The Slovenia Times

PM says easing of lockdown could start in a week


In a special 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.

Provided that the epidemic 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 loosing supervision of the source of the contagion can only be drastic restriction of contacts."

Janša suggested that the healthcare system was still exposed, as almost a fifth of all infected 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 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 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."

Meanwhile, Janša also voiced criticism of the EU, saying "European solidarity, which depends solely on the institutions of the EU, does not exist in practice when it comes to protective equipment".

"Since the start of the epidemic we've not received a single mask, a single piece of protective equipment, not a single ventilator from the EU. Not a single so called joint European procurement procedure has been completed with even one supply case," he said.

Janša commended the ECB and European commission on easing aid rules, but added: "However, the key instrument, so called corona bonds...still do not have sufficient support from the wealthiest EU members. This is the point where the future of our joint currency is weighed today, as well as the future of the EU."

Meanwhile, the opposition Left and Social Democrats (SD) 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 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 the 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."


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