Brdo Castle near Kranj, Source: Visit Kranj

Slovenia enters 11-day circuit breaker lockdown

Slovenia enters 11-day circuit breaker lockdown

Rising case numbers and need to vaccinate at-risk groups prompted the decision

From today, Slovenia is under an 11-day circuit breaker lockdown prompted by the increase in the country’s coronavirus transmission rates. As reported by STA newswire, the government adopted the measures last Sunday after the Covid-19 advisory team presented their proposal to a cross-party meeting at Brdo Castle, which was boycotted by the centre-left opposition.

Partial measures not effective

The lockdown is needed to help hospitals cope with an expected influx in Covid-19 patients and also to give enough time to vaccinate the most at-risk groups of the population, Prime Minister Janez Janša explained. He promised that on 12 April the phased easing of restrictions would recommence if the case numbers remained at roughly the current level and unless a new, more aggressive variant emerged.  

Describing the situation as a race against time, Janša cautioned that the success of suppressing the coronavirus spread would depend on measures being consistently implemented, because the experience of other countries had shown partial measures were not very productive. The Prime Minister said not taking action now would translate into at least 500 additional deaths until June.

Restrictions at a glance

So, the list of restrictions in place in Slovenia includes:

  • Non-essential shops and services with direct customer access are closed. Regular weekly testing will be required for staff of outlets that continue to operate, such as groceries, pharmacies, gas stations, garden shops, banks, post offices, construction sites, etc.
  • Schools perform remote learning. Special needs pupils and small children of essential workers continue classroom education.
  • All skiing facilities are closed. Sports are allowed to continue for professional athletes only.
  • Movement is restricted to the region of residence. For Easter Sunday only, up to two households will be able to meet.
  • All religious services are suspended (save for individual prayers).
  • Cultural institutions cease providing in-person services.
  • The entire state administration is working remotely. No more than 20 percent of employees should be in workplaces, according to government guidelines.
  • Face masks are compulsory in outdoor public spaces except for exercise in green spaces.
  • Public transport runs according to holiday schedule. Driving lessons and tests are adjourned.

Coronavirus figures

It is informative to see what the epidemic situation was in Slovenia prior to lockdown. Last Saturday, according to the National Institute of Public Health data, the 7-day average of new daily cases rose to 944 after standing at 808 a week ago. 499 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized, and 105 were in intensive care units - a far more optimistic picture compared to what most EU member states were experiencing.

Slovenia has reported 212,679 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic with an estimated 12,311 still active infections, and 4,300 fatalities. A total of 229,553 people have received their first shot of a Covid vaccine and 112,087 have received full two doses.



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