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Crossing the state border during the coronavirus epidemic

Slovenia declared an epidemic on 12 March 2020 due to the growing number of coronavirus infections. In order to contain the spread of infection, many countries, including Slovenia, introduced changes in their border crossing regime.

In this new context, certain restrictions have been introduced not only on the border with Croatia, but also on the internal Schengen borders (with Italy, Austria and Hungary) where border controls were abolished back in 2007 after Slovenia had joined the Schengen area. These restrictions will mostly impact transport/traffic, however, a few entry and exit requirements have changed also for foreign nationals and Slovenian citizens.

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Changes in border regime for persons entering the Republic of Slovenia

As of Saturday, 11 April 2020, persons entering Slovenia are required to undergo a seven-day quarantine* pursuant to the Ordinance on the imposing and implementation of measures at border crossing points on the external border and at checkpoints on the internal borders of the Republic of Slovenia.

Such persons will undergo mandatory testing for Covid-19 on the final day of their quarantine. If a person declines to be tested or if it is not possible to take a swab, the quarantine will be extended for a further seven-day period.

The quarantine will also be extended where the results of testing are not available on the same day as the swab was taken, however, the quarantine may not last longer than 14 days altogether, counting from the day when it was ordered. Swabs are taken at any of the entry points for swabbing (access points for Covid-19 set up at health centres).

Persons who test negative are released from quarantine. Persons who test positive are treated in accordance with the professional guidance on the treatment of Covid-19 infected persons.

*Exceptions: cross-border workers travelling on a daily basis, cross-border workers travelling on a weekly basis on the border with Austria, persons attending a funeral of a close relative in a neighbouring country, persons transporting goods, cargo transport in transit, travellers in transit, holders of diplomatic passports, persons providing emergency services, civil protection and rescue personnel, healthcare professionals, police officers, firemen and persons carrying out humanitarian transports, persons who own land on both sides of the national border or tenant farmers who are citizens of the Republic of Slovenia, the Republic of Austria, the Italian Republic and Hungary.

Crossing the Slovenia-Austria border

Crossing the border is possible at 10 checkpoints (former border crossing points). At these checkpoints, the same entry conditions apply as for the entry into Slovenia from Italy. The checkpoints operate 24/7 unless indicated otherwise:

  • Holmec (open from 5.00 to 8.00 and from 15.00 to 18.00)
  • Kuzma – Bonisdorf
  • Trate – Mureck (open from 5am to 21pm)
  • Radlje – Radlpaß (open from 5am to 21pm)
  • Gederovci – Sicheldorf
  • Šentilj (Motorway) – Spielfeld (Autobahn)
  • Gornja Radgona – Bad Radkersburg
  • Karavanke – Karawankentunnel
  • Vič – Lavamünd (open from 5am to 23pm)
  • Ljubelj – Loibltunnel (open from 5am to 21pm)

Railway passenger transport between Austria and Slovenia is suspended.

Crossing the Slovenia-Italy border

Crossing the border is possible at the following border crossing points:

  • Vrtojba,
  • Fernetiči,
  • Škofije in
  • Krvavi potok (open from 5.00 to 23.00).

An extra checkpoint was established:

  • temporary border crossing point (BCP) Robič, operating on workdays and Saturdays from 5.00 to 18:00, closed on Sundays and public holidays;

is intended for Slovenian citizens who work on the Italian side of the border (daily cross-border workers) and for persons who are able to prove that they carry out an essential economic or agricultural activity. Cross-border workers need to carry a certificate issued by their employer while other eligible travellers must produce a certificate of their local community showing they need to cross the border for essential purposes.

The border is closed to passenger railway transport and international or occasional bus transport of passengers between Italy and Slovenia.

Crossing the Slovenia-Hungary border

Hungary closed all land borders with the neighbouring countries and all airports for foreign citizens.

Entry into Hungary or crossing the border is possible only at three check points:

  • Dolga vas,
  • Pince (transit corridor in operation 24/7),
  • former border-crossing point Pince R1/232 (for Slovenian and Hungarian citizens only).

All vehicles entering Hungary at these checkpoints are subjected to controls. On Thursday, 2 April 2020, Hungary opened two additional border crossing points on the Slovenian-Hungarian border:

  • Čepinci - Ketvolgy and
  • Hodoš – Bajasenjye.

The two border points operate from 6am to 19pm and are open only to Slovenian and Hungarian citizens who are:

  • cross-border workers who are able to provide a certificate issued by their employer,
  • landowners with property on both sides of the border who are able to provide a certificate/document from the land register. 

Crossing the Slovenia-Croatia border

Slovenia and Croatia jointly decided to suspend the operation of the 25 border-crossing points for local traffic. Travellers seeking to cross the Slovenia-Croatia border have to go through border crossing points for international traffic.

Entry into Croatia is forbidden to all travellers, except for Croatian citizens working abroad (self-isolation), citizens of the EU and EU-resident third-country nationals returning home (subject to advance consent). Travellers entering Croatia and returning from at-risk countries must self-isolate for 14 days (as of March 21 this applies also to travellers coming from Slovenia). This measure does not apply to cross-border workers (except for those working in the territory of Bela Krajina and Dolenjsko regions (SE Slovenia) who have to undergo mandatory self-isolation), health care professionals, diplomats, police officers and civil protection staff.

Transit of heavy goods vehicles towards Croatia is possible through special corridors, upon prior announcement and with escort. Transit is possible through the BCP Gruškovje and BCP Obrežje, and, in the Primorsko region, through the BCP Starod for vehicles coming from the direction of Italy and continuing to Croatia. Convoys of heavy goods vehicles on the Italy-Croatia line operate through Obrežje BCP only.

Border checks are performed on entry into Slovenia as usual, except for those persons who were ordered to self-isolate or quarantine by Croatia. These individuals must produce a certificate that their self-isolation or quarantine in Croatia is over or show a certificate confirming that they are healthy. The Croatian police have excluded lorry drivers from self-isolation.

As of 31 March 2020, third-country nationals seeking to enter Slovenia will be checked not only for their fulfilment of regulatory entry conditions but also whether their travel is really essential. This regime will be in operation at all border crossing points along the external Schengen border. For more information go to: Temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU means third-country nationals can enter Slovenia only in urgent cases

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Current information and instructions are available on the government' Coronavirus disease COVID-19 website: Coronavirus disease COVID-19 

Border crossings

Temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU means third-country nationals can enter Slovenia only in urgent cases