Slovenia will return to a partial, week-long lockdown on Saturday to combat the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
Conservative Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s government decided on the step as a week of softer measures failed to slow a steeply rising number of new infections.
The lockdown will be similar to the restrictions imposed at the onset of the pandemic earlier this year – malls, restaurants, hotels, most shops and student dormitories will close and public transport will be cut by two-thirds.
Slovenia, a country with just under 2 million inhabitants, is experiencing a far worse second wave than the initial outbreak from March.
On Thursday the country reported 1,663 new cases from 6,215 tests and a 25-per-cent infection rate. The government said that nine people had died of Covid-19 within the previous 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 211.
Over the past week, Slovenia has banned all travel between the country’s 12 regions, limited public gathering to six people and banned all events, including weddings and religious services.