The Slovenian government is the first country to officially end its coronavirus state of emergency after lifting the measures on Thursday, with the move following the country reporting less than seven new coronavirus cases each day for the past two weeks.
European Union citizens arriving in Slovenia will no longer be required to enter a quarantine for at least seven days as was the case from early April, the government said in a statement. The country has so far reported 1,464 coronavirus cases and 103 deaths. It declared an epidemic on March 12.
“Slovenia has tamed the epidemic over the past two months… Today, Slovenia has the best epidemiological picture in Europe,” Prime Minister Janez Janša told parliament earlier on Thursday. The end of the epidemic also means that some measures, including financial aid to citizens and firms hit by the coronavirus, will expire at the end of May.
A mandatory 14-day quarantine for citizens of non-EU states remains in place, with some exemptions including diplomats and goods transports. Citizens also must continue to follow basic rules to prevent the spread of the infection, such as wearing masks in indoor public spaces, standing at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart, and disinfecting hands upon entering public spaces.
Since the middle of March, Slovenia has closed all schools, sports and cultural institutions, bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops apart from food and drug stores, while also canceling public transport.
The government has started easing the lockdown from April 20. Public transport resumed earlier this week while next week some pupils will return to schools. All bars and restaurants as well as small hotels with up to 30 rooms will be allowed to open next week.
Title image: Downtown street in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. (source: euractiv.com)