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Prime Minister Janez Janša on BBC: Slovenia is a safe country and we will do our utmost to make it a safe holiday destination too

Prime Minister Janez Janša was the guest of last week’s BBC NEWS WORLD programme, where he talked about the government’s plans to revive the tourism industry and other issues concerning tourism after Slovenia, as the first country in Europe to do so, declared the end of the coronavirus epidemic.

We will do everything to ensure that holidays in Slovenia will be totally safe,”stressed PM Janez Janša

We will do everything to ensure that holidays in Slovenia will be totally safe,”stressed PM Janez Janša | Author BBC NEWS

Mr Janša explained that tourism accounted for 10% of Slovenia’s GDP, making it a very important sector of the economy. “Because we are an almost totally COVID-19-free country now, we can start with the tourist season as soon as June 1,” said Mr Janša, adding that “We are doing everything to make our tourist facilities safe Our National Institute of Public Health has developed the so-called corona standards. Everybody who will come to Slovenian hotels or other tourist facilities will be treated according to these corona standards. We will do everything to ensure that holidays in Slovenia will be totally safe.”

When asked how Slovenia intends to make them totally safe and whether quarantine forms part of those measures, Prime Minister Janša said that the most important thing was to get rid of the virus. “In the last 14 days we counted only one or zero new cases which can be totally isolated. The epidemic is now in Slovenia under total control,” he stressed. To the question what sort of safety measures the tourists visiting Slovenia will have to follow, Mr Janša replied that there were different measures which are now part of “the new normal”: hygiene measures and restrictions for night clubs are still in place. However, “almost 90% of tourist activities available in normal times will also be available during this new normality”.

Mr Janša went on to say that Slovenia and its European partners were already holding talks about the lifting of restrictions on internal borders in the middle of June. “Some countries will do this earlier; we can do it too. Slovenia is following closely the epidemiological situation in neighbouring countries. We have almost lifted all restrictions with Croatia, which is also almost coronavirus-free. We are close to doing the same with Hungary and Austria. There are some problems with neighbouring Italy, despite the fact that the closest region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is faring very well. I think that our region will be the first to lift the border restrictions, which will help save the tourist season as much as possible,” said Mr Janša, who, by way of conclusion, invited tourists to Slovenia, stressing that it is “a safe country”.

The host added that Slovenia was also a thoroughly beautiful country.