The Slovenian government announced that outdoor New Year celebrations will be prohibited for a second year in a row in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections.
Before the pandemic, most cities in Slovenia organised large outdoor New Year celebrations attended by thousands of people, often with fireworks, reports Xinhua news agency.
Restaurants will be able to offer New Year’s dinners, but guests must present a negative Covid-19 test taken a maximum of 12 hours before, the government said.
The validity of the tests has also been shortened from 72 hours to 48.
For months, only citizens that have been vaccinated, have recently overcome Covid-19 or tested negative have been able to enter most public institutions.
For private celebrations for Christmas and New Year, gatherings will be limited to people from a maximum of three different households.
Moreover, “it is recommended that for all such meetings all people above the age of six take a … (Covid-19) test before the meeting,” the government said.
Slovenia has been badly hit by Covid-19, but so far only 56.1 per cent of its 2.1 million citizens have been fully vaccinated.
The country’s overall caseload and death toll as of Friday stood at 453,093 and 5,528, respectively.
Slovenia’s first cases of the new Omicron variant were confirmed on December 14.