Fewer exceptions for entering the country without quarantine, negative test

Ljubljana – The government amended the rules for entry into Slovenia last night to scrap some of the exceptions for entering the country without the quarantine requirement or a negative coronavirus test.

The new rules will take effect a day after they are published in the Official Gazette, which was released today, meaning they will enter into force on Friday, deputy Police Commissioner Tomaž Pečjak explained at today’s press conference. They will remain in place until 12 February.

Under the new rules daily migrants working in any of the EU or Schengen zone countries returning to the country after more than 14 hours will also be obligated to present a negative test, PCR or rapid test conducted in the EU, no older than seven days.

Those failing to present a negative test at the border who are residents of Slovenia will receive a quarantine order, which can be cut short with a negative test, Pečjak explained.

Negative tests will also be required for persons crossing the border occasionally due to their work in child care, education or science in Slovenia or the EU, and for EU citizens coming from other EU countries where they are providing care or support to vulnerable groups, providing for their family members, do maintenance work on their property or are involved in efforts to protect people’s lives, health or assets and are returning within 12 hours since crossing the border.

A negative test requirement will also be in place for persons who have a medical appointment in Slovenia.

Entering the country without a negative test and quarantine will be possible in only ten cases, including for persons conducting international transport, persons transporting goods or persons into Slovenia, for transit passenger and freight transport if the person leaves the country within eight hours or returns to the country after no more than eight hours.

The government also slightly amended the list of red countries with a quarantine requirement, expanding it to some administrative units of Norway and Denmark.

The Slovenian Cultural and Economic Association (SKGZ), one of the two umbrella organisations representing the Slovenian ethnic minority in Italy, expressed concern about the negative test requirement being imposed on cross-border workers and students.

The SKGZ said the measure would hurt mainly the border population crossing the border for work and study, which came at the time of exams.

The organisation said its head Ksenija Dobrila had been in contact with Slovenian diplomatic offices in Italy and Slovenian government officials to tackle the problem.

Dobrila has also talked over the phone with Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch, who the SKGZ says assured her she would talk with Interior Minister Aleš Hojs about the issue. Dobrila also expressed her concerns in letters to the two ministers and to Foreign Minister Anže Logar.

Meanwhile, the Croatian press agency Hina has reported that the community health centres in Karlovac and Ozalj have organised testing for daily migrants commuting to work in Slovenia at the cost of 150 kunas or just under 20 euro with migrant workers concerned about the costs.