Slovenia declares end of coronavirus epidemic

Slovenia declares end of coronavirus epidemic
A usually bustling street in downtown Ljubljana empty during the coronavirus lockdown.
By bne IntelliNews May 15, 2020

The Slovenian government said on May 15 it has officially declared an end of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, making it the first country in Europe to do so, and also opened borders for EU citizens on certain conditions.

The first confirmed case of coronavirus in Slovenia was recorded on March 4, and until the end of May 13, 1,464 confirmed cases of infection were recorded.

Despite declaring an end to the epidemic, the government is keeping the key health and safety measures  in place until the end of May, after which it will re-assess the situation.

Slovenia’s National Institute for Public Health said that only 35 new cases were registered in the last two weeks while the effective reproduction number, which shows how many people a patient infects on average, fell below 1.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Slovenia. Source: WHO

“The current epidemiological situation therefore makes it possible to ease measures that were necessary to contain and control the COVID-19, but not to eliminate them completely,” the government announced following a session late on Thursday.

The measures that will be maintained to limit the spread of the infection include carrying out coronavirus tests, isolation of patients, search for contacts, quarantine for high-risk close contacts, hand hygiene and physical distance. 

In another decree, the government decided to allow EU nationals to cross the border at selected checkpoints, if they are healthy, ending the policy of seven-day quarantine.

Third-country nationals will be subject to a two-week quarantine, with some exceptions.