Slovenia first European nation to declare end of coronavirus epidemic at home

Slovenia recorded the first COVID-19 case on March 4 in a returnee from neighbouring Italy, while it proclaimed nationwide epidemic on March 12.

Slovenia first European nation to declare end of coronavirus epidemic at home
Image courtesy: Official website

New Delhi: Slovenia has become the first European country to announce an end to coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic at home. Prime Minister Janez Jansa made a statement in this regard just two months after the epidemic was declared.

Slovenian government's official twitter handle on Thursday said, "The government continues to relax restrictions adopted due to the #COVID19 epidemic"

"On Wednesday, the government considerably eased the restrictions adopted during the epidemic. This will be followed by a 14-day observation period, and any further wider easing measures will reappear on the agenda in early June," said the government's communication office.

A mountainous nation of two million people, it stated that the COVID-19 spread is under control and there is no longer a need for extraordinary health measures.

"Today Slovenia has the best epidemic situation in Europe, which enables us to call off the general epidemic," PM Janez Jansa was quoted as saying by an AlJazeera report.

The government's official statement said that EU residents are free to cross into Slovenia from Austria, Italy, and Hungary at predetermined checkpoints, while most non-EU nationals will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Notably, Slovenia recorded the first COVID-19 case on March 4 in a returnee from neighbouring Italy, while it proclaimed a nationwide epidemic on March 12. It had reported about 1,500 coronavirus cases and 103 deaths as of Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday, the official statement said: "As of Monday, educational institutions will accept preschool children and pupils of the first three grades of nine-year primary schools, as well as final-year students of upper secondary schools." 

"Driving schools and all shops will reopen – restrictions for certain groups on when they can shop will also be lifted. By way of an ordinance, however, the government kept unchanged the minimum opening hours of food shops, at least from 8:00 to 18:00 (except for shops that were open for less than ten hours already before 12 March)," it said.

The government also stated that sports competitions at the national level will also be possible in team sports from May 23.