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Slovenia opens indoor catering areas, ups hotel capacity

Slovenia opens indoor catering areas, ups hotel capacity

Deaths and hospitalizations are declining across the country

Bars and restaurants across Slovenia will be allowed to serve customers indoors from Monday, 10 May, after getting an earlier green light to reopen their outdoor areas, reports STA newswire. As part of the further easing of restrictions in tourism and hospitality due to the gradually improving epidemiological situation, the government has also decided to allow hotels to offer half their rooms to guests from the same date. 

According to official data, the number of deaths and hospitalizations with Covid-19 is declining nationwide, informs RTV Slovenia. Friday saw 504 coronavirus patients in hospitals, 129 of whom were treated in intensive care units. 14.6 percent of the performed PCR tests turned positive. 

Coronavirus-clean guests only 

Only diners and bargoers who have been fully vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months or can submit a negative test no older than 48 hours are allowed to be served indoors. All other restrictions remain in place, including the 3-metre distance requirement between tables and the 1.5-metre distance between chairs. Like before, establishments may be open from 7 am to 7 pm. 

Hotels to operate at half capacity 

Regarding accommodation establishments, the existing rule allowing them to operate up to 30 rooms has been amended and now they can offer half their rooms. Smaller operators with fewer than 60 rooms may use 30. The limit does not apply to self-catering apartments, since they are considered self-contained units where renters do not mix with other guests. 

The increased capacity will benefit large hotels that chose to remain closed after the late April reopening because they found offering only up to 30 rooms to guests not profitable. 

Pros and cons 

Businesses have lobbied for a full reopening arguing they can comply with all public health rules even when faced with higher guest numbers. Following a meeting with business chambers and labour unions in tourism, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek told the media on Friday that the employers had endorsed the changes, while the representatives of employees disagreed with them. 

The head of Kranjska Gora Tourism Board Blaž Veber said the opening of borders with Austria and Italy is of paramount importance for the region, as the majority of guests come from these two countries. Last year, the season was saved by Slovenians using tourist vouchers, while the outlook for this year is bleak, as both demand and bookings are lower, Veber said, as quoted by Slovenia Times.

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