New Covid traffic light expected, debate on future measures

Ljubljana – The Health Ministry’s Covid-19 advisory group is expected to decide on Monday on a proposed new Covid traffic light system with tiers of restrictions based on the number of cases in hospital rather than the number of new positive cases. If the situation further deteriorates, the group will propose an expansion of the use of Covid certificates.

Given that more than 40% of the population has been vaccinated, the overall number of new cases is not that important any more, explained Mateja Logar, the head of the group.

“We also know that the main limiting factor in Slovenia is the number of hospital beds, which is why the traffic light will be adjusted to that, something many other European countries are likely to do as well,” she told the STA, adding that other indicators of the situation would also be taken into account.

The previous traffic light system, which is currently not in use, had hospitalisations and the seven-day average of new daily cases as the main criteria for tiers of restrictions.

The advisory group believes that the tested-vaccinated-recovered (PCT) requirement keeps the society functioning if respected by both users an providers of services.

“It’s important that people realise this system is not about restrictions, it is designed to keep industries open when they would be closed long ago in similar conditions last year.”

If the epidemiological situation continues to deteriorate, the advisory group will propose an expansion of the use of Covid certificates and increased frequency of testing for those who are now required to test on a weekly basis.

The group will also decide today on the proposal to either limit the number of customers in shops and services or introduce the PCT requirement if the epidemiological situation deteriorates. But the PCT requirement would not apply for shops selling food.

As the number of hospitalisations rises, the next phase of Slovenia’s hospital activation plan will start today, meaning another three hospitals will start admitting Covid-19 patients, including in Nova Gorica in the west, Novo Mesto in the east and Murska Sobota in the north-east.

Self-testing kits for pupils and students will be available at pharmacies as of today ahead of the start of the new school year.