Pandemic consequences in Slovenia and what this means for our work

The first case of infection with a new coronavirus was discovered in Slovenia on March 4, and the state declared an epidemic on March 12. Slovenia introduced a series of measures to curb the epidemic. As of 16 March 2020, all educational institutions were shut down, including kindergartens. The schools switched over to online teaching. There was also a temporary ban on public gatherings, public and other events. Public institutions closed. Public transport was also suspended. There was also a movement ban, meaning you couldn´t leave your municipality without a cogent reason. Most citizens started working from home or were temporarily laid off during the pandemic.  Our team, the Association for Developing Voluntary Work Novo mesto, was also working from home during the pandemic. We had and still have an increased number of online meetings. We developed several online formats, and moved our Slovene language courses and other activities online, such as sport activities, homework assistance, ICT workshops, training for youth workers etc. Our teachers, social workers and volunteers really did a great work during these tough times. The pandemic had strong effect on our organisation. We had to adapt our work to the changes that pandemic has brought. Our last real meeting within the Erasmus partnerships took place in the beginning of March. Since then the rest of the international meetings were cancelled or moved online. We had to reorganise our work within the Erasmus+ projects and set new timelines.

On the 15th of May the government issued a decree repealing the covid-19 epidemic in Slovenia that came into force on 31st of May. Major easing of restrictions had been lifted as all tourism facilities, regardless of their size, were allowed to reopen, as well as spas, health centres, gyms and pools. Gatherings of up to 200 people are allowed again. Shops will remain closed on Sundays and holidays.

At the Association for Developing Voluntary Work Novo mesto things got back to normal more or less. In June we all started working in the offices again.  With the end of the pandemic in Slovenia our courses and other activities are carried out face to face again.

During the epidemic you could find several examples of fake news and Facebook groups with conspiracy theories focusing on Corona. From the positive side there are also some Slovene websites that focus on verifying suspicious news and fight against these fake news.