Slovenia entered its third blockade in just over a year on Thursday, seeking to buy some time for vaccination and stop the third wave of the pandemic, run by the very virgin British variant. The engagement is expected to extend until April 11, with the exception of Easter Sunday, when members of up to two families will be able to come together and celebrate the holiday.
Schools will switch back to online teaching, while kindergartens will provide care for children of parents working only on critical infrastructure.
Once again, face masks will be mandatory outdoors, except during recreation in the natural environment.
Slovenian media report that, based on the new measures, citizens will not be allowed to leave their region except to go to work, provide assistance or enter diplomatic missions, among other exceptions.
Outdoor services where allowed will be closed again, along with direct sales of goods and services to consumers, albeit with some exceptions, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and florists, among others.
A ban on rallies will also be introduced, as only meetings with members of each family will be allowed. All celebrations will be banned and a curfew from 10:00 – 5 am will remain in place.
Easter Sunday, which will be celebrated on April 4, will be an exception. People will be able to travel all over the country to visit family. A maximum of two families will be allowed to accompany, with a maximum crowd of six over the age of 15.
Museums, galleries, libraries and archives will also be closed today, events have been canceled for the next 11 days and religious ceremonies will be held without the presence of worshipers.
Following the government call on businesses to promote teleworking whenever possible, the public administration will only provide essential services. The courts have canceled all non-urgent hearings and notaries will only take clients by appointment.
Public transport will operate according to holiday schedule, while ski lifts will not operate at all.
Leading to the stalemate, many have expressed concerns. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry called on the government to expand the list of exemptions and allow more people working abroad to cross borders, but also to provide childcare not only for critical infrastructure workers, but also for parents who are essential in their workplace. .
Transporters worry that, due to the blockage, bathrooms and other facilities at the highway rest areas will remain closed, as was the case at the first blockade.
As border crossing restrictions escalated further Monday, Slovenes living in Italy called on the government on Wednesday to reopen some border crossings used by locals.