Slovenia has officially become the first European country to declare an end to the Coronavirus pandemic. The country, which has a population of approximately 2 million people, announced that as a result of the end to the pandemic, its borders with Italy, Austria, and Hungary will be opened to all EU-nationals.
Speaking on the subject, prime minister Janez Jansa said, “Today Slovenia has the best epidemic situation in Europe, which enables us to call off the general epidemic.”
According to Johns Hopkins, Slovenia has a total of 1,464 confirmed cases since the virus spread to the country in March. Comparatively, its bordering countries, Italy, Hungary, and Austria have had 223,096, 3,417, and 16,058 cases, respectively.
In opening, Slovenia has announced that sports competitions could begin as early as May 23rd without spectators. The country has already implemented new guidelines for training in pools. Within these guidelines, it states that all registered athletes are permitted to train, but only individually. Additionally, athletes should shower at home before and after entering the pool.
In order to limit exposure within the water, Slovenia’s National Institute for Public Health also published new guidelines for pool managers to follow for pool maintenance. These include increasing the concentration of chlorine in the water to .5 mg/L and heating the pool to at least a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius.
As a nation, Slovenia has participated in every Olympic Games since 1992. Out of its 40 Olympic medals, they have earned one in swimming: a silver medal in the women’s 200m freestyle from Sara Isakovic in 2008. At the 2019 World Championships, Slovenia entered 4 pool swimmers and 1 open water swimmer, with their highest finish coming from Tjasa Oder who finished 9th in both the 800m freestyle and the 1500m freestyle.