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Croatia’s neighbours Slovenia officially declare COVID-19 epidemic over

Ljubljana, Slovenia

ZAGREB, May 15 (Hina) – The Slovenian government on Thursday declared an end to the coronavirus epidemic that had been declared on March 12, and the local media on Friday described the decision as surprising since Prime Minister Janez Jansa on Thursday announced such a move and lifting of some restrictions only for the end of May.

The country of 2 million people has so far reported 1,464 coronavirus cases and 103 fatalities.

“The current epidemiological situation enables the easing of some of the restrictions introduced to curb the spreading of the COVID-19 virus but the restrictions will not be lifted in their entirety,” the government said after a session on Thursday evening declaring an end to the epidemic and defining the future regime of entry into and transit through Slovenia.

The local media describe the decision as surprising considering that on Thursday Jansa told the parliament that the epidemic would be declared over and all restrictions lifted at the end of May.

They note that no other European country had declared an end to the epidemic and that some Slovenian experts consider the epidemic medically not over.

Under the government’s decision, persons who enter the country and have residence in Slovenia or have permanent or temporary residence in some other EU country and have not stayed outside the EU for more than 14 days, are only given at the border a leaflet with warnings on epidemiological measures against the spreading of the coronavirus, except if they themselves state that they have COVID-19 or exhibit clear symptoms of the disease.

Slovenian Radio said that the government’s decision does not refer to measures such as social distancing, hand hygiene, or wearing face masks indoors. The ban on large public gatherings is still in force as well.

The same source reported on Friday morning that the government had rushed into declaring the epidemic over as otherwise, its emergency law on subsidies for the business sector and households would have had to be prolonged until the end of June, which would require a few more billion euros of additional aid.

Under the government’s latest decision, Slovenians wishing to travel to Croatia will be able to do so more freely because they will not have to self-isolate for seven days upon their return as was the case until now.

Jansa said in the parliament on Thursday that Slovenia had been the most successful EU country in terms of dealing with the epidemic, that the epidemiological situation was very favourable considering the very low number of new COVID-19 cases and that the government would now start dealing with economic problems and post-epidemic recovery to avoid economic depression.

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