The Slovenia Times

Outdoor hospitality temporarily allowed in two regions as of Monday

Health & MedicineSpotlight

Ljubljana - Bars and restaurants in two eastern regions, Posavje and South-east Slovenia, will be able to start serving customers outdoor as of Monday, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek announced on Twitter. Initially, this will be a one-week test to see how things turn out.

Počivalšek said he was glad "we've come to a point where we can restart a portion of the hospitality industry." He suggested the two regions would serve as a bellwether for the rest of Slovenia when it comes to reopening.

"The opening carries huge responsibility... I appeal to proprietors and guests: act responsibly," he added.

While Slovenia is in the orange tier of restrictions, both regions currently have figures that place them firmly in the milder, yellow tier, where serving customers outdoor is allowed.

Počivalšek said that if coronavirus cases there rise, outdoor hospitality will be banned for the yellow tier.

The reopening will be strictly regulated.

Service will be possible between 6am and 7pm. Customers will have to wear masks at all times, except when they are seated at their table, and staff will have to wear masks at all times and get tested for coronavirus weekly.

Tables will have to be three metres apart and no more than four guests are allowed at each table.

Since travel between municipalities is not restricted any more except for the Obalno-Kraška region, which is in the red tier, patrons from around the country will be able to wine and dine outdoors.

Slovenian restaurants have been closed for indoor service since mid-October. Both bars and restaurants were able to offer take-away service, and, since last month, restaurants were allowed to serve B2B guests indoors.

Proprietors have welcomed the move as a sign that there is political will to reopen the industry. "It is also a motivation for proprietors in other regions to achieve the criteria [for reopening] as soon as possible," the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS) said.

The Tourism and Hospitality Chamber of Slovenia added that the government should say as soon as possible when accommodation may reopen so that marketing activities may start soon enough. "Without guests, opening accommodation does not make sense," it said.


More from Health & Medicine