Slovenia becomes the first European country to call an end to its deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Late on Thursday, the Slovenian government declared an official end to its coronavirus epidemic, after authorities confirmed less than seven new coronavirus cases each day for the past two weeks.
A statement released by the government said that people now arriving in the country from other European Union states will no longer have to go into quarantine for at least seven days as was the case from early April.
Slovenia declared an epidemic on March 12 and so far has reported a total number of 1,464 coronavirus cases and 103 deaths.
“Slovenia has tamed the epidemic over the past two months... Today Slovenia has the best epidemiologic picture in Europe,” Prime Minister Janez Jansa told parliament earlier on Thursday.
With the end of the epidemic, special measures such as financial aid to citizens and firms hit by the highly infectious coronavirus will expire at the end of May.
However, the government noted that foreign citizens who show signs of infection will still not be allowed to enter the country.
A quarantine of at least 14 days will remain in place for people from non-EU states, exempting some including diplomats and people transporting cargo.
The statement also said that citizens will have to continue to follow basic rules to prevent a possible spread of the novel virus.
It has been made mandatory for people to wear masks in indoor public spaces, stand at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) apart and disinfect hands upon entering public spaces.
Since the middle of March, Slovenia has closed all schools, sports and cultural institutions, bars, restaurants, hotels and shops apart from food and drug stores, while cancelling public transport.