Govt extends epidemic, reopens libraries and museums in some regions

Ljubljana – The government has formally extended the epidemic by another 30 days beginning with 18 December, government Covid-19 spokesman Jelko Kacin said on Wednesday evening. Museums, libraries and galleries have been given the go-ahead to reopen in regions with the best epidemiological status.

The set of restrictions that will be put in place during the holidays has not yet been agreed on, Kacin added. The government discussed the holiday regime that will be imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, and is expected to reach a decision in the coming days.

In four regions with the most optimal epidemiological situation, central Osrednjeslovenska, Gorenjska in the north-west, coastal Obalno-Kraška and Goriška in the west, libraries, galleries and museums are allowed to reopen starting on Saturday.

Some museums may reopen on the first day, others are likely to wait until next week, the STA learnt after speaking to several museums.

Remote schooling is to remain in place at least until 25 December. After the holidays, a possibility that classroom learning will return has been floated.

Kacin remains optimistic and would like to see students back in school as soon as possible. The government does not wish to jeopardise this possibility by an excessive easing of the restrictions, he told the STA.

Regarding the holiday regime, he said that movement between municipalities could be perhaps permitted temporarily as well get-togethers of a restricted number of persons, however the government must be careful not to aggravate the situation.

The 9pm-6am curfew might be lifted as well and fireworks banned.

Bojana Beović, the head of the government Covid-19 task group, reiterated for commercial broadcaster POP TV on Wednesday that it would be sensible to impose a lockdown between 24 December and 4 January that would be as strict as possible to prepare for the January epidemic wave.

If it transpires that there is no surge in infections after the holidays, certain activities could be reopened, she said, highlighting the importance of social bubbles during the holidays.

The government also approved yesterday a EUR 4.5 million investment in a mobile facility for the Ljubljana UKC medical centre that is meant to boost the number of Covid beds during the epidemic.