Accommodation facilities reopen, sport events allowed

Ljubljana – Accommodation facilities across the country, which is largely in tier orange of restrictions, can reopen in a limited scope today, each allowed to accept guests in no more than 30 rooms. Also allowed from today are sport events and competitions, although without spectators.

All guests must prove they are not infected with coronavirus, either by producing a negative test, a vaccination certificate or proof of having recovered from Covid.

The exceptions are children under 15 holidaying with their parents or carers.

All accommodation facilities can also offer wellness services, such as swimming or sauna, yet only for their guests.

The tourism sector has welcomed the latest easing of restrictions, but said it comes at very short notice and under some unreasonable conditions.

The cap on rooms makes larger accommodation facilities unprofitable, so many have decided against reopening, especially where it is too cold to serve food outdoors.

Anže Čokl, who runs the 100-plus room Bohinj Eco Hotel in the Alpine region of Gorenjska, said every hotel has high fixed costs and makes loss if at least half of its rooms are not full.

“Our goal is to get to the main season hoping it will be a good one,” he explained the reason for straying closed.

Gostišče Uh in the town of Rateče near the Planica ski jumping centre will open all of its five rooms above the restaurant.

Its head Sonja Kavalar said if necessary, they will serve food in rooms, saying business owners should adapt, which can be hard at first.

Marcela Klofutar from Linhart Hotel&Bistro in the town of Radovljica pointed to some absurd restrictions – non-tested staff can serve business guests indoor, while ordinary guests can only be served outdoors by staff that has been tested.

She also pointed to the issue of privacy when staff should check whether a guest has a negative coronavirus test. “There are still many open issues.”

Hotel owners are also cautious in Slovenian Istria, that is in the coastal Obalno-Kraška region, which is, unlike Gorenjska, one of the three yellow regions with a better epidemiological situation.

Smaller facilities, especially family hotels, find it easier to adjust, with some having already purchased rapid antigen tests.

Larger facilities, such as Sava Turizem and Talaso Strunjan, will offer 30 rooms to tourists only at the facilities which have been allowed to operate as exceptions to the closure because they offer services for sport events, business tourism and treatments at spas.

Sport competitions although without spectators, and trainings in bubbles, as well as recreational sport activities for up to ten participants are allowed as of today.

Athletes that will compete and their teams as well as trainers of recreational sports need to get tested if they have not been vaccinated or already recovered from Covid.