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Minister Gantar: “The best measure at this moment: Everyone should act as if they are infected”

The Government and the Ministers have adopted additional measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. Minister of Health Tomaž Gantar presented the work of the Ministry of Health, while Minister of Education Simona Kustec presented the Ordinance on temporary restrictions for sport activities.

Minister of Education Simona Kustec with a mask.

Minister of Education Simona Kustec. | Author Nebojša Tejić,STA

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The Slovenian health care system has 7000 hospital beds and according to Minister Gantar’s estimation, one tenth of them could be used for COVID-19 patients. The availability of the beds depends on daily needs. The number of hospital beds will be the most critical in the intensive care units, where the hospitals can ensure between 100 and 150 beds with all necessary equipment.

According to the Minister, quarantine decisions do not serve their purpose anymore, which is why this system will no longer be in place. Quarantine decisions will be replaced by sick leave. Those testing positive had already been prescribed sick leave, but now those who were in close contact with an infected person will also be prescribed sick leave by their personal physician based on this information.

The Ordinance on temporary restrictions for sport activities was presented by Minister Kustec.  The measure allows sport activities for the following:

  • about 110 athletes holding a title of Olympic, world, international or promising class,
  • about 500 professional athletes above the age of 15, entered in the register of professional athletes at the ministry responsible for sport.

In individual sports the above mentioned groups of athletes may in addition to the performance of training sessions also participate in major international sports events, such as national, European and world championships and world cups.

National team qualifiers in team sports for the purposes of participation in international or European championships are also allowed. 

Competitions at the highest quality level may be organised in team sports, such as  ice hockey, basketball, football, volleyball and handball, which includes competitions at the national (for example the First Slovenian League), regional (for example the Alps Hockey League) international (for example the Nations League) and European (for example ABA League) levels for the purpose of participation of sports clubs from the First Slovenian League in national, regional, European and international leagues.

The presence of spectators at sports competitions is prohibited. The organiser of sports events must ensure that only persons who are urgently needed for the implementation of sports competitions are present at indoor and outdoor sports facilities. Athletes and sports experts must observe the instructions of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, their local sports associations and clubs, the ministry responsible for health and the National Institute of Public Health.

Group sports activities are also allowed to all citizens if they are members of the same household, while in individual sports and in sports with up to 6 participants they are allowed if it is possible to maintain a distance of at least 3 metres during the activity.

The Government will determine the professional justification of the measures referred to in this Ordinance at least every fourteen days.