to 500 people remain possible if there is a police presence and the seating order is pre-determined.
Slovenia has already lifted entry restrictions for nationals of 23 countries that have been deemed epidemiologically safe. As of July 10, citizens of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Czech Republic (excluding the Moravian-Silesian Administrative Unit of the Czech Republic), Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland are now permitted to enter Slovenia without restrictions, provided they do so directly from one of these countries. Travelers entering Slovenia from locations other than the listed countries will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, regardless of their citizenship. Authorities could reimpose restrictions at any time if disease activity increases.
Besides Ljubljana Airport (LJU) for air traffic, foreign nationals entering Slovenia are obliged to use one of the following land checkpoints where authorities can evaluate whether they need to self-isolate upon entry:
- Croatia - border crossings Obrezje (around-the-clock operation) Gruskovje, Metlika, and Jelsane (0600-2200 operation)
- Hungary - checkpoint Pince (0600-2200)
- Italy - checkpoints Vrtojba, Fernetici, Skofije, and Krvavi potok
- Austria - checkpoints Karavanke, Ljubelj, and Sentilj
Most nonessential businesses have been allowed to reopen. The use of protective face coverings is no longer mandatory when in public; however, it is still recommended. In addition, authorities reopened kindergartens and primary schools, as well as secondary schools for students in their final year. Most sporting activities, including both indoor and outdoor group and individual sports, have resumed. Domestic public transport operations have resumed, though the requirement for strict hygiene and social distancing means service disruptions are likely. International flights have resumed.
The government maintains measures enforcing social distancing and restricting the operations of some 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
The measures taken by the Slovenian government are similar to actions taken by other European governments in recent days in response to decreasing COVID-19 activity. 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.