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30 Mar 2020 | 04:56 AM UTC

Slovenia: Additional restrictive measures implemented due to COVID-19 March 30 /update 4

Government prohibits individuals from leaving their municipality due to COVID-19 March 30; follow authority directives

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Event

The government announced that individuals will be prohibited from leaving their municipality of permanent or temporary residence effective Monday, March 30. Under the decree, individuals will only be permitted to leave their municipality for work-related reasons, to support someone in need, or in emergency circumstances. Kosovars will only be able to access essential services such as petrol stations, grocery stores, or banks outside their municipality if no such services exist within their own municipality.

As of Monday, March 30, all schools, kindergartens, bars, restaurants, hotels, sports centers, and cultural institutions remain closed, and public gatherings banned. Public transport, including air traffic, is shut down, and health checks have been introduced on the borders with Italy and Austria.

On Friday, March 27, Slovenian authorities announced that all citizens returning from countries that have reported a large number of COVID-19 cases will be subject to mandatory quarantine. It was not immediately announced when the measure would come into effect, nor which countries the measures would apply to.

As of Monday, March 30, there are 730 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with nine associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, individuals are advised to abide the following measures: 

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.