Authorities in Slovenia have declared a 30-day state of emergency nationwide Oct. 19 due to an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rates. This enables officials to significantly tighten restrictions for the duration of the state of emergency. New measures are being introduced from Oct. 20 include:
- A 2100-0600 curfew restricting movement outside the home to reasons of work, urgent family assistance, and emergencies.
- A ban on movement between regions excluding for work, healthcare, and emergency situations.
- The limit on public gatherings of people from different households is reduced from 10 to six individuals.
- A ban on all public events and religious ceremonies.
Previously authorities categorized the country's regions based on the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Red areas denote a high risk and orange areas denote a moderate risk. Currently, Goriska, Coastal-Karst, and Primorsko-Notranjska regions are designated moderate-risk; all other regions are designated high-risk areas. In high-risk areas, gyms and other fitness facilities are closed, as are bars and restaurants except for takeout services. Facemasks are mandatory in indoor and outdoor public spaces nationwide, unless engaged in individual exercise activities such as cycling and running.
Entry restrictions remain in force in Slovenia as of Oct. 19. Officials are 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. Travelers arriving from "orange" countries within the EU or Schengen Area can enter Slovenia without restrictions; travelers arriving from all other "orange" countries must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival. Travelers arriving from all "red" counties must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival. The requirement to self-isolate can be waived if the traveler presents a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 48-hours on arrival.
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.