Slovenian epidemiologists could propose to their government next week, in order to limit the "import" of new infections from Croatia, that binding quarantine be imposed only on the younger population, said the director of the Slovenian Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) Milan Krek on Saturday.
In an interview with the Slovenian news agency STA, Krek said that there are two possibilities - including Croatia in the so-called "red list" due to a large increase in cases, although Croatia still does not meet the criterion of 40 infected in two weeks per 100,000 inhabitants, and the second is that mandatory quarantine is determined only for people aged 15 to 35, those who are by far the most newly infected.
According to the NIJZ, from the beginning of June until August 12, 70 cases of infection were brought from Croatia to Slovenia, but in recent days, according to Krek, imported cases are growing sharply, which he discussed with the director of the Croatian Public Health Institute Krunoslav Capak on Thursday.
"We have stated that the sources of infection of both Croatians and our citizens are the same locations, nightclubs. That is why I welcome Croatia's decision to temporarily close them," Krek said.
He added that Capak asked him if Slovenia intended to introduce quarantine for people coming to Slovenia from Croatia and that he replied that it was "always an open option".
If the number of imported cases does not stop, we will have to resort to quarantine, said Krek, who was appointed head of the NIJZ by the new Janša government, dissatisfied with the measures and some public statements of the previous director.
According to Krek, 22 “imported” cases from Croatia were confirmed in Slovenia on Thursday alone, and 20 of them were from the popular party destination of Zrće, on the island of Pag.
Croatia is becoming a significant source of infection in our area, Krek said, adding that it needs to react and that his institution will propose to the government new measures to tighten the regime of entry from Croatia early next week, depending on tests in the coming days.
As the main reason for the increase in the number of infections from Croatia through Slovenian tourists who are on vacation in the neighbouring country, Krek stated that compared to the first part of the summer, there was a big change in the structure of Slovenian guests, so now there are many younger people who visit places of mass entertainment and do not respect the measures recommended by both Slovenian and Croatian epidemiologists, and visit nightclubs and parties.
He added that he could not understand how some people, despite all the warnings, go to such clubs and risk infection.
"If everyone did their job, we would be on the epidemiologically 'safe side,' but if some make fun of us, we have a problem because everyone may have to be quarantined when they return," Krek said.
Krek says he hopes "Croatia will do everything to keep people out of nightclubs".