Slovenia to close border with Italy over coronavirus: PM

FILE PHOTO: Slovenia's Prime Minister Marjan Sarec arrives for the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, February 20, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia plans to close its border with Italy for non-commercial traffic to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Marjan Sarec said in a tweet on Tuesday.

He did not say when the decision would take effect but the government said the border would be closed when necessary “technical and administrative conditions” were in place.

“We will not close the border for cargo traffic as that would cause additional economic damage,” the government said in a tweet said, adding that 34 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Slovenia so far.

Earlier on Tuesday the foreign ministry advised all Slovenian citizens who are in Italy to return home. Italy is suffering Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus, with at least 10,149 cases and 631 dead, and is in a nationwide lockdown.

Slovenian authorities have also prohibited all indoor events with over 100 people and decided to hold all major sports events without spectators until further notice.

Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Mark Heinrich