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Prime Minister Janez Janša has presented guidelines adopted by the government to determine what anti-coronavirus measures

Janez Janša

Prime Minister Janez Janša has presented guidelines adopted by the government to determine what anti-coronavirus measures to take, based on three parameters, the main one being the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients. He has already announced several new measures as of Thursday as Slovenia persists in the orange phase.

The guidelines, titled the Plan of measures for containing the second coronavirus wave, are featured in a table which sets the parameters for so-called orange and red phases, with respective measures being envisaged for each phase.

The parameters are the number of newly confirmed infections per 100,000 residents in the last 14 days, the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients and the number of patients who require ventilation.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Janša said that the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients was the main parameter, and noting that since the spring, the government had managed to double the capacity for treatment of such patients.

When this number exceeds 60, Slovenia enters in the orange phase, and if it is higher than 140, it enters the red phase. The green phase means that residents are required to follow general rules such as distancing, hand sanitation and masks.

Janša said that Slovenia had been in the green phase all the way until the beginning of autumn, when the situation had worsened due to imported cases, and that some of the measures envisaged for the orange phase had to be taken in September.

These have not produced the desired results and, as of Thursday, additional measures will enter into force, including bars and restaurants needing to set up fewer tables across the same area, and serve only the guests sitting at tables.

Public and private gatherings will be restricted to 10 people, with the exception of religious ceremonies, weddings and supervised public cultural and sporting events, with consideration of all hygienic measures.

Another measure is restricting the number of persons in enclosed public spaces (shops, banks, post offices and other offices) relative to the size of the space, with details not specified.

Events will have to be held without food and drink being served, and visits to certain nursing homes and hospitals will be banned. The new measures are expected to be confirmed by the government on Wednesday.

Janša also noted the latest measure – mandatory installation of hand sanitisers in the shared areas in multi-apartment buildings, which will enter into force on Wednesday.

The government has almost exhausted the set of measures which do not significantly hamper public life, and if the number of infections continues to grow, it will have to declare an epidemic, which means stricter measures, he added.

“If the number of infected exceeds 140 per 100,000 residents in a 14-day period and if there are 250 patients in hospitals, more than 50 of them in intensive care, we will need to declare an epidemic,” said Janša, adding that an epidemic would be automatically declared is Slovenia entered the red phase.