Slovenia is first EU nation to announce official end of coronavirus epidemic

Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana, Slovenia; The Guardian

Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana, Slovenia; The Guardian - Credit: Archant

Slovenia has beaten other EU nations to become the first country in Europe to announce a 'taming' of the coronavirus epidemic.

Schools, bars, and borders will gradually open over the weekend while a 14-day quarantine on EU citizens will also be removed.

The quarantine, however, remains in place for non-EU citizens except for diplomats and heavy transport workers.

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Slovenia's prime minister, Janez Jansa, told lawmakers on Thursday: 'Slovenia has tamed the epidemic over the past two months ... Today Slovenia has the best epidemiologic picture in Europe.'

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The declaration comes after the country began easing lockdown measures on April 20.

In its latest plans, the government will reopen schools, bars, restaurants, and hotels with up to 30 rooms but still require citizens to remain 1.5 meters apart at all times. Public transport will be running again, although many services had already returned last week.

The government will also soon lay out ways to allow groups of up to 50 people to meet.

Health officials have confirmed that less than seven new cases of the virus have been reported in the last two weeks.

The country declared an epidemic on March 12 and has since reported 1,464 cases and 103 deaths.

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