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Music festival rocks Ljubljana in spite of Covid-19

Music festival rocks Ljubljana in spite of Covid-19

The Slovenian government expanded the PCT rule to university students and indoor sports

Come rain or shine, Covid or alien invasion, Nights in Old Ljubljana Town festival kicked off on Thursday night in Ljubljana’s historical centre. The 33rd edition of the music festival, organised by the Imago Sloveniae Foundation, features 19 events at 5 venues and over 100 artists from 6 countries until Saturday, STA news agency reports.

The opening concert showcased Marko Hatlak Band, led by the virtuoso accordionist, vocalist, songwriter and lyricist Marko Hatlak, which stirred an intoxicating cocktail of soul, funk, Latino music, pop and rock.

Among the international guests are the acclaimed Hungarian Roma performer Mónika Lakatos, folk singing master Zvezdana Novaković and the Viennese Duo 4675.

The festival has an accompanying cultural programme, as well as culinary treats prepared by winners of the MasterChef cooking show. Traditionally, all events are free of charge and attendance is sky-high.

PCT rule expanded

Meanwhile, faced with the highest infection numbers since May, the government expanded the PCT requirement (Slovenian acronym for tested-vaccinated-recovered) to university students and participants in indoor sports activities.

The change obliges unvaccinated university students and those who cannot present evidence of having recovered from coronavirus to undergo weekly tests in order to enter their universities. The PCT rule already applies to all university staff.

This rule will also apply to persons aged 15 and older who engage in indoor sports activities, professionally or as recreation. The managers of sports facilities must verify the validity of Covid passes at the entrance.

Inspectors assisted by police will step up checks at institutions that are required to verify compliance with the PCT rule, Health Inspector Deana Potza announced.

Speeding the vaccine uptake

The expansion of the PCT rule aims to keep schools and businesses open even as cases soar, and to encourage people to get jabbed. On Thursday, Slovenia reported 509 new coronavirus cases, as 17.3 percent of all performed tests turned out to be positive. The 14-day notification rate of new cases is 199 per 100,000 people.

Almost half of Slovenians have been vaccinated. To increase the vaccine uptake further, the government recently declared the end of free rapid tests. However, the cabinet said on Thursday it will pay for the testing of students and teachers.

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