Persons helping Croatia post-quake not subjected to Covid-19 protocols

Ljubljana – Slovenian residents travelling to Croatia to help in the disaster relief efforts in Croatia following Tuesday’s devastating earthquake in the Petrinja area and staying there up to 48 hours will be allowed to re-enter Slovenia without quarantining or producing a negative test for the novel coronavirus.

At the coronavirus press briefing on Wednesday, government spokesman Jelko Kacin said that the Interior Ministry had added this exception to the list of seven exceptions for entry to Slovenia without quarantine at home or negative test.

Civil Protection commander Srečko Šestan noted that the exception applied only to persons who were part of organised relief efforts and not to individual visits to the area south-east of Zagreb affected by the 6.4-magnitude quake.

Kacin said that following the earthquake, which claimed seven lives, Slovenia had immediately jumped in to help, sending a first convoy with containers of relief aid from the Roje logistic centre in Ljubljana Tuesday evening.

Šestan added that the first shipment featured four housing containers and sleeping bags, and that the same two lorries were dispatched again for Croatia on Wednesday morning, this time with ten inflatable tents with heating and lighting equipment.

The shipment also featured a hundred field beds and sleeping bags, which combined will provide for around 150 accommodation units for people whose homes have been destroyed.

For the time being, Slovenia will not be sending additional aid, but is in contact with the Croatian authorities, Šestan said, while Kacin noted that the entire aid from Slovenia was estimated at around EUR 160,000.

He said that there was great interest among Slovenian residents to help and that aid for the Petrinja area was also being collected by many humanitarian organisations.

Šestan noted that aid to Croatia in different forms must be organised through various associations and “confirmed from the other side.”

According to him, the Slovenian civil protection service has plans in place for earthquakes such as the one that hit Croatia, and exercises at the local, regional and national levels are organised based on these plans.

The most recent exercise at the national level was held at the beginning of the year, and participation in an exercise organised by the EU is planned for 2021, Šestan added.