Slovenian authorities held a press conference on Tuesday to declare the end of the COVID-19 epidemic in the country.
The conference was attended by the State Secretary at the Ministry of Health Franc Vindišar and the State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Mateja Ribič.
According to current data, a total of 2,330 PCR tests and 39,801 rapid antigen tests were conducted yesterday. The PCR tests confirmed 112 new infections, which amounts to a positivity rate of 4.8%. One week ago, the positivity rate was 7.2%. According to today’s data, the seven-day average of confirmed cases is 132.
There are 769,248 people aged over 18 and 521,172 aged over 50 that have received the first dose of vaccine, while 551,906 people aged over 18 and 428,764 aged over 50 have been fully vaccinated.
A total of 122 patients are currently hospitalised due to COVID-19, of whom 40 require intensive care, and two COVID-19 patients died yesterday.
As Vindišar explained, the epidemiological situation in Slovenia is favourable, thanks to all those who followed the measures, got vaccinated and, above all, acted responsibly. A big thank you goes to primary healthcare workers who are carrying out vaccinations. The advisory group will continue to assess the necessity of individual measures on a weekly basis, however, we do not expect any major easing of measures. All adopted ordinances remain in force. There are currently enough vaccines available in Slovenia to allow anyone to get vaccinated. The vaccination centres are opening their doors even to people without prior appointment.
“It has been a difficult 18 months. The epidemic has put us through many difficulties. We have managed to pull through thanks to our cooperation and solidarity, but we are not stepped across the finish line yet,” said Vindišar. He called on citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Mateja Ribič said that the epidemic has ended, which is good and something all should be happy about. The situation in social care institutions is improving markedly. In the last week, cases of infection were detected only in one resident among all the care homes and in two employees.
According to Ribič, a number of measures will remain in place to continue to help social care institutions. The Ministry will continue to provide funding for additional jobs. Care homes and other institutions have been significantly reinforced in terms of the number of employees. Employees will continue to be entitled to emergency and red zone allowances if such a zone will need to be set up. Funds will also be provided for the temporary reassignment of employees. The measure to fund protective equipment and disinfection will also be in place until the end of the year. The measure to cover the costs of setting up a red zone in social care institutions, income lost due to vacancy and reimbursement of the care allowance due to home care will also be in force until the end of 2021.
As pointed out by Ribič, the end of the epidemic will put an end to the automatic monthly renewal of rights to public funds.
Families received help during the epidemic with an increased child care allowance of EUR 100 per month, paid throughout the epidemic. An increased large family allowance of EUR 100 for three or EUR 200 for four or more children was also paid during the epidemic. A one-off solidarity allowance for new-borns of EUR 500 will continue to be paid for one year after the end of the epidemic, in accordance with the PKP7. The other measures are subject to a statutory time limit and are not affected by the declaration of the end of the epidemic.
Labour market measures were also among the key measures designed for employees and the private sector. Of these, only the temporary unemployment benefits measure is linked to whether an epidemic has been declared. Other measures apply independently of the declaration of an epidemic until their end dates. The key measures, including temporary lay-off, short-time working, quarantine and force majeure allowances, and minimum wage subsidy, will apply until 30 June 2021.
State Secretary Ribič stressed that the labour market situation would continue to be monitored and action would be taken where necessary. Labour market data show that government measures taken have been effective and have achieved their objective. Yesterday, the number of unemployed persons was less than 73,000, which is 5,000 fewer unemployed than in the month preceding the start of the first declaration of the epidemic.