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Measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections

As the epidemic is abating, the measures to contain the spread of coronavirus infections are also being progressively eased, but have not yet been totally lifted.

With this in mind, ensuring the responsible behaviour of everyone is now more important than ever in social contacts. By acting responsibly, we protect ourselves, our loved ones, as well as persons from the most vulnerable groups. Chronic patients, persons with weakened immune systems and individuals with underlying conditions, who may suffer the worst consequences of a coronavirus infection, are still particularly at risk. The restriction of social contacts, recommended movement in public spaces and strict compliance with the required minimum physical distance between people continue to remain key protective measures aimed at reducing the risk of infection. The same applies to all outdoor sports and recreational services in outdoor sports facilities and outdoor sports areas. 

When performing activities, all the recommendations of the National Institute of Public Health must be followed to prevent the infection from being passed on to others.

Prohibition on mass gatherings of people in public places

The movement of individuals in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia is not restricted; however, people are advised to consistently comply with all necessary protective measures.

By way of exception, only individual groups of up to 50 people may gather at the same place at the same time, but only if they can maintain the required safety distance; this has been allowed by a government ordinance. Similar restrictions apply to people gathering at certain public institutions, such as theatres and cinemas, where up to 50 individuals may attend individual events at the same time, provided that they keep the required safety distance and adhere to other protective measures.

In addition, accommodation providers with more than 30 rooms are open and available again, as are spa accommodations, wellness centres, gyms, swimming pools, and water activities. Until further noticediscos and night clubs remain closed, as do stores on Sundays and holidays, except for petrol stations and pharmacies, which may be open.

Rules for preschools

  • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitiser.
  • Hand sanitisers should contain at least 60–80% alcohol (ethanol, isopropanol)
  • and are for external use only.
  • Do not use household cleaning products and disinfectants to clean or sanitise your skin.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands every time you touch a door handle (e.g., when entering or exiting a classroom, going to or coming from the toilet), a stair railing or other surfaces.
  • Do not touch your face (eyes, nose and mouth) with dirty/unwashed hands.
  • Keep a sufficient safety distance from others (at least 1.5 or 2 m).
  • Gathering in groups along the entire school perimeter, except in the homeroom, is advised against.
  • Practice appropriate cough hygiene (cover your mouth and nose with a tissue before coughing or sneezing, or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve). Discard the tissue immediately into a bin and wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.
  • Air the rooms thoroughly several times a day, preferably after each class (open the windows wide). Only children and staff may enter the school building. Others may only enter if necessary and upon prior notice, adhering to all the necessary measures (face masks, hand and cough hygiene).
  • Parents should hold office hours with the teachers or obtain information from them by phone or online.
  • Video meetings are recommended and given priority over all other types of meetings.
  • Holding or attending any events (e.g., concerts, celebrations, exhibitions or literary evenings) is not recommended. Only events attended by students from the same class, without external participants, are permissible.

Obligation to ensure a safe working environment

Given that the risk of infection among the population in Slovenia still exists, all employers are also obliged to ensure a safe working environment for their employees. They must ensure safe and healthy working conditions, regardless of the type of work, workplace or place where employees perform work tasks.

If they are unable to ensure safety at the workplace, and exceptional circumstances or the rapid spread of infection among the population constitute a threat to the lives of people, their health and the employers' property, employers may reassign their employees to another job or order for them to work from home. Such order may also be given without the consent of employees, but only for the duration of the exceptional circumstances.

The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has issued clarifications and recommendations for employers regarding the assignment of work from home and other work in exceptional circumstances.

On the basis of these recommendations, employers may give their employees guidance or instructions on how to ensure safe and healthy work from home. 

The consequences of the epidemic are already strongly reflected in Slovenia's economic sector, which is why the Government adopted a comprehensive set of measures to help the population and the economy.

Caution and observance of protective measures are also mandatory when using public transport

In Slovenia, for the time being, the public transport system is fully adapted in order to reduce the potential risk of spreading infections between passengers.

It is mandatory for passengers, inter alia, to wear a protective mask or other means of protecting the nose and mouth area throughout the whole duration of the transport. However, special care must be taken to not touch one’s mask while wearing it, as this could lead
 to contamination of one’s hands and the risk of spreading the infection to other passengers and objects in the vehicle.  Passengers are to enter the bus through the second or back door with a valid ticket, and when entering the bus they must already be wearing a mask and must disinfect their hands, while always maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 meters between other passengers.

The National Institute of Public Health has laid down rules or provided hygiene recommendations for the safest possible use of bus and rail transport without spreading infections in Slovenia.

Only healthy people may go to health care institutions

The operation of all health care institutions at all levels is adapted to the spread of the novel coronavirus.All health and dental services or treatments at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels are only provided under special conditions, i.e. only to persons who do not show clinical signs of respiratory infection.

Patients must follow the changed rules that apply when visiting health care institutions. For each visit to a health care centre for medical treatment at the primary level, appointments by phone are to be made whereby the medical staff will explain to patients in detail the rules that apply when they enter and move around the institution.

The National Institute of Public Health has prepared detailed instructions for all medical staff and epidemiologists in the event of any suspicion of infection with the coronavirus. The instructions for epidemiological monitoring of infected persons and the monitoring of persons who have come into contact with a person with a confirmed infection are also provided. In all public primary health care institutions and hospitals, the health care staff must treat persons suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus in compliance with special instructions.

Visits to patients at all health institutions across Slovenia are restricted. In order to accept any visitors safely, hospitals are free to decide when and how they are going to open their doors to visitors. It is recommended that visits are based on special agreements with the hospital departments and their heads, and that they take place individually, meaning that one patient is visited by only one healthy person for a limited amount of time. 

Since 14 March, the maximum permitted prices of protective and other medical equipment have been set.

Older people may be visited only with visitors' prior notice

While a complete ban on visits to homes for the elderly was temporarily introduced – exclusively for the protection of the residents' health – due to the increasing number of persons infected with the coronavirus in Slovenia during the epidemic, visiting the elderly is currently allowed, but only with visitors' prior notice. 

During the visits, it is expected that the visitors will respect all the foreseen protective measures that are applicable to homes for the elderly and thus contribute to the protection of the health of all home residents.  

Prisoners may be visited by one healthy person

In order to protect the lives and health of prisoners in prisons and correctional centres, their visitors and employees, visits to prisoners are currently limited in order to restrict the possibility of the spread of the infection as much as possible. 

Prisoners may be visited by one adult person with no signs of infection or illness, i.e. either relatives or other visitors chosen by the prisoner.Minor children are currently not allowed to visit for safety reasons; minor children's visits to female prisoners are exceptionally allowed at Ig Prison, i.e. in the female prison, where meetings between prisoners and their minor children are held behind protective glass. 

Visitors are obliged to enter the prison only with a protective mask or other means of protecting the mouth and nose area. A visit with a convicted person may last a maximum of one hour whereas a visit with a pre-trial prisoner half an hour. 

The exchange of objects between visitors and prisoners is not allowed.Prisoners can still only receive packages by post for security reasons.

Announcements are necessary for administrative matters

Slovenian citizens may again sort out any administrative, judicial and other public law matters directly at the competent administrative, judicial and other institutions.

In the future, it will also be necessary to strictly adhere to protective measures in dealing with all administrative matters, such as providing individual treatment of customers as much a possible, thus preventing too many customers in the building at the same time where the authority is performing administrative tasks, establishing a continuous customer ordering system, and especially wearing protective masks and maintaining an adequate safety distance, particularly if it is impossible to limit the number of customers.

Currently, the operation of courts and notary offices has also been adjusted by taking all necessary measures in dealing with customers to ensure the protection of health and life and to prevent the spread of viral infections.

Since 20 April,  it is permitted to carry out roadworthiness tests and other procedures related to the registration of motor vehicles.

The reopening of the borders

In transport and when crossing the state border, certain restrictions have been in place since the epidemic was declared on 12 March 2020. The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) closely monitors the epidemiological situation in Slovenia and in the world and consequently makes assessments of the epidemiological status and situation in individual countries.

On the basis of these assessments of the epidemiological situation in individual countries, the government then makes and amends lists of groups of countries from which persons (travellers) come to the Republic of Slovenia.

Entering Slovenia from countries with a worsening epidemiological situation

Persons who have permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia and enter the country (or are returning) from epidemiologically safe countries will not be subject to quarantine upon crossing the state border regardless of their citizenship.

A fourteen-day quarantine remains mandatory for all persons returning from countries with a worsening epidemiological situation regardless of their citizenship or residence.

A quarantine will also be imposed on persons entering Slovenia who are citizens of or have permanent or temporary residence in a country with a worsening epidemiological situation.

Persons who do not have permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia or cannot stay at their permanent or temporary residence due to justified reasons are ordered to quarantine at the address where they will actually stayForeign citizens who do not have permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia and cannot provide an address where they would stay in quarantine are not allowed entry into the country.

Persons who intend to work in Slovenia are ordered to quarantine at the address indicated on the employer's certificate, which is to be presented at the border before entering into Slovenia.

A quarantine is not mandatory for:

  • persons engaged in trade or activities who upon crossing the border provide proof of conducting trade or activities in the Republic of Slovenia or abroad (a certificate of registration for commencement of the provision of services and an A1 certificate in accordance with the Act governing the cross-border provision of services) and return across the border within 24 hours of entry or submit a test result proving that they are not infected with or ill due to the novel SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus. If such person is employed by a foreign company providing a service in the Republic of Slovenia and resides in the Republic of Slovenia, he or she must also provide his or her address of residence in the Republic of Slovenia and a test result;
  • persons posted to carry out tasks in the international transport sector or returning from such tasks who prove this at the time of crossing the border by means of a certificate for workers in the international transport sector or another appropriate document from which it can be established that they were posted by their employer;
  • persons carrying out the transport of goods into Slovenia or from Slovenia to another country and the transport of goods in transit who exit Slovenia within 12 hours of entry;
  • persons with diplomatic passports;
  • persons who provide services for which they have been issued a certificate by the competent ministry and regarding whom the imposition of a quarantine could result in major social or economic damage due to the non-provision of these services;
  • persons transiting Slovenia while traveling to another country within 12 hours of entry;
  • persons who cross the border daily or occasionally for reasons of education and training or scientific research and provide appropriate proof, and their parents or other persons accompanying or driving them, and return across the border within 24 hours of entry.

It should be noted that certain persons who will be allowed to enter Slovenia without restrictions and without being quarantined, such as weekly commuting cross-border workers, persons entering the country to provide a service and who have a certificate issued by the competent ministry, persons with a medical exam appointment, persons enrolled in an education programme, persons attending the funeral of a close relative and persons who own or lease land on both sides of the national border, are obliged upon crossing the border to provide the result of a test proving that they are not infected and are not ill with COVID-19, which must not be older than 36 hours and was performed in an EU Member State or a Schengen Area member state.

Crossing the state border with Croatia

Entry into the Republic of Croatia without having to quarantine or observe other restrictions is only possible for the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia and nine European Union Member States, i.e. the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, and Slovakia. These nationals may enter the Republic of Croatia under the same conditions as those applying prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, provided they consistently observe the general and special recommendations of the Croatian Institute for Public Health. Upon entering the Republic of Croatia, travellers are therefore obliged, in addition to presenting personal data and documents, to explain where exactly they are heading, and to submit their mobile phone number and e-mail address, so that the competent authorities of the Republic of Croatia are able to inform them of any changes to the epidemiological situation in the country.

Entry into Croatia is also allowed for third country nationals and individuals with a national long-stay visa. 

Passengers who wish to enter the Republic of Croatia have to cross the border between the countries at international border crossings. Regarding such, it is necessary to take into consideration the instructions given to the individual at the border check by the responsible Public Health Institution of the Republic of Croatia.

Transit of cargo vehicles to Croatia has been completely opened and runs through all border crossings where the transport of goods is allowed. 

Entry into Slovenia is possible without quarantine for citizens of Croatia and persons with either permanent or temporary residence in Croatia, in accordance with the Government ordinance, provided they do not exhibit any signs of infection or disease upon entering Slovenia, meaning that they are not presenting any fever, are not coughing or having difficulty breathing, and provided they are not arriving in Slovenia from a third country, as in such an event, they will have to quarantine for 14 days, unless an exception applies to them under the ordinance.

At the same time, the Police can refuse an individual entry into Slovenia if they establish that the individual would not be able to leave Slovenian territory due to certain measures imposed by the neighbouring countries.

Crossing the state border with Italy

The entry to the Italian Republic is allowed for the citizens of Slovenia; the border crossing regime is gradually being eased for other citizens of the European Union, United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland as well, which means that these citizens will not be subject to the mandatory quarantine in Italy if they cross the border. 

At the moment, citizens of the Italian Republic can enter Slovenia without restrictions.

Four checkpoints are set up on the road connections between Slovenia and Italy where all passengers can cross the border, including drivers in transit transport of goods if the admission of trucks in neighbouring countries is arranged:

  • Vrtojba
  • Fernetiči
  • Škofije
  • Krvavi potok

Meanwhile, bus and railway transport between Slovenia and Italy is suspended.

Crossing the state border with Austria

Three checkpoints are established on the road connections between the countries where passengers can cross the border;  however, citizens of the Republic of Slovenia and Austria may also cross the state border outside these checkpoints:

  • Karavanke
  • Ljubelj
  • Šentilj (motorway)

Crossing the state border with Hungary

Two checkpoints are established on the road connections between Slovenia and Hungary where passengers can cross the border;  however, citizens of the Republic of Slovenia and Hungary may also cross the state border outside these checkpoints:

  • Dolga vas
  • Pince (motorway)

Persons eligible to cross the border of the Republic of Slovenia at certain checkpoints have to take into consideration the Ordinance on imposing and implementing measures related to prevent the spread of epidemic COVID-19 at the border crossing points at the external border and inspection posts within national borders of the Republic of Slovenia.

Airports and ports are open

At the moment, checkpoints have been established for international air transport for flight connections for international air transport (at airports) in Ljubljana, Maribor and Portorož. Checkpoints for maritime links for international maritime transport have been set up in Koper and Piran.

Entry of citizens of EU Member States and Schengen area countries into Slovenia

Persons entering the Republic of Slovenia who have permanent or temporary residence in a European Union Member State or a Schengen Area country that is not on the list of epidemiologically safe countries from which persons may enter the Republic of Slovenia shall be imposed a 14-day quarantine due to potential infection with the novel coronavirus.

Entry into Slovenia shall not be granted to a foreign citizen who does not have permanent residence in Slovenia and who, when crossing the border, proves to have been infected or is ill due to infection with the novel coronavirus, because he or she exhibits obvious signs of infection i.e. fever, cough or shortness of breath.

A quarantine is not mandatory for:

  • daily or weekly commuting cross-border workers who have an employment relationship in an EU Member states or a Schengen Area country, of which they provide proof or a signed statement justifying the reason for crossing the border as a daily or weekly commuting cross-border worker;
  • persons engaged in trade or activities who upon crossing the border provide proof of conducting trade or activities in the Republic of Slovenia or abroad (a certificate of registration for commencement of the provision of services and an A1 certificate in accordance with the Act governing the cross-border provision of services) and return across the border within 24 hours of entry or submit a test result proving that they are not infected with or ill due to the novel SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus. If such person is employed by a foreign company providing a service in the Republic of Slovenia and resides in the Republic of Slovenia, the person must also submit his or her address of residence in the Republic of Slovenia and a test result;
  • persons posted to carry out tasks in the international transport sector or returning from such tasks who prove this at the time of crossing the border by means of a certificate for workers in the international transport sector or another appropriate document from which it can be established that they were posted by their employer;
  • persons carrying out the transport of goods into Slovenia or from Slovenia to another country and the transport of goods in transit who exit Slovenia within 12 hours of entry;
  • persons with diplomatic passports;
  • persons who provide services for which they have been issued a certificate by the competent ministry and regarding whom the imposition of a quarantine could result in major social or economic damage due to the non-provision of these services;
  • members of the protection and rescue services, healthcare services, police and firefighting service and persons carrying out humanitarian transport for the Republic of Slovenia who are crossing the border in order to perform their duties;
  • persons who provide proof of a medical examination or procedure in the Republic of Slovenia, in another European Union Member State or another Schengen Area country;
  • persons transiting Slovenia while travelling to another country within 12 hours of entry;
  • persons who cross the border daily or occasionally for reasons of education and training or scientific research and provide appropriate proof, and their parents or other persons accompanying or driving them, and return across the border within 24 hours of entry;
  • persons attending the funeral of a close relative who exit and return to Slovenia the same day and provide proof of the date and hour of the funeral;
  • persons who cross the border for family reasons in order to maintain contact with immediate family members and return across the border within 24 hours of entry;
  • persons who cross the border due to urgent unavoidable personal errands and return across the border within 24 hours of entry and provide appropriate proof;
  • persons who own or lease land on both sides of the national border and cross the state border for the purpose of carrying out agricultural and forestry works;
  • members of the Slovenian Armed Forces, the police or an employee of a national authority returning from secondment abroad.

Entry of third-country nationals into Slovenia

Individuals without permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia or who cannot live at their permanent or temporary residence for justifiable reasons shall be put in quarantine at the address where they will be staying. If foreign citizens without permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia cannot provide an address where they can be quarantined, they are prohibited from entering Slovenia.

Individuals who plan to work in Slovenia are quarantined at the address provided on the employer’s certificate, which they present upon crossing the border into Slovenia.

However, individuals who come from Northern Macedonia or have a permanent or temporary residence there may enter Slovenia without a mandatory quarantine (regardless of citizenship) only if:

Quarantine is not obligatory for

  • Individuals who are attending the funeral of a close relative and leave or return to Slovenia the same day and present proof showing the date and time of the funeral;
  • Individuals transporting goods to or from Slovenia to a third country, individuals engaging in transit cargo transport from third countries and individuals sent to perform work in the international transport sector who can prove this with an international transport employee certificate or any other suitable document, from which it is evident that they were sent on this journey by their employer;
  • Individuals with diplomatic passports;
  • Individuals from third countries who provide public utility services, for which they have a certificate issued by the responsible ministry and for which any inability to provide them due to a quarantine would cause major social or economic damage;
  • Search and rescue officers, health workers, police officers, firefighters or individuals providing humanitarian transport for the Slovenian government who are crossing the border to perform their assignments;
  • Individuals travelling through Slovenia to another country within the same day;
  • Individuals who are crossing the border as teachers or researchers included in projects in Slovenia and can demonstrate this with suitable proof and present test results not older than three days, proving they are not infected or have not fallen ill due to coronavirus infection.
  • Individuals with proof of a scheduled medical examination or procedure in Slovenia.

Recommendations for travellers

To contain the spread of the coronavirus, countries have restricted the crossing of borders. Air as well as passenger and railway transport is restricted across Europe and in other countries of the world, therefore, all travel abroad is discouraged. If you have just arrived from abroad or you cannot reschedule or cancel your trip abroad, follow the recommended preventive measures

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