Slovenia: Gradual lifting of restriction possible next week, Janša says

Slovenia: Gradual lifting of restriction possible next week, Janša says

Slovenia Prime Minister Janez Janša has announced that some of the restrictive measures related to the coronavirus pandemic could perhaps be eased as early as next Tuesday, provided that certain conditions, including the stability of the healthcare system, are met.

In an extraordinary announcement on Tuesday evening, Janša said that the government was examining the possibility of relaunching manufacturing, part of the services sector, commerce and transport, if protective measures are implemented, according to STA.

Provided that the pandemic eases further, that testing is expanded at critical points such as nursing homes and that infections are better controlled, some restrictions of movement could also be gradually eased, the prime minister added.

“But we must be aware of the undeniable fact that an alternative to loosening supervision of the source of the contagion can only be the drastic restriction of contacts”.

Janša said that the healthcare system is still exposed, as almost a fifth of all infested persons in Slovenia are healthcare workers. “The curve of the spreading of the virus is no longer climbing steeply, it is more horizontal, but it is still not dropping”.

He added that without the control of infected persons and additional testing of their contacts, it would not be possible to scale down the current movement restrictions only to a few areas.

Janša noted that people sticking to the restriction of movement to the municipal boundaries had significantly reduced the possibility of new infections and the creation of new hot spots last week.

He also called for understanding of the “fact that we cannot ease certain measures as quickly as the countries which reacted to the epidemic days or even weeks ahead of us, while they were also institutionally ready, unlike us”.

The opposition Left and Social Democrats (SD) meanwhile again called on the government to lift the ban on non-essential travel between municipalities, arguing that a vast majority of people are sticking to the lockdown measures.

The SD said that citizens were disciplined and protected their own health and the health of their families, adding that the ban on travel outside the municipality of the permanent or temporary residence was “nonsensical and excessive”.

Left MP Matej T. Vatovec said that “we see that things are moving slightly forward, and we hope that the government will also realise that certain measures were premature and that it will start taking steps back”./ibna