The Slovenia Times

Three countries removed from green list as measure to contain Covid-19


As a result, a 14-day quarantine will be ordered for entry to Slovenia from countries on the yellow list, including Croatia, where many Slovenians spend their holidays.

However, Slovenian citizens and foreigners with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia arriving from yellow-listed EU or Schengen zone members will not be quarantined.

This rule applies if they can prove they own a piece of property or a vessel there or produce an original bill for accommodation etc. Should they not be able to prove this, they will be considered as arriving in Slovenia from a high-risk country.

But if Slovenian citizens and foreigners with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia are returning from a red-listed country, they will still be quarantined.

Outgoing Interior Minister Aleš Hojs explained to the press that a foreigner from a yellow-listed country would be denied entry if they had no place to be quarantined in Slovenia.

He said the government had been largely forced to tighten the entry rules because many entering Slovenia did not respect the existing decree, indicating some were lying about not being in a red-listed country.

Based on the most recent epidemiological trends showing most of the infections have been imported, workers from third countries such as Bosnia and Serbia who have permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia, as well as Slovenian citizens, would tell border authorities that they are coming to Slovenia from Croatia while they are in fact coming from countries with a poorer epidemiological situation, said Hojs.

He announced that the border [with Croatia] could be "fully closed" should the latest changes not suffice to contain the spread of the disease.

Exempt from quarantine will also be tourists from the yellow countries who have booked accommodation in Slovenia when their country was still on the green list.

Nevertheless, they will have to produce a negative Covid-19 test result, carried out not more than 36 hours prior to the entry.

The government also decided to enhance serving quarantine orders by allowing their being served already on the border before the person is allowed to enter Slovenia.

So far it could often happen that a person received the quarantine order after they had already completed the mandatory two-week quarantine.

Such orders will now be served at four entry points on the border with Croatia - at the international border crossings of Gruškovje, Obrežje, Metlika and Jelšane.

The other two such points will be Ljubljana international airport, and the Pince border crossing with Hungary.

Hojs said all border crossings remain open for Slovenians, while these had been designated for "those who know they would be quarantined" or "cannot prove they were not in a third country".

Should a large number of people be entering Slovenia in an organised manner, the interior minister could designate more "quarantine" entry points.

The person entering Slovenia will be asked by police to give their name, birth date and the address or the temporary address where they would be quarantined.

The data will be forwarded to a Health Ministry representative at the entry point, who will issue and serve the quarantine order, allowing the person to enter Slovenia.

Hojs said police would have the discretion to decide whether what those entering Slovenia produce as proof that they are not returning from a red-listed country, is trustworthy.

He believes "99.9% of citizens who are honest" would have no problem understanding the new border regime, which is however bound to result in longer waiting times.

Hojs said that an average 500 quarantine orders had been issued every day in the last two weeks, up to 1,200-1,300 at weekends.

The news that the country will no longer be on the green list did not upset Croatia, but it did the Czech Republic.

Croatian PM Andrej Plenković said he had been rung up by Slovenian counterpart Janez Janša last evening to notify him of the change. But he said nothing would change for Croatians. "They will say they are going to Slovenia, where exactly they are headed and give the reason. That's all."

Czech PM Andrej Babiš meanwhile said he saw no reason for putting his country on the yellow list, which he would like to discuss with Janša, according to the Austrian press agency APA.

Foreign Minister Tomaš Petriček hopes the change is temporary, while Health Minister Adam Vojtech criticised Slovenia for not studying the situation in Czechia well enough.


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