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Restaurant terraces, cultural venues reopen in Slovenia

Restaurant terraces, cultural venues reopen in Slovenia

People are now free to travel between the country’s 12 regions

From today, 26 April catering establishments across Slovenia can serve customers at their outdoor areas, reports The Slovenia Times, quoting STA. Opening hours are set from 7am to 7pm. So far restaurants have been only allowed to perform delivery and takeaway services.

Indoor service for guests who prove immunity

Guests may also be served indoors in three yellow tier regions - Obalno-Kraška, Goriška and Pomurje, which are faring better in epidemiological terms compared to the other nine. But this comes with strings attached – customers must prove upon entry that they are coronavirus-clean, either by producing a negative test, vaccine certificate or a document certifying recovery.

OZS chamber of small business and the Hospitality and Tourism Trade Union which have strongly appealed for the easing of restrictions in the sector, said in a statement that this condition is sure to drive customers away and is illogical, as other indoor areas are not subject to it. The 3-metre distance requirement between tables and the 1.5-metre distance between seated guests were seen as equally unrealistic.

The trade union said that despite the partial reopening, the conditions imposed will keep thousands of hospitality workers on forced furlough. Furlough subsidy should be raised from 80% to 100% and tourist vouchers should also be used at establishments that do not offer accommodation, the union offers.

Country back in orange tier

Last Friday Slovenia shifted from the red to the orange tier under the adopted traffic light system, so restrictions on movement between the 12 regions were lifted, and cinemas and theatres reopened with performers obliged to get tested for Covid-19 once a week unless not vaccinated or completely recovered.

In a surprise move, the government scaled back public events from 100 to 10 people, contradicting its previous decree which had reluctantly complied with a Constitutional Court ruling. Now organizers of pared-down events must ensure density of one person per 30 square metres for indoor events and one person per 10 square metres outdoors, as well as a 1.5-metre distance between people.

Slovenia’s Art Cinema Network head Jure Matičič told STA that current limits on attendance make cinemas a non-profitable business. Kolosej, Ljubljana’s largest cinema centre, will stay closed for the time being, while Kinodvor will reopen today, allowing ten persons per show.

The reopening coincides with the start of the week-long May Day school holiday.

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