Slovenia closes some Italy border crossings, performs coronavirus checks at others

Medical staff check a passenger in a car for coronavirus (COVID-19) at the border crossing with Italy in Vrtojba, Slovenia, March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia closed some border crossings with Italy on Wednesday afternoon and started making health checks at those remaining open in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the health minister said.

The number of confirmed cases of the virus in Slovenia rose to 57, minister Ales Sabeder told his second news conference on Wednesday. The total reported on Tuesday was 34.

He said citizens would only be able to cross the border in six places while all other roads that cross the border will be closed. Normally more than 20 crossings are open.

Passenger train transport between the two countries was canceled from Wednesday afternoon. Most bus companies have canceled routes to Italy over the past days, according to the national news agency STA.

Sabeder said health checks are being performed on foreign citizens but not on Slovenian citizens, foreign citizens who temporarily live in Slovenia, and on cargo traffic.

Foreign citizens with a certificate that they have tested negative for coronavirus during the previous three days will be allowed to enter Slovenia, he added.

Foreign citizens without the certificate will be allowed to enter providing that they do not have fever or infection of upper respiratory system.

Reporting By Marja Novak; editing by John Stonestreet and Angus MacSwan