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Furlan Fon and Pečjak: Let’s act responsibly during the holidays too

Patricija Furlan Fon, Chief Inspector of the Infrastructure Inspectorate (IRSI), and Tomaž Pečjak, Senior Police Advisor of the General Police Administration, took part in a press conference on the current situation regarding COVID-19.

Tomaž Pečjak

Tomaž Pečjak | Author UKOM

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Maja Bratuša presented the current coronavirus numbers in the country. Yesterday, 585 new cases were confirmed from 1547 PCR tests. The share of positive tests was 37.8%. A total of 480 COVID patients are currently hospitalised, of whom 215 are in intensive care. Twenty-four people were newly admitted to hospital today, while 26 people were discharged. Sadly, nine people lost the fight against coronavirus.

Inspector Furlan Fon reported that the favourable snow conditions at Slovenian ski resorts have enabled an early and promising start to the ski season. To ensure safe conditions for ski resort users, we also immediately approached the competent supervisory authorities to ensure a safe environment. At the initiative of IRSI, the coordination of supervisory bodies was convened by the police at the beginning of last week, in particular on the question of how to include priority and stricter control of verification of compliance with the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) condition and other protective conditions due to COVID-19 without neglecting the already mentioned basic control elements that enable the safe operation of ski resorts. An agreement on coordinated supervision of ski resorts was reached at the coordination meeting, especially at weekends.

According to the Snow Phone, 16 ski resorts were open last weekend, with 83 of the 109 ski lifts operating. In the last week and over the weekend, the supervisory authorities carried out 26 inspections at these ski resorts, in which an administrative warning was issued in nine cases. In the majority of cases, it was found that the prescribed interpersonal distance of 1.5 metres was not provided in the queue at the cash register. In all the above cases, the irregularity was rectified following a warning from the inspectors.

She pointed out that despite moderate resources, the Infrastructure Inspectorate responded immediately last weekend to a notice of failure to check compliance with the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) condition at one of the major ski resorts. We found minor irregularities that the ski resort manager rectified right away during the inspection procedure. 

“Visitors to ski resorts are also informed that the use of ski lifts and ski slopes is only permitted to persons who provide proof of compliance with the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) condition and an identification document to the ski lift operator when purchasing a ticket, and in closed cabins or in open ski lifts (chairlifts and ski lifts) where both or all seats are occupied, users must wear a protective mask, which is a surgical or FFP2 type mask,” explained Ms Furlan Fon.

Tomaž Pečjak then presented police activities related to measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In the last seven days, from Saturday, 11 December to Friday, 17 December, in addition to performing regular tasks in the competence of the police, police officers also carried out inspections at 10,081 locations in relation to the implementation of the provisions of government ordinances. This makes a daily average of 1440 inspections, which is a good 3% more than the previous week. Some of the inspections were carried out on the basis of received reports of alleged violations of ordinances by citizens. They issued 87 warnings under the Police Duties and Powers Act, issued 15 payment orders and expedited procedures for violations of other laws, and in three violations they referred a proposal to the competent supervision body because the violation was outside the jurisdiction of the police.

This weekend, in cooperation with other competent inspections services, inspections were carried out in connection with the verification of the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) condition and other measures connected with preventing the spread of infections on ski slopes. According to the initial data, we can praise the Slovenian ski resort managers for, in most cases, having carefully exercised their responsibilities regarding the verification of compliance with the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) condition as well as the mandatory use of protective masks in cableway installations. Of course, it is not superfluous to warn in the coming days that we all continue to follow the measures taken.

With regard to the findings of suspected criminal conducts, he also presented data from the period from 6 to 13 December 2021. At the border crossings, three cases of evidence with forged vaccination certificates were dealt with, where the suspicion of committing the criminal offence of forgery of documents under paragraph 3 of Article 251 of the Criminal Code was given.

Within the country, in five cases they dealt with the offence of forgery with a forged vaccination certificate or test certificate, where there is a suspicion of committing a criminal offence under paragraph 3 of Article 251 of the Criminal Code, and in two cases with suspicion of arbitrariness under Article 310 of the Criminal Code.

In the period from Saturday, 11 December to Friday, 17 December, police at border crossings served 140 orders to quarantine at home, which is 6% less than in the previous seven days.  Of these, 131 orders to quarantine at home were issued to adults and nine to minors. In 16 cases, all of them adults, they refused to sign the order upon service. In such cases, the police officers immediately forward the information to the Ministry of Health for issuance of a decision on quarantine at home. Based on the countries of arrival, most home quarantine referrals were issued to people from Bosnia and Herzegovina (77), Croatia (31), Serbia (15), Kosovo (11) and Albania (3).

Mr Pečjak pointed out that the number of trips across our borders usually increases in the run-up to the holidays and during the holiday period, so he drew attention to the preventive advice. All those who decide to travel should be informed in advance about the current conditions for entry into the country and obtain the necessary evidence in good time. Many countries are currently changing the conditions for entry due to the spread of a new variant of the virus (Omicron). 

“Just today, the Austrian security bodies began to check the compliance of passengers arriving in the Republic of Austria with the fulfilment of the conditions for entry. Due to the increased transit and the implementation of measures, we can expect longer queues on the Austrian-Slovenian border,” Mr Pečjak added. He then briefly presented the conditions received from the Austrian security authorities and the conditions for entry to Italy. 

Finally, on behalf of the police, he asked everyone not to use fireworks, especially in the upcoming holidays, and to set a personal example and be a preventive influence on others, both for their own safety and the safety of others. The same applies to road safety. Police officers want all road users to be tolerant, careful and to ensure that the traffic environment is safe for all, and that the Slovenian roads do not claim any more lives.  Unfortunately, there have already been too many fatalities this year.

“Each of us can take this small step to reducing the number of injuries needing hospital treatment, thus relieving the pressure on medical staff and hospitals, which are already very busy dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic. Therefore, we should try to avoid risks, and thus spare them additional work,” concluded Mr Pečjak.