Coronavirus restrictions extended for now

Brdo pri Kranju – The bulk of coronavirus restrictions remain in force following the government session on Wednesday but the government may change them on Saturday following consultations with hospital directors and business officials.

The government extended the bans on gatherings and movement between municipalities, the 9pm-6am curfew, and the suspension of public transport and closure of non-essential stores, according to a release issued following the cabinet session at Brdo pri Kranju last night.

Precautionary measures such as hand sanitising and the wearing of face masks also remain in force, both in public indoor and outdoor spaces.

However, loose fitting nose and mouth coverings such as scarves or bandannas are no longer deemed sufficient shields under changes that enter into force on Saturday.

Presenting the details at a coronavirus briefing on Thursday, Health Ministry State Secretary Marija Magajne said that masks would now be mandatory, not just surgical but also washable cloth masks.

“Those are especially suitable because we can wear them longer before they get wet. Surgical masks as a rule must be replaced every two hours,” she said.

The government also added outdoor cultural heritage sites such as archaeological sites or botanical gardens to libraries as the cultural institutions that can be open.

The condition is that the viewing does not involve organised guided viewing and that the one person per 30 square metre rule is observed within the fenced public premises.

Jelko Kacin, the government Covid-19 spokesman, told TV Slovenija last night that the government would meet representatives of health institutions and businesses for consultations before deciding on potential changes to the measures.

In meeting with hospital directors, hospital capacities will be discussed as to establish the extent of the burden hospitals can sustain in the coming days and weeks, said Kacin.

Meanwhile, the meeting with business representatives will look into the options for potential easing of measures considering the potential in view of the coronavirus situation.

“Should the situation allow, the government will decide on potential easing right after the consultations,” said Kacin, noting the differences in the rate of infections between the regions.

In the previous days Health Minister Tomaž Gantar urged shutting down all non-essential business activities for a fortnight to drive down the curve of infections, while Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek called for a gradual lifting of restrictions on some businesses provided safety can be maintained.