Due to a significant increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rates, authorities in Slovenia will tighten some of the nation's restrictions on Oct. 16. Officials have categorized the country based on the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Red areas denote a high risk and orange areas denote a moderate risk. Central Slovenia, Gorenjska, Koroska, Zasavje, Posavje, Savinjska, and Southeastern regions are considered high risk and are marked as 'red regions'; all the other regions in Slovenia are marked as orange. Individuals from the red regions will be prohibited from traveling to other regions, except for essential reasons. Individuals from orange regions may travel to red zones; however, authorities advise against such travel.
Domestically, the following measures will be in place:
- Gatherings are limited to 10 people nationwide; in red areas weddings, celebrations, and religious ceremonies are suspended.
- Effective Oct. 17, bars and restaurants in red areas will be closed, except for takeout. In orange areas, these establishments may operate 0600-2230 in orange areas. Fitness centers and gyms will close in red areas.
- Protective face coverings will be mandatory in outdoor spaces nationwide except for when doing individual sports such as cycling or running. Masks remain mandatory in indoor public spaces and on public transport.
- Starting Oct. 19, all students above 5th grade will switch to distance learning. Kindergartens remain open.
Entry restrictions remain in force in Slovenia as of Oct. 15 as part of the government's effort to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Slovenia is using a color-coded three-tier system for assigning restrictions on travel from foreign countries based on their levels of COVID-19 activity. Travelers from locations designated as "green" - or epidemiologically safe - can enter Slovenia without restrictions. Nonresident foreign nationals entering from "orange" countries, i.e. locations that pose a moderate risk, must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. The entry restrictions do not apply to Slovenian citizens or residents returning from these countries. All persons arriving from countries designated as "red" or high-risk locations must produce proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival and quarantine for 10 days on entry.
Many nonessential businesses have been allowed to reopen, provided they can adhere to hygiene directives and social distancing guidelines that require persons from different households to keep at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) away from each other. In addition, all businesses must measure the temperature of their employees before they enter the premises, with those who have a fever being sent home on sick leave. Authorities also recommend that staff work from home whenever possible.
Any restrictions may be extended or amended with little to no advance notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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.