Authorities say public increasingly abiding by restrictions

Ljubljana – The health and police authorities find that members of the public are increasingly sticking to coronavirus restrictions with the number of fines issued down last week compared to the couple of weeks earlier. One issue is punters lingering when picking up food or drinks.

Inspectors issued 104 fines totalling EUR 56,400, plus 263 warnings and 120 administrative measures between 9 and 15 November in 2,578 checks related to coronavirus measures.

During that time the Health Inspectorate conducted 1,503 inspections, issuing 94 fines totalling EUR 39,200, 150 warnings and eight administrative measures, the inspectorate’s Deana Potza told the government morning press briefing on Friday.

Inspectors conducted 157 inspections in the hospitality sector, 197 at stores and 223 at other services. They conducted 712 checks in outdoor public spaces, issuing 72 fines worth EUR 27,200.

The official also commented on the ban on consumption of food and drink in public spaces following a public outcry after a family in Kranj was slapped with a fine for eating croissants outdoors and a food delivery courier earned one for having a lunch break on the stairs to the church in Ljubljana’s landmark Prešeren Square.

Potza said the ban pertained to food and drink picked up from eateries rather than a general ban on consumption of food and drink in public places, but also noted that face masks must be carried in public spaces.

“Inspector will judge the situation on a case by case basis, taking proportionate action,” she said, but warned that nothing was to be consumed on the go, while it was allowed to withdraw into a green area for a bite or drink while abiding by all recommendations.

Last Friday, inspectors joining border police at the crossings Obrežje, Metlika and Vinica with Croatia issued 54 fines to those breaking the ban on movement between municipalities, and 26 warnings pertaining to new restrictions on movement and gatherings that came into effect that day.

Adherence to restrictions is also being enforced by the police, with Tomaž Pečjak, the deputy police commissioner, saying the idea was “to achieve the goal with the mildest of means and measures while following the principle of proportion”.

In November the police checked adherence to coronavirus restrictions in 46,124 cases, establishing 3,894 violations. They also acted on 604 tip-offs from members of the public, issuing 2,753 warnings and 1,883 fines.

They also issued 4,279 referrals for persons to self-isolate at home, including 721 minors.

Pečjak said the ban on gatherings in private places was still being flouted but on a smaller scale than in the weeks before. However, he did say that police officers had been attacked when intervening against unauthorised parties.