Prime Minister Janez Janša has presented the latest measures to contain the spread of coronavirus infection
At today’s session that started at 17:00 in Brdo pri Kranju, the Government examined and adopted new measures from the third phase of the orange package. After the session, Prime Minister Janez Janša made a press statement in Ljubljana.
"As stated before, the Government has discussed the current situation relating to the quite rapid spread of coronavirus in recent days and weeks. It assessed the situation and adopted measures that correspond to that situation," said Prime Minister Janša initially, continuing on to emphasise that we are currently between the orange and red phases, as the number of infections is growing, as is the number of patients. "With regard to the plan drafted some time ago, we are adopting measures which we believe will contain the spread of infection if they are strictly observed," emphasised the Prime Minister.
"Of the 12 statistical regions, there are currently seven which are on the red list and exceed the number of infections per 14-day incidence rate, which means that there are more than 140 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days in an individual region," said the Prime Minister, adding that five more regions are in the orange or amber zone. "The Government of the Republic of Slovenia has decided to adopt certain measures on a nationwide level, while others will be implemented selectively as per the situation in individual regions," noted the Prime Minister.
The measures adopted today and published in the Official Gazette tomorrow will for the most part enter into force on Friday and some on Monday throughout the entire territory. According to the Prime Minister, the measures are aimed at the activation of additional reserves in the Slovenian health system. "The measures enabling the foregoing were partly presented during the day, while others will be explained tomorrow," said the Prime Minister, who continued to stress that the measure of restricting direct work in schools will apply throughout the entire country. "As of Monday, lessons in primary schools will be implemented remotely from the fifth grade onward. The same applies to secondary schools, while the recommendation to implement activities remotely, if possible, already applies to higher education colleges and universities," highlighted the Prime Minister. He continued to say that the regularly scheduled autumn holidays follow on from next week, at which time it will be assessed whether remote learning would be extended, cancelled or further tightened, dependent on the situation at the time. "We believe that a 14-day break will allow for the situation to stabilise or for the trends to be at least partially reversed," said the Prime Minister.
"The measures, which are applicable to everyone, also include the option of extending their applicability in the next year within the act being currently discussed, which will be adopted tomorrow in the National Assembly. The fifth anti-corona package will include the option of extending the applicability of tourist vouchers after assessing the situation, which will be done in accordance with all restrictions already applied and those yet to be applied in the coming days. Therefore, those who have not yet used their tourist vouchers should not be concerned about their expiry," explained the Prime Minister.
There are currently seven Slovenian statistical regions above indicator 140, which are on the red list. For these regions, the following measures will enter into force on Friday after their publication in the Official Gazette:
- temporary prohibition of all events and gatherings of more than 10 persons,
- limitation of certain service activities,
- limitation of certain sports activities,
- restriction of movement between regions, which will apply to the regions marked, whereby mandatory use of protective face masks will be implemented in these regions, including outdoors, with prescribed exceptions.
"We are aware that this temporary partial restriction of movement or the introduction of certain other measures cannot in itself be sufficiently precise because certain statistical regions are quite large and the problem is mainly individual outbreaks, even in regions which are statistically not problematic and are not marked red. There are municipalities in these regions, which would exceed the threshold and would be regarded as red if the indicator was observed. In short, I ask the mayors in these municipalities to adopt, within the scope of their powers, similar restrictive measures for municipal premises and facilities to those applied in the red regions," stated the Prime Minister, adding that later stricter measures could thus be avoided. Such strict and drastic measures were implemented last spring, when movement had to be limited at the level of all municipalities. "We can avoid this by joining forces and exercising our powers at the governmental and local levels," emphasised the Prime Minister.
He further called on everyone who has not yet done so to install the mobile phone app to provide a timely warning of risky contacts. "In the months since May, I mentioned several times that measures similar to those imposed in the spring could be avoided in the autumn if we introduce an app that could be used by the majority or all of those with so-called smart phones. But we have not implemented this sufficiently and the app is not producing the effects it could despite the efforts of those who prepared it and those publicising it," said the Prime Minister.
He also noted that, based on the assessments adopted today, he could say that the majority of citizens have complied in recent weeks with the restrictions and recommendations of the experts and the National Public Health Institute, "…But that does not suffice in a situation in which the virus has spread so much not only in Slovenia, but elsewhere as well, as practically all European countries are red. At this point, I thank the majority who observed all of the measures and also call on the irresponsible minority which did not comply and thus contributed to the current situation in which measures must be tightened."
"The Government of the Republic of Slovenia has further plans and measures to deploy if things worsen. Measures for the red phase are also prepared, including the declaration of the epidemic, but we would like to avoid that because we know that would take its toll and the financial cushion that was available during the spring and summer waves of the epidemic will not be available in the future to the same extent," explained the Prime Minister, adding that responsible conduct is now more crucial than ever. "It will be clear in the next 10 to 14 days whether the virus can be controlled without paying a higher price than was paid last spring, or it will be revealed that we are not capable of doing so," assessed Prime Minister Janez Janša, concluding that, "Slovenia has shown many times that when things get rough it is capable of stepping up and I call on everyone to do so now."