As of 13 May 2020, Slovenia had recorded 1,461 cases of Covid-19 and 102 deaths related to the disease.
As of 5 May, the detention centre in Postojna was still open. Migrants in the return procedure were released, with a temporary stay status of up to 6 months or until their removal. However, ECRE revealed that after their releases, these people were left without accommodation or support. Dublin transfers are suspended, without asylum seekers being made aware. ECRE also raised a red flag regarding the Slovenian Act on Provisional Measures for Judicial, Administrative and other Public Matters, which could “potentially be interpreted to mean that asylum procedures are not urgent. This would result in a suspension of asylum requests, submissions, interviews and decisions on family reunification.’’
On 13 March, visits to prisons were suspended. Some inmates with less than six months remaining to their sentence have been released, starting 20 March.
Asylum seekers were informed about Covid-19 by the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants, and were provided with masks and protection equipment. Asylum Centres are disinfected and cleaned frequently, and newly arrived migrants are placed in quarantine. Only urgent asylum applications are being processed and according to EMN, ‘’ the application for international protection could be lodged only once the quarantine period has ended and the medical examination was conducted.’’
The government announced a plan on 14 March to set up 40 kilometers of fence along the border, to prevent people from moving along the Balkan route. However, migrants are still crossing the border to get to Italy, passing through Slovenia. Mayors in the south of the country have called out the Slovenian government to send the army along the border with Croatia. Their petition was published on 22 April, and they feared that “a larger number of infected persons could enter Slovenia, since the virus is already present among migrants and a major spread among them will be impossible to prevent given their accommodation situation in Europe and Turkey.’’
- ECRE, ‘’Information Sheet 5 May 2020: Covid-19 Measures Related To Asylum And Migration Across Europe’’, 5 May 2020, https://www.ecre.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/COVID-INFO-5-May-.pdf
- EMN, ‘’Special Annex To The 30th EMN Bulletin EU Member States & Norway: Responses To COVID-19 In The Migration And Asylum Area’’, March 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/00_eu_30_emn_bulletin_annex_covid_19.pdf
- ECRE, ‘’Slovenia Plans New Barriers at the Border while Pushbacks and Violence Continue Across the Balkans’’, 17 April 2020, https://www.ecre.org/slovenia-plans-new-barriers-at-the-border-while-pushbacks-and-violence-continue-across-the-balkans/
- STA, ‘’Municipalities on Croatian Border Call for Army to Prevent Covid-19 Migrants’’, Total Slovenia News, 23 April 2020, https://www.total-slovenia-news.com/politics/6104-municipalities-on-croatian-border-call-for-army-to-prevent-covid-19-migrants
- Info Migrants, ‘’Not Just Migrant Disembarkations, Balkan Route Resumes’’, 11 May 2020, https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/24639/not-just-migrant-disembarkations-balkan-route-resumes
- Tents Set Up on the Outskirts of Trieste for Quarantining Migrants who Arrive in the Province, (Alice Rita Fumis, ANSA, “Not Just Migrant Disemberkations, Balkan Route Resumes,” InfoMigants, 11 May 2020, https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/24639/not-just-migrant-disembarkations-balkan-route-resumes)