Aleš Hojs: Restriction of movement between regions lifted as of midnight
Today's press conference on the current situation regarding the Covid-19 epidemic featured Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs, Economic Development and Technology State Secretary Simon Zajc, head of the advisory group at the Ministry of Health Mateja Logar and director of the National Institute for Public Health Milan Krek.
According to government spokesperson Maja Bratuša, a total of 4,258 PCR tests and 25,628 rapid antigen tests were performed yesterday. 745 new infections were confirmed with PCR tests. The seven-day average is 684 infections, down from 706 yesterday. A total of 620 Covid-19 patients are currently being treated in Slovenian hospitals.
Minister Aleš Hojs explained that under changes to the Ordinance on the temporary partial restriction of movement of people and on the prohibition of gatherings of people, adopted yesterday, the restriction of movement between regions is lifted as of midnight today. Under the changed Ordinance, gatherings are limited to ten people, both in enclosed and open spaces. As for crossing of the border, the minister said that there were no major changes, except for additional vaccines being recognised. The latest change in the Ordinance is that the time permitted for staying outside the country's borders for exceptions such as real estate owners has been extended from 48 to 72 hours.
As State Secretary Simon Zajc explained, the government yesterday adopted a new Ordinance on the provisional prohibition on the offering and sale of goods and services to consumers in the Republic of Slovenia, valid from 24 April to 2 May 2021. Measures are extended in all statistical regions, and additional measures have been adopted. The exceptions applied for the orange phase are in force in nine statistical regions. The exceptions applied for the yellow phase are in force for three regions. According to the State Secretary, accommodation may be provided in all regions.
Head of the advisory group Mateja Logar furthermore assessed that the situation regarding newly confirmed infections was calming down. For this reason, certain measures may be relaxed at the moment, as Slovenia has entered the orange phase. She emphasised that, despite the relaxation of measures, people should be aware that the virus is still among them, and that all protective measures thus needed to be respected and implemented. If you are sick, stay at home and avoid contacts, she added.
NIJZ director Milan Krek said that Slovenia was approaching the milestone of 400,000 people vaccinated with the first dose. The world has apparently been hit by a new epidemic wave. The number of deaths has increased in Europe, as well as in Asia and the Americas. We are still in a pandemic, which means that protective measures and vaccination continue to be necessary. Slovenia is, compared to other EU member states, in a difficult epidemiological situation. As measures are being relaxed, we must be cautious, otherwise the situation could deteriorate very quickly. Our 14-day incidence is above the EU average. The NIJZ director also warned that the current period was not stable to the extent that people could be carefree. Considering the new strains and new relaxation of measures, protective measures must be respected.