June 18, 2020 / 5:21 PM / 19 days ago

Slovenia imposes quarantine for people coming from Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Concerned about the biggest rise in new cases of coronavirus in seven weeks, Slovenia will introduce an obligatory 14-day quarantine from Friday for most people coming from Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo, the government said on Thursday.

“We want to prevent not being able to follow the contacts of those who are infected ... so we need to react immediately where it is needed, primarily on our borders,” Health Minister Tomaz Gantar told a news conference.

The government could also increase restrictions inside the country if the virus continues to spread, he added. In May Slovenia became the first European country to declare an end to its coronavirus outbreak, although some restrictions remain in place.

Earlier on Thursday, Slovenia reported eight new cases, the highest daily number of new infections since April 29. Most cases over the past two weeks have been imported from abroad or through contacts with people coming from abroad. So far the country has confirmed a total of 1,511 cases and 109 deaths.

At present Slovenians have to wear face masks in most indoor public spaces and keep social distance, and a maximum of 500 people are allowed to gather at events.

Thursday’s announcement follows the imposition last week of an obligatory 14-day quarantine for 31 countries seeing a high number of cases, including Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Frances Kerry

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