Border restrictions stiffened, already causing problems

Ljubljana/Črna na Koroškem – Toughened restrictions on Slovenia’s borders entered into effect today in advance of an eleven-day lockdown kicking in on 1 April, while there are fewer exemptions and the testing requirement has been stepped up. The closure of some border crossings is already causing problems for daily commuters.

Except for a narrow list of exemptions, travel to all red-listed countries – all of Slovenia’s neighbours are on the list – is prohibited and the mandatory ten-day quarantine upon entry from such countries cannot be prematurely ended with a test.

All passengers from red-listed countries will have to quarantine unless they show a PCR test made in an EU or Schengen-zone country in the last 48 hours.

A certificate of vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine, or proof that the person has had Covid-19 in the past six months, suffice as well, provided it has been issued in an EU or Schengen-zone country.

Some passengers may enter Slovenia without quarantining or testing: international hauliers, hauliers leaving or entering the country for no more than eight hours, persons in transit, diplomats, and youths under 13 commuting to school daily and their drivers.

There are also several groups of passengers who may avoid quarantine with a rapid or PCR test that is no more than seven days old. These include daily cross-border commuters, persons over 13 crossing the border to go to school and their drivers, owners of land on both sides of the border, and persons on emergency trips.

School children cannot be exempted from the quarantine or testing requirement when schools are closed.

Several border crossings closed today, causing problems to Slovenians commuting daily to work to neighbouring countries, foremost making their travel much longer.

Mayors from Koroška, a region bordering Austria, thus urged the government to open Vič, Holmec and Radelj 24 hours a day, meaning they are classified border crossings A, and all the other border crossing in the area from 5am to 11pm (classified as B).

They stressed that no border crossing in their region is open 24/7, while Vič and Holmec are open only between 5am and 11pm.

Opposition SD MP Jani Prednik, who comes from Koroška, addressed an initiative to the government to adopt “a rational and realistic border-crossing regime” for daily commuters and those who have to cross the border due to urgent matters.