Slovenia orders quarantine for those returning from coronavirus hotspots

  • World
  • Friday, 27 Mar 2020

FILE PHOTO: A worker sprays disinfectant to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), outside the hospital in Kranj, Slovenia March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic/File Photo

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia will quarantine all citizens returning from locations that have reported a large number of coronavirus cases, government spokesman Jelko Kacin told a news conference on Friday.

He said the country has so far quarantined 445 people, among them 41 who returned to Slovenia on a special flight from Spain late on Thursday.

According to TV Slovenia, the group includes a member of Slovenia's national basketball team, Zoran Dragic, who plays for Spanish club Baskonia.

Slovenia, which borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, has so far reported 632 confirmed cases, with nine deaths.

Kacin said the group that arrived from Spain was being housed in an empty hotel in Velenje in northeastern Slovenia for 14 days.

The hotel is owned by Chinese household appliances maker Hisense, which has a factory in Slovenia, and has offered the building to the government for use during the coronavirus epidemic.

"Quarantine will in future also be enforced for all other Slovenians who are returning from hotspots," Kacin said, adding that it will be obligatory for anyone returning from Spain which is an "especially risky area".

Slovenia has over the past two weeks closed all schools, kindergartens, bars, restaurants, hotels, sports centres and cultural institutions, and prohibited any socialising in public spaces.

It has also cancelled all public transport, including air traffic, and introduced health checks on the borders with Italy and Austria.

(Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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