Is there a more iconic or famous view of Slovenia than that of Bled Lake and its island? It seems unlikely, which is why it’s a definite step in the right direction and a sign of better days to come that yesterday, Saturday, 24 April 2021, saw the reopening of the island to visitors, along with the resumption of services from the unique pletna boats to take them there in style.
More broadly, cafés, bars and restaurants all over Slovenia are now free to serve customers in their outside areas, although limited to between 7am and 7pm, and thus other arrangements are needed if you wish to enjoy the sunset with a drink or something to eat.
In the three regions currently at the yellow level of restrictions, namely Obalno-Kraška (aka the coast), Goriška and Pomurje, customers can even sit indoors, although only under conditions that industry bodies have called unrealistic and absurd. To be specific, guests can only avoid the sun and fresh air and venture inside an establishment serving food and drink if they can prove they’re not infected with coronavirus by showing a negative test, or present evidence they’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. One inside customers will then need to keep 1.5m apart, and all tables are supposed to 3m apart.
While not yet able to enjoy such novel dining and drinking experiences, the other nine regions of Slovenia did move down from the red to orange level of restrictions on Friday, which in addition to outdoor hospitality service means that the ban on travel between regions was lifted – leading to a rush to the Croatian coast – along with the reopening of cinemas and theatres.