Slovenians in Croatia hurt by new border restrictions

Zagreb – Members of the Slovenian ethnic minority in Croatia can no longer enter Slovenia without a negative PCR test from today, which means hassle and expenses in particular for those who regularly cross the border, their representative has warned.

Most ethnic Slovenians in Croatia live along the border and they are closely linked with Slovenia in many ways, many of them on a daily basis, says Barbara Riman, the head of the Association of Slovenian Societies in Croatia.

A family of four where both parents work in Slovenia and children go to school in Slovenia will spend over a hundred euro a week on rapid tests alone, and even more for PCR tests, not to mention the cost of fuel to get tested at designated points in Croatia.

She says Croatian Slovenians can also not access their property or see to older relatives across the border without incurring extra costs, and even pensioners cannot withdraw their pensions from banks in Slovenia without a negative PCR test.

Some had to find GPs in Croatia because they could not longer see their doctors in Slovenia hassle-free and restrictions also made things more difficult for separated families where parents live on different sides of the border, Riman went on.

The official said the minority was at a disadvantage in comparison to the minority in Italy for example because free rapid testing had not been made available for Slovenians in Croatia.

Those who cross the border daily never know what measure to expect because unlike Croatia Slovenia frequently changes conditions under which border can be crossed, Riman said, adding that the countries should adjust their border regimes to make the situation easier.

From today quarantine-free entry in Slovenia is only possible with a negative PCR test, except for some exceptions.