Most lockdown restrictions extended, a few businesses allowed to reopen

Ljubljana – The government has extended a ban on movement between municipalities and a ban on gatherings of more than six people for another week, while it has allowed some more services and businesses to reopen.

The businesses that are being allowed to reopen from Friday include pedicure services, and specialised shops selling baby, childcare and mother care items, technical goods, cars, bicycles, furniture, photographic and photocopying services, watch and jewellery shops.

Presenting the changes to the relevant decree, which were adopted at the government correspondence session today, Economy Ministry State Secretary Ajda Cuderman said restrictions were being eased on activities “where there’s a very small possibility of transmission of infection”.

For pedicure she said it was “of exceptional importance for preventive care of the many older people, and to prevent any serious conditions with the elderly, who have been warning of that”.

The establishments that are being opened will need to observe additional safety measures, including limiting customers to one per 30 square metres, as opposed to 20 square metres per customer so far.

In shopping centres, entrances and exits for customers will have to be separated, with hand sanitisers at both ends and regular airing required, among other things.

Cuderman indicated that other services such as beauty shops and ophthalmologists would be allowed to reopen when the coronavirus situation has improved.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said the ban on restriction to movement and gatherings was being extended for another week with small technical amendments to the decree.

He said that Serbia was additionally added to the list of Covid-19 unsafe red countries for which quarantine applies, from Monday, but said that the government advised against all non-essential travel outside the country anyway.

He said the same restrictions to travel across the border as for Slovenian citizens also apply to foreigners residing in Slovenia who have relatives in other countries of the former Yugoslavia.

“As you arrive on the border and you don’t produce [proof of] one of the reasons for the crossing of border municipalities, you will be fined,” said Hojs, referring to foreign residents.

Additionally, oversight of compliance with restrictions to movement can now also be exercised by city traffic wardens, aside police officers and health inspectors.

The government has also added new sports to the list of those where competition can resume for top athletes, including water polo and futsal.

This is the second time that the government has extended top-tier lockdown restrictions since imposing the highest level of restrictions on 24 October to cut coronavirus cases.

Only stores selling essential items or services remain open, including grocery shops ans supermarkets, produce markets, pharmacies, shops selling medical and orthopaedic equipment, farming and gardening stores, florists, DIY shops, car and bicycle repair shops, bank, postal and insurance offices, newsagents, pet food stores.

Delivery services are also allowed and restaurants can offer takeaway. A week ago, the government also allowed libraries and repair services to reopen.

The government will review the restrictions again in a week.