info@sarajevofunkytours.com +387 62 612 612 (WhatsApp / Viber)
info@sarajevofunkytours.com +387 62 612 612 (WhatsApp / Viber)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Balkans (Latest News: 07/04/20)

Home > Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Balkans (Latest News: 07/04/20)

Funky Tours is taking serious measures on COVID-19

Dear guests, due to the global COVID-19 outbreak Funky Tours will temporarily close it’s office and focus on the efforts to take all the necessary measures in preventing the potential virus spreading. You can check daily update on COVID-19 outbreak in Balkans on our blog: and for any further assistance or guidance please note that our team is available 24/7 on phone number: +38762 612 612 (Viber, WhatsApp, SMS) or by email: info@sarajevofunkytours.com

This is a truly unprecedented position for all of us but we are certain that, by acting rationally and responsibly, this period will soon be behind us. 

We can do this! 

Funky Tours will not charge any of cancelation fees and will continue to work hard and assemble numerous additional amazing and budget friendly trips for all of our future guests. 

Balkan countries have introduced special measures for travelers coming from mid to high risk of coronavirus and many of the countries such as Serbia, Montenegro, Albania etc. are closing their land borders in order to sustain the spread of coronavirus. These restrictive measures are leaving some of our travelers cut off. 

For all of the travelers who are currently in Balkans, please note that our team is available 24/7 for giving advice and guidance so do not hesitate to contact us.

Funky Tours Ltd
+38762 612 612 (Viber, WhatsApp, SMS)

COVID-19 UPDATE: 

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC):

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases

Albania, number of infected: 383, 21 deaths, 131 recovered

Although Albania is not currently restricting entry to or exit from the country it has increased the number of medical personnel at all ports of entries and all suspected cases will be examined by medical staff onsite. Travellers should be prepared for travel restrictions.  

22nd of March: So far there were two deaths by coronavirus in Albania. Albanian Government has employed army to enforce the curfew. It is obligatory for everyone to stay inside their homes after 1 PM  otherwise police and the armed forces will use force against whoever breaks the law.

23rd of March: International travel to neighbour countries and Europe are banned. Schools, kindergartens, bars, restaurants, hotels, stadiums, concert halls, gymnasiums, and parks are also closed.

24th of March: The government of Albania declared a temporary release of  prisoners convicted of lesser crimes and those who are elderly and might be suffering from chronic diseases.

25th of March: Albania promised to lower its base interest rates and support monthly salaries due to series of measures which are meant to ease the economic impact of the crisis.

29th of March: Authorities are hoping that the country’s social distancing measures and curfew are the reason for a decreased growth of confirmed cases.

1st-4th of April: Albania has imposed a 16-hour curfew and 40 hours at weekends. Supermarkets, banks and other essential services are open only from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pensioners are not allowed to leave their homes and only one person per household can go out for one hour long shopping for food and medicines. 

Police have fined more than 2,500 people for breaking the curfew.

Albanian National Medical Emergency line: 127

Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection

Institute of Public Health 

Bosnia and Herzegovina, number of infected: 740, 32 death, 68 recovered

BiH Ministry of Security implemented travel restrictions and a temporary ban on entry to BiH for travellers coming from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran while all the travellers coming from Germany, France and Spain will have to self isolate for 14 days. Public gathering is forbidden and most of the shops, except for food markets, pharmacies, banks and post offices will be closed. The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday issued a decision declaring a State of Natural and Other Disaster. The Bosnian military on Thursday started erecting tents on the borders where anyone entering the country will have to stay in quarantine for 14 days.

20th of March: movement for all people under the age of 18 and over 65 on the entity’s territory has been banned by the Civil Protection headquarters in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Three cases of corona virus have been confirmed in capital.

21st of March: The first officially confirmed fatal victim of the coronavirus in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Anyone who enters the country will be quarantines for 14 days at tent quarantine settlements at the country’s border crossings. Country also introduced an 8 PM- 5 AM curfew starting on Sunday.

22nd of March: Bosnia’s Presidency asked from the Council of Ministers an immediate closing of all border crossings except for those where quarantines tents have been set up.

23rd of March: Person who violates self-isolation measures will be taken to a tent quarantine and his or her personal information will be released to the public.

24th of March: Except for transfers of goods, all international airports will be closed. Foreign nationalities are temporary banned from entering the country.

25th of March: Third death was confirmed. The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation entity has made a decision on dismantling its Crisis Headquarters and appointing new staff due to discontentment with efficiency.

26th of March: The EU’s delegation to BiH confirmed a two million euro assistance to “most urgent medical needs” of the country including a five million euros help in purchasing the respirators, tests and protective equipment. 

29th of March: The curfew in the entire country has been extended from 8 PM to 5 AM. From today, citizens are required  to wear protective masks and gloves when in public spaces. This opens the question as country has recently been dealing with shortage of protective equipment. 

1st to 4th of April: Curfew hours have been extended in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and people, except of the children and elders are allowed to leave their homes until 8 PM. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the private sector in BiH is exposed to sudden job losses and unpaid leaves. Having in the effects of the global lockdown on the the tourism and retail industries, private sector workers found themselves vulnerable and forced on a massive pay cuts. 

Sanitary Epidemiological Service: (+387 62 842 318)

Border police of BiH: +387 33 755-300

Croatia, number of infected: 1222, 16 death, 130 recovered

Any foreign travelers are subject to health monitoring when entering Croatia. Even in case travelers do not have symptoms of coronavirus  they are instructed to self-isolate at home for 14 days and report their condition to the nearest epidemiologist for further instructions. Individuals showing the signs of illness arriving from the affected areas are obligated to spend 14 days in official government quarantine at their own expense. Non-essential businesses and shops will be shut down across the country.Croatian government launched the website koronavirus.hr

21st of March: The Civil Protection Headquarters new decisions on restricting gatherings on streets and public places, suspending a public transport and limiting public liner shipping. 

22nd of March: A strong, 5.3 magnitude earthquake, that hit Zagreb this morning put Croatia in two contradictory crises. Prime Minister urged all citizens of Zagreb to comply with the government’s measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

24th of March: Croatia’s National Civil Protection Headquarters’s have decided to ban intercity travel of any kind in order to stop the potential virus spreading.

25th of March: 1st victim of COVID-19 virus was confirmed today by a pathological examination of the body of an elderly man who died a week ago. Croatia had 60 new confirmed cases of infected in the last 24h.

29th of March: Croatia’s number of infected are highly increasing. The country received a help from China in over 20 tons of medical equipment which include protective masks and suits and safety glasses.

1st to 4th of March: Croatia’s current number of coronavirus-related deaths is still 12, and 39 hospital patients  are on respirators. 

Croatian Institute of Public Health’s Epidemiology Services: +385-98-227-753

Croatian Ministry of Health Coronavirus Q&A

Greece, number of infected: 1755, 79 deaths, 269 recovered 

18th of March:There are no travel restrictions at this moment but the National Public Health organization has contained the measures to all ports of entry to the country. There are no quarantine measures so far but if you are in Greece and have been to any of the affected areas in the last 14 days stay selfquaranteed. 

22nd of March: 94 new cases today and two new deaths. 124 patients are hospitalizes our of which 34 are intubated. The average age of the patients is 64. 

23rd of March: Greek authorities announced restrictions on all nonessential transport and movement across the country. Citizens are allowed to leave their homes only for specific reasons such as work, shopping for food or medicines or visiting doctors. Citizens are required to carry their ID or passport.

24th of March: There are 48 new cases were confirmed in Greece in the last 24h while three more people died including a 40-year-old woman who is the youngest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic in Greece.

1st to 4th of March:Greece has quarantined a refugee camp which is a home to 2,300 people for at least two weeks. Over 20 residents are tested positive for COVID-19 virus at the camp making this first records cases of refugee with virus.

Public Health Organization: 1135

National Public Health Organization of Greece

Kosovo, number of infected: 145, 1 deaths, 23 recovered

18th of March: At this moment, Kosovo has no restrictions for travelers and enter/exit requirements to and from Kosovo remain unchanged. Seven patients are being treated at home in monitored self-isolation and a 77-year-old is in more serious condition, but still does not yet need a respirator.

21st of March: Prime Minister Albin Kurti announced that press conferences will only be held online and over the phone to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He also announced plans to limit internet usage. Three of the older patients who were admitted to the Infectious Disease Clinic due to the coronavirus are in critical condition.

22nd of March: Minister of Internal Affairs and Public Administration, Xhelal Zvecla, announced that all people entering the country will be sent to quarantine.  National Institute of Public Health announced the first patient in the country has died of complications of COVID-19, 82 year old man.

23rd of March: Two more cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Kosovo, bringing the total number of patients to 33, including one death.

25th of March: EU will help the needs of the people of Kosovo by allocating five milion euros for urgent needs and additional 63 milion euros to “to facilitate socio-economic impact” and support a budget.

1st to 4th of March:  EU demands from Serbia to help Kosovo during the pandemic crisis stating that Kosovo is in fact Serbia’s responsibility. 23 new cases have been confirmed positive on COVID-19 virus in the last 4 days. Besides the pandemic crisis the state is confronting with divided political leaders and decision if there should be new election or new government. 

Kosovo National Institute of Public Health

Kosovo Border Police

Montenegro, number of infected: 239, 1 death, 1 recovered

17th of March: There are no extra procedures that are put in place at the airports or other entry, but travelers arriving from China are being screened and put under observation. 

18th of March: The first two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Montenegro.The country’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic said that the two patients are in stable condition and are housed in a special ward of Clinical Centre. 

21st of March: Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic has made a decision on postponing the local elections in amid the global novel coronavirus pandemic. 

22nd of March: Due to the novel coronavirus, all schools and universities in the country are temporarily closed. Distance learning will start on Monday on three television stations, you tube channel and web platform.The Government of Montenegro has published the names of citizens who have been ordered to self-isolate.

23rd of March: First death by coronavirus in country has been confirmed in Montenegro.

24th of March: Over a thousand Montenegrin citizens returned back to the country after its borders were closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

25th of March: Due to cluster of people infected by COVID-19 the authorities have completely lockdown the the town of Tuzi and banned the residents from leaving their homes or the town.  EU will donate three million euros to Montenegro for emergency health care and 50 million euros for a long-term program which will be channeled into healthcare and the economy. 

29th of March: The second COVID-19 death has been confirmed. Although positive on pneumonia caused by corona virus, th 79-years-old patient died of cardiac complications.

1st to 4th of April: Although Montenegro hasn’t yet imposted a state of the emergency, the government has introduced the curfew hours  from 7pm until 5am on weekdays and, during the weekends, the lockdown will be extended from Saturday at 1pm until Monday at 5am. People are concerned about the high number of medical workers being self-isolated due to the lack of protection.

Institute for Public Health official page

North Macedonia, number of infected: 570, 23 death, 30 recovered 

18th of March: North Macedonia will deny entry to foreign travelers coming from high risk countries, as listed on their website. The country is conducting thermal screening both at the airports and land borders. International bus routes between North Macedonia and high to medium risk countries have been canceled. Travelers arriving at the airports are required to complete a health questionnaire locator card prior to admission.

20th of march: Political party leaders of North Macedonia have reached a consensus to postpone the  general elections due to the coronavirus outbreak.

22nd of March: Authorities confirmed a first victim of novel coronavirus in North Macedonia, a 57-year-old woman from Kumanovo.

23rd of March:  52 medical personnel at a hospital in northern Romania have tested positive for the coronavirus. Hospital will be closed for disinfection for 48h.

24th of March: President Klaus Iohannis announced the new restrictions will be forcing citizens older than 65 to stay at their homes.

25th of March: Third death was claimed today. Students of Romanian universities are volunteering on helping the elderly and vulnerable in deliveries of essential supplies.

29th of March: The country has confirmed 16 new cases in the past 24h including two deaths related to COVID-19- a 91-years-old and 31-year-old patients.

1st to 4th of April: A field hospital in Skopje has been built by the army and equipped to receive around 130 covid-19 positive patients. The government has launched a new web page that offers an overview of the number of infections and the measures the country is taking to stop the spread of the pandemic. You can check the website here. 

Institute of Public Health of the Republic of North Macedonia

Institute of Public Health Webpage with Informational Pamphlets on COVID-19 for travelers

Romania, number of infected: 4057, 182 deaths, 406 recovered 

17th of March: While flights from and to Italy are canceled, there are no other restrictions entering or exiting the country. Travelers coming from Italy, China, Iran or South Korea may not be allowed to board on connecting flights to Romania. People coming by land from Italy, South Korea, China or Iran are required to stay in quarantine in the county where they crossed the border into Romania or at home.

20th of March: Romanian authorities have opened over 40 investigations against citizens who are suspected to be jeopardising the country’s fight against this global pandemic by not following orders. 

21st of March: A group of 277 Romanians have been repatriated from Torino, Italia. They were brought home on two separate flights.

22nd of March: Authorities have ordered closing the malls and non-essential shops. Daily curfew between 10pm and 6am will be enforced on Monday.

25th of March: President of Romania, Johann Klaus has confirmed that government will pass a decree to allow citizens and private companies in order to postpone payments of their obligations to banks for nine months. The government will also amend its budget for this year to allocate more funds for the health system. 

26th of March: Romania has exceeded a number of 1000 positive on corona virus including  153 healthcare workers. 

28th of March: 30 death cases related to coronavirus outbreak. The youngest patient was 27 years old woman.

Official Romanian toll-free number for COVID-19 information: 0800800358.

Ministry of Public Health COVID-19 Guidance 

Romanian border police: +4021 316 2598

Slovenia, number of infected: 1021, 30 deaths, 102 recovered 

16th of March: The country has announced that  public transportation will cease operations while taxis for urgent transport will remain. Most of the shops, except for food markets, pharmacies, banks and post offices will be closed. Travellers may be subject to temperature screenings at the airports and people coming from Italy will most likely be required to show a health certificate. 

20th of March: The Government of the Republic of Slovenia has issued a temporary prohibition of public gathering and public events in public places in the Republic of Slovenia.

25th of May: Total of 528 cases of coronavirus infection including a 5th death were confirmed by  Health Minister Tomaz Gantar on a press conference. Slovenia claims they did not react properly on time, especially since they had a nearby Italy as an example. 

1st to 4th of April: Everything except of supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, post offices, petrol stations and newsagents is closed. Many of opened places are operating on a different schedule and under certain limitations like restricting number of people inside, creating long queues outside as visitors stand in line keeping at a suggested 2m distance from one another. The country is monitoring the developments around the world  is taking decisive steps to contain the spread of coronavirus including a several strict measures regarding the border crossing and for foreign travellers and for Slovenians returning to the country.

Slovenian National Institute for Health

Border Matters and Foreigners

Serbia, number of infected: 2200, 58 deaths, 15 recovered

17th of March: Serbia has upgraded screening at all ports of entry to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Travelers coming from high and medium risk countries should be prepared for travel restrictions at short advance notice. In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, most of the land borders are being closed in matter of days.

18th of March: Due to the current global situation Serbia’s Central Bank adopted decisions on delaying payment of loans and leases for debtors. Serbian government limited indoor and outdoor public gathering so that the distance between people must be at least two metres, and that there may not be more than one person on an area of four square meters. Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla International Airport and the Constantin the Great Airport in Nis have suspended international travel to and from the country.

20th of March: Serbia has registered first victim, a  59-year-old patient in Serbia’s second died from complications from the coronavirus.

21st of March: The government on Saturday prohibited people for gathering parks and public areas for sport and recreation. Public transportation, bars, restaurants and cafes will be closed starting this evening.

22nd of March: According to data published on the Ministry of Health’s website, 61 people tested were tested for the virus today and 34 came back positive. Six medical experts arrived from China to Serbia.

23th of March: 511 criminal complaints against people who violated self-isolation orders was filled by police of Serbia.

24th of March: Three thousand beds are prepared in Belgrade’s Fair Halls for patients with mild cases of COVID-19.

25th of March: Serbia has tested positive 81 new cases in the last 24h. 24 people are on respirators. Ivica Dacic, Serbian Foreign Minister, stated that there are several cases of infected employees in government and ministries.

28th of March: 10 deaths caused by COVID-19 outbreak. Government has extended a self-isolation period from 14 to 28 days for all of the people who entered the country no earlier than 14th of March.

29th of March: The total number of COVID-19 related deaths 13, with three people dying  in the past 24 hours. 

1st to 4th of April: The government has announced new measures in order to prevent COVID-19 spreading. Curfew over the weekend in Serbia will last from Saturday at 1pm to Monday 5am. Public gathering consisting with more than two people are forbidden and pet owners are allowed to walk their pets from 11PM to 1 AM.

National Health Institute of Serbia

Ministry of Health- Special number for questions about coronavirus COVID-19: +381 64 8945 235

FAQ

About COVID-19 in the Balkans

Is there COVID-19 outbreak in Balkans?

Although, compared to some other parts of the world, Balkans have considerably fewer confirmed coronavirus cases, virus is spreading in the region. There are more than 200 confirmed cases out of which Greece is taking over 50%.

Is Balkan safe for traveling at this moment?

We have to be sincere and realistic and inform our guests that this is not the best time to travel. If it is essential to make this trip in the current situation, please follow the government advice and make sure your trip is responsible. Many of tourist attractions are being temporarily closed on a daily basis so this will definitely limit the entire travel experience.

What if I am already in the Balkans, traveling from one country to another?

There are many cases of people who planned their trip much before the outbreak of coronavirus, and who are now in an unpleasant situation of traveling through Balkans in order to catch their flights. Although borders are still not closed, and it is possible to transfer from one country to another, please try and book direct transfers in smaller groups and follow the world health organization instructions responsibly and keep in mind that, in order to sustain a virus spread, many countries of the region are closing their land borders on a daily basis.

How can I prevent myself from COVID-19 while traveling through the Balkans?

Keeping a social distance as much as possible, washing your hands regularly and practising your respiratory hygiene are the best way to travel responsibly. If you get fever or cough do contact the closest health authority. Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website
WHO website.

What should I do if I suspect to have Coronavirus?

Currently, there is a limited supply of test kits with public health departments, so not everyone will qualify for testing but you should contact the closest institute of public health. In order to prevent the virus from spreading, people are advised not to go to any of the health care facilities without first having a telephone contact.

Will I be able to get a refund from a travel agency/ hotel or postpone my trip?

While everyone in the travel industry is focusing on getting back on track and have a successful summer season, most of the Balkan travel agencies will be offering flexibility in the future. This is a, hopefully short, stressful period for the agencies and for the clients but agencies will have to start planning business operations to recover. Therefore, do contact your agency and, in case they will not be offering refunding, they will most likely be open for rescheduling confirmed trips.

Is this time to book my next trip to the Balkans?

The seismic developments that are happening on a daily basis are putting the travel industry in an unpredictable situation and, as each day passes, everyone is trying to control the lost as much as possible. Booking a trip now for later in the year does put you in a stronger position. We can be no more confident than anyone else about when the situation will improve, but it is certain that, once this is behind us, most of the tour operators will be offering much encouragement to travel once the crisis has passed, and early booking will definitely give you some advantage.

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