Coronavirus in Slovenia: Sunday Shopping Returns to Slovenia while 9 new infections confirmed

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Slovenia has been hit with the second wave of Coronavirus just as it was predicted. Slovenia has tested over 100,000 people in the last few months since the epidemic with Coronavirus has started in Slovenia. There have been 120 deaths recorded due to Coronavirus in Slovenia, while over 2180 people have been infected with Coronavirus in Slovenia.

 Nine of the 374 coronavirus tests performed in Slovenia on Saturday have come back positive, the latest government data show. One Covid-19 fatality was reported for a death toll of 120. There were 22 persons in hospital, the same as the day before, while only two required intensive care, down from five. The number of active cases rose slightly, to 234 from 231 the day before, according to data collected by Covid-19.sledilnik.org, a tracking website.

Sunday Shopping Returns to Slovenia after epidemic

unday shopping will again resemble the pre-corona times as all major retailers in Slovenia are to be open this Sunday. After Mercator, Tuš, Hofer and Eurospin decided to reopen last Sunday, today shoppers can also flock to Spar, Lidl, Leclerc and Jager.

Shopping centres operated by SES will also reopen today, including the Ljubljana Citypark, Aleja and Vič shopping centres, Celje Citycenter and Maribor Europark.

Sunday shopping returns after the government revoked a temporary ban on Sunday shopping last week, a measure that was put in place in the earliest stages of the coronavirus epidemic. The Sunday shopping ban was reversed effective last Friday, with the decision coming just a week after legislation that would permanently close shops on Sunday stalled in parliament. The government has withheld its support for the bill, which remains in parliamentary procedure, and suggested retailers and trade unions try and reach an agreement.

Only 27% of Slovenians would use Contact Tracing App

 In what upholds a relatively flat curve of new cases, 19 Sars-CoV-2 infections were confirmed in Slovenia in 1,032 tests conducted on Wednesday. The number of people in hospital rose by two to 18, with one patient in intensive care, show government data released on Thursday. No new deaths due to Coronavirus were reported, meaning the death toll remains 111, while the total number of confirmed infections rose to 1,897.

The latest number of new cases matches Tuesday’s, while ten infections were confirmed in Monday’s testing after the previous two weeks also saw two spikes of 30 and 34 cases. Meanwhile, four new infections were confirmed today in Hrastnik, which is being mentioned as a hotspot, having a total of 23 active infections, among them five elderly care home residents and five staff.

Four hospitals to receive COVID-19 patients from nursing homes

Four hospitals will receive coronavirus patients from nursing homes in order to make it easier for nursing homes to organize, the Health Ministry announced, in what marks a change from how such patients were treated during the first wave of the epidemic. A total of 50 beds will be available at special nursing departments at both university medical centers in Ljubljana and Maribor and the general hospitals in Novo Mesto and Nova Gorica, Health Ministry State Secretary Jerneja Farkaš Lainščak announced. The hospitals will receive nursing home residents with confirmed infections who do not have symptoms that would require hospital treatment.

Journalist protest against Janša’s media reform in front of parliament

Several hundred journalists and media workers gathered to protest against a media reform planned by the government in front of the National Assembly, where the parliamentary Culture Committee discused the proposed changes to three media laws. Convinced the reform would undermine the Slovenian public media’s financial stability and independence, the protesters urged the independence and freedom of the media. Addresses were delivered by representatives of the Slovenian Journalist Association (DNS) as well as by journalists and media workers from the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and the STA.

Closing of shops Sundays and defence investment plan on parliament’s agenda

The National Assembly will meet today to discuss the proposal to keep most shops closed permanently on Sundays also after the coronacrisis. It will also debate the EUR 780 million in defence spending planned in the 2021-2026 period.

Slovenia disappointed with lower EU recovery funds

Slovenia is disappointed with the latest proposal to cut the EU’s 2021-2017 budget to EUR 1.074 trillion and would like more money to be allocated for cohesion funds, according to State Secretary Gašper Dovžan, who took part in a video meeting of ministers in charge of EU affairs. The Foreign Ministry official urged a prompt deal on the recovery funding but expressed disappointment with the cut to the original proposal which set the multi-annual budget at EUR 1.1 trillion.

EBU concerned about future of public media in Slovenia

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) addressed a letter to the Slovenian authorities expressing concern over the future of Slovenian public service media. It urged the government to enable proper time for discussion on the proposed media reform in line with EU standards. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) joined the warnings saying that they were most concerned about the proposed changes to the funding of public service media in Slovenia and the extremely short period of five days for public discussion.

Coalition agrees to extend public debate on media changes

Coalition parties agreed to extend the week-long public consultation period for a media reform until the end of August, although the final decision is in the hands of the Culture Ministry, which has drafted the changes to the media law, the law on public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and the law on the STA. However, its official Ivan Oven confirmed for public radio station Radio Slovenija the period would be extended. The changes will be debated Wednesday by the parliamentary Culture Committee, with opposition SD leader Tanja Fajon saying they would propose for the media package be removed from legislative procedure. She said the SD, which led the Culture Ministry in the previous government, had drawn up its own media bill which “addresses all the key challenges of the media landscape”.

Coronavirus contact tracing app to be voluntary for everyone

The coronavirus contact tracing app, which Slovenia will develop using the German open source solution, will be voluntary for everyone, Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik announced. The government previously sought to make installing the app mandatory for those with confirmed infections and those sent into quarantine. Koritnik pointed out that Germany had spent millions developing the app, while Slovenia will be able to localise it for a fraction of the price. The government will consult the Information Commissioner on the privacy aspects of the specifications.

STA concerned about changes planned to media legislation

The STA editorial board has expressed concern with the changes planned by the government to Slovenia’s media legislation. Changes to three media-related laws would not only change the STA’s funding and give the government more influence on management appointments but also divide the public broadcaster licence fee among other media outlets.

Contact tracing app step closer to being adopted

he parliamentary Labour Committee endorsed late on Monday a legislative package in preparation for the second wave of Covid-19 which seeks to save jobs and create a legal basis for a contact tracing app. Since they have failed to get the latter removed from the bill, the opposition announced they would challenge the app at the Constitutional Court. The government wants to make the use of the app mandatory for persons who test positive for the novel coronavirus and those ordered to quarantine. The package, to be debated by the plenary later this week, also extends the furlough scheme and expands where residents can redeem government holiday vouchers, among other things. Today, the Ljubljana Law Faculty’s Institute for Criminology joined calls against the mandatory introduction of the app, saying the solution was not transparent, and interfered with legally protected human rights.

Source: STA

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