Slovenian president announces lockdown as only alternative

Slovenian President Borut Pahor, 26 August 2020. [EPA-EFE/FILIP SINGER]

Slovenian President Borut Pahor said there was no alternative but to put Slovenia in an 11-day lockdown to protect the population from a spiraling coronavirus caseload.

Pahor also urged tolerance and expressed optimism about the future in a televised address to the nation to mark the start of the strict lockdown on Thursday.

Authorities are seeking to put a halt to the third wave of the pandemic. The country of just over 2 million people has registered 1,355 new infections over the past 24 hours. 

During the lockdown, schools will close and non-essential travel between worst-hit regions will be banned. Public administration and public transport are to work at minimum capacity, and most services and sports activities will be shuttered. Employers are advised to allow remote working.

As of Monday, a negative PCR test is required to enter Slovenia, and Slovenian residents are banned from travelling to country’s on the government’s “red” list and will face high fines if they do. 

“The main cause of the third wave of the pandemic in Slovenia is the now dominant British variant of the virus, due to which the reproduction number is above one, so it is impossible to control the pandemic without a lockdown,” said Leon Cizelj from the Jožef Štefan Institute, a research body. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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