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: 09/08/20)

Home > Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Balkans (Latest News: 09/08/20)

Funky Tours is taking serious measures on COVID-19

Dear guests, given the significant reduction in the number of infected people in the world and in the Balkans, and  the fact that restrictive measures are being lifted in most countries, Funky Tours has  finally opened its office. Moreover, over the 5 months of lockdown, we were working hard on creating some budget friendly, amazing and, most importantly, pandemic free trips for all of you who decide to give it a try and visit Bosnia and Herzegovina. For further information please check our blog on Why visit Bosnia during the COVID-19 and feel free to contact us any time! 

This was a challenging period for all of us and we are happy to announce that Bosnia and Herzegovina, starting from July 16th will finally be open for EU citizens. We hope we will very soon have a chance to see our guests from other parts of the world as well. 

For all of the travellers 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.

We will keep you informed on any news we get. 

Stay safe and look forward to seeing you soon! 

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: 6016, 188 deaths, 3155 recovered

March, 2020

18th to 21st of March: 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 to 3rd 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. International travel to neighbour countries and Europe are banned. Schools, kindergartens, bars, restaurants, hotels, stadiums, concert halls, gymnasiums, and parks are also closed.

24th to 29th 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.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. Authorities are hoping that the country’s social distancing measures and curfew are the reason for a decreased growth of confirmed cases.

April, 2020

1st to 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.

5th to 15th of April:  Albanian government has announced modified curfew hours. In order to prevent the spreading of coronavirus the overnight 16-hour curfew,will now be in effect from 5.30PM to 5AM on weekdays, while the weekend curfew will be in force from 5.30 PM on Fridays and will last until 5 AM on Mondays. Lockdown measures will remain in effect until the outbreak of COVID-19 is over.

16th to 20th of April: Due to big economy loss Albania has decided to open some business activities in a order to bring life back into an economy. The decision was made also due to the fact that over 50 000 workers have lost their jobs. In order to keep the social distancing measures the government will fine the offenderswho opened bars and restaurants and those who leave quarantine while infected.

21st to 26th of April: Albania is recording a significant increase of coronavirus positive and, while the authorities are blaming citizens for not following the measures, the opposition is using its chance to accuse the government for failing in supervision. 

27th of April to 1st of May: Government of Albania has announced the reopening of shops including a fashion retail industries which are permitted to operate every day until 5.30 PM. Restaurants and bars remain closed till further notice.

May, 2020

2nd of May-7th of May: Government announced lifting the 90% of measured that are imposed for preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Due to a low number of confirmed cases of infection, the country has decided to lift the measures by the 18th of May. Most of the companies are already allowed to open and places such as spas, barbershops, shopping centres etc. will be allowed to restart work from the next week. Restaurants and bars will be opening partially and intercity transport, for now, will remain suspended. 

8th of May- 13th of May: Authorities have made decisions regarding the imminent opening of restaurants and cafes. Among other things, the facilities must place the tables on the surface of the open environment, so that the distance from the back of one chair to the back of another chair is at least 1m away, and therefore, customers see it in front of each other from a distance of at least 2m. On the other hand, graduates in Durrës are getting ready to return to school for the finals. Classrooms will be limited to 9 students and students are required to bring their protecting masks, gloves and disinfectants.

14th to 23rd of May: The second phase of lifting restrictive measures began in Albania, with the opening of bars, restaurants, cafes, museums and libraries. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced the opening of borders with neighboring countries by the end of this month. In 56 of the country’s 61 municipalities, called green zones, curfews have been completely abolished, while in the red zones, which include Tirana, curfews are still in place but planned to be abolished.

24th of May to 1st of June: Daily life in Albania has returned to normal and everyday life will be no longer controlled by police. Each one of the pandemic restrictions have been lifted. Beaches connected to hotels reopened on June 1, 2020 while the general public beached might be open starting with 10th of June. Albania’s land borders are now open for travel and there is no general requirement for travellers returning to Albania to self-quarantine. Quarantine will only apply in case it is ordered by authorities.

June, 2020

Albania’s government has decided to resume international flights from the airport in Tirana (Mother Teresa Airport) but only for the EU and Schengen Area Member States.

The authorities have stressed that people who can enter the country are only from the Schengen Area, European Union citizens and people who have residence permits of the Member States (SchengenVisaInfo.com)

July, 2020

Since July 1st, Albania has officially reopened its borders for tourism allowing travellers from all countries and nations to enter without restrictions. There is no obligatory COVID-19 test or self quarantine upon arrival to the country.
According to https://www.traveloffpath.com all passengers arriving to Albania should follow distancing protocol of 1.5 meters and wear face masks on the flight and in the airport.
Moreover, in the arrivals area, all travellers will have their temperature measured with a calibrated thermometer.
To avoid duplication, passengers coming from EU flights, whom have been subjected to temperature measurement at the departure airport, will be excluded from this procedure when entering the Republic of Albania.
Persons tested with a temperature above 37.5 degrees are not allowed to enter the airport and additional verification procedures will be carried out for them. Persons with a temperature above 37.5 degrees will enter the special area of quarantine.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Number of infected: 13687, 394 deaths, 7373 recovered
 

Sanitary Epidemiological Service: (+387 62 842 318)

Border police of BiH: +387 33 755-300

March, 2020

17th to 19th of March: 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 to 24th 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. 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. 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. 

27th to 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. 

April, 2020

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. 

5th to 15th of April: The Crisis Staff of Republika Srpska has imposed a curfew over the Easter and banned outdoor movements from 3PM to 5AM on each day from Friday to Saturday. This is applied to all citizens except for the police and medical staff workers. The Council of Ministers has been sharply criticised over the decision to ban the return of Bosnian citizens from Netherlands despite the fact they have already purchased the tickets. Curfew for the rest of the country is remaining the same, from 8PM to 5AM. The country is currently dealing with statement that over 700 medical workers have taken the annual release so there is uncertainty over the number of medical staff that are on disposal to hospitals.

16th to 20th of April: The country is dealing with numerous migrants and refugees from who, according the government decision, will be sent to the newly built “Lipe” camp. The government announced that migrants and refugees, in order to stop the virus spread, have to be moved away from the streets. BiH received medical aid from Malaysia. There are no changes in curfew hours.

21st to 26th of April: There is no more curfew for Federation which also decided to abolish quarantine for people who are entering the country (people will be obligated to self-quarantine at home) Republika Srpska, finds this decision irresponsible and threatening the RS. Ramadan has started but, for now, there will be no traditional prayers at mosques.

27th of April to 1st of May: While the Federation of BiH reduced the curfew hours (from 10 PM to 5 AM), Republika Srpska is still keeping the same measures. Nevertheless, in recent days, Republika Srpska has been coping with an increased number of infected persons, and authorities blame the people who they believe did not adhere to the measures during the Orthodox Easter.

May, 2020

2nd to 7th of May: The number of positive tested on coronavirus is decreasing and the country is slowly getting back to normal state. In Federation, there is no longer curfew hours for those who are older than 18 and most of the shops including beauty centres and shops are reopened. Events are still canceled and public gatherings are still limited on five people per group. Shopping malls will remain closed for now but many small businesses (except those located within shopping centres), museums, and other non-essential public retailers are scheduled to re-open. Restaurants and bars remain closed with the exception of take-out services.

8th to 13th of May: Bosnia and Herzegovina is slowly preparing to lift almost all measures taken during the pandemic. Most shops and cosmetic studios have been open for some time and the opening of restaurants and cafes has officially begun. Currently, reopening is only allowed for facilities that have outside areas and which comply with safety regulations. It is anticipated that most facilities will be open by May 29th.

14th to 23rd of May: While ban on public gatherings is still in force restaurants and hotels have been allowed to reopen their terraces and shopping malls should be open starting from 28th of May. Inevitable physical distance rules and mask protections are still on in the entire country. Although the mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the country for BiH citizens has been abolished, foreign citizens are not yet allowed to enter BiH, and the exception is certain categories of people (business people who have documentation proving the invitation to a business meeting in BiH, as well as a negative test on Covid-19 not older than 48 hours.

24th of May to 1st of June: Life is coming back to normal and number of confirmed cases is decreasing on a daily basis. Restaurants, museums, galleries, shopping malls etc. are opened. People are still obligated to wear protection masks if inside of public space. Authorities have announced that citizens of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro will be allowed to enter the country starting from June 1. There is still a ban to entry for non-resident foreign nationals. Sarajevo airport is scheduled to open next week.

June, 2020

Foreign travellers are still not allowed to enter the country. Exception can be made in case of a business meeting, medical treatments, funerals or in case they have a BiH – citizen spouse.  In such case, a negative COVID-19 test might be required. 

BiH authorities are still monitoring the situation and borders might start opening for foreign travellers starting from 15th of July.

July, 2020

Bosnia and Herzegovina has finally opened its borders. Currently, only EU citizens are allowed to enter and it is obligatory to have negative COVID-19 test older no longer than 48h. The country has been under a lockdown for 5 months and successfully fighting the spread of disease over the time. For further information please check our blog on Why visit Bosnia during the COVID-19 and feel free to contact us any time! and feel free to contact us any time!

Croatia

Number of infected: 5466, 155 deaths, 4758 recovered

March, 2020

18th to 21st of March: Foreign travellers 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.

23rd to 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.

26th to 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.

April, 2020

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

5th to 15th of April: Croatian MEPs Karlo Ressler has pointed out that so far EU had a satisfying initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Ressler pointed out that EU is working on adopting a resolution to enter a proactive phase which will secure the measures of helping the neighbourhood countries during the pandemic period. Croatia has introduced the drones that are run by the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and which will serve to help in stopping a spread of coronavirus in order to protect the health and life of people. Local authorities pressed a charges against thirteen people who were violating government restrictions in order to support a priest who invited Catholics to attend the Easter mass despite the lockdown.

16th to 20th of April: Despite the number of infected has decreased, government has no intention in cutting the measures for preventing the coronavirus spread. Health Minister announced they will be ordering new serology tests which will help in getting information on people who have or have not been exposed to coronavirus.  

21st to 26th of April: Group of scientists from Rudjer Boskovic Institute claimed they have found the the virus strain that causes COVID-19. This will allow them to determine the source of infections in Croatia and, possibly, will help in developing drugs and vaccines in the future. 

27th of April to 1st of May: Restrictions have been reduced in Croatia, shops have been opened, public transport is back in operation and schools are to be opened soon under a new system. Currently, the state is struggling with a new school system that will limit the number of children in the class to a minimum and classes will be held online and in the classroom. Teachers are inviting parents not to send their children to schools and kindergartens if they don’t have to.

May, 2020

2nd to 7th of May: The Croatian government has decided to decrease the measures that are adopted to prevent the coronavirus spread. New measures are being introduced for the opening of most schools, kindergartens and colleges. Starting from Monday (11th of May) a number of restaurants and cafes that have met all the conditions in the new situation will be reopened. The country is also considering borders reopening towards the neighbouring countries BiH and Slovenia.

8th to 13th of May: Croatia has lifted almost all measures taken during the pandemic, and it is planned to open its borders with neighbouring countries soon. Although initially only those who own real estate in Croatia or come for business will be allowed to enter the country, the authorities are seriously considering the imminent start of the high tourist season. Given that 50% of the contributions come from the tourism sector, the state is working intensively on protection measures that would enable the opening of borders for other visitors as soon as possible.

14th to 23rd of May: Measures taken in mid-March have mostly been lifted in the country except of island of Brac where strict restrictions on movement remain in force as the island became a new hotspot of the virus in the last 10 days. Foreign travellers are still banned from entering the country and are allowed to enter Croatia only if: 1. have documentation proving the ownership of real estate or vessels located in the Republic of Croatia 2. They have documentation proving the invitation of the economic entity to the Republic of Croatia, or the invitation to a business meeting. 3. All other foreign citizens who have a business reason, which cannot be foreseen at this time, and do not have the appropriate documentation, should be instructed to announce their intention to cross the state border (entry into the Republic of Croatia) at uzg.covid@mup.hr. 

24th of May to 1st of June: Due to the satisfactory epidemiological situation citizens of Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Slovak Republic will not have to prove the reason for their entry, but will be able to enter under the same conditions as before the onset of the disease COVID-19. Other citizens from EU countries can enter Croatia if they have justified reasons (economic activities, business meetings…). Every foreign citizen will receive detailed instructions on how to behave in Croatia – this excludes the measure of self-isolation. Citizens of non-EU countries can also enter Croatia for the purpose of business meetings. Also, if they have a hotel or agency reservation, tourists can enter Croatia.

June, 2020

Croatia has lifted most of the mandatory self-isolation and quarantine restrictions for individuals entering Croatia, apart from those arriving from countries as listed under Entry and Exit Requirements.  Travellers could still be ordered to self-isolate or spend 14 days in official government quarantine facilities in case it is necessary in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Croatia has closed its borders to all non-European Union countries. Limited exceptions include foreign citizens departing to their home countries, diplomats, law enforcement, medical workers, transport workers, and others with legitimate travel needs (ex: property ownership, business, funerals, and right to residency or long-term visas).

July, 2020

Croatia has opened the borders to all of EU nationals with no restrictions. Starting with 10th of July the country also allowed to other foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens to enter Croatia for business, tourism, or other pressing personal reasons, if they provide relevant proof.
US and other non EU/ Schengen travellers must present a negative PCR Covid-19 test no older than 48 hours or self-isolate for 14 days.

Greece

Number of infected: 5123, 210 deaths, 1374 recovered 

Public Health Organization: 1135

National Public Health Organization of Greece

March, 2020

18th to 21st 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 to 30th 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.

April, 2020

1st to 4th of April: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.

5th to 15th of April: The country’s police has installed roadblocks and are intensively checking up all the vehicles in across the country. The intensive check up also covers the travellers at the airports, ports, railway and bus stations. Anyone travelling by car without a valid reason is facing with potential 300 EUR fine. Foreign travellers are obliged to return to the place of origin. Although the government agrees that country is facing the crisis better than expected, according the IMF region will suffer huge economy decrease with Greece suffering by far most.

16th to 20th of April: Large fire has destroyed the facilities of Vial Camp (European Asylum) including its canteen, warehouse and numerous of housing containers. The blaze was started by people who were protesting over death of 47 year old Iraqi women who died in camp. Although authorities claim she tested negative, protestants think she is a victim of COVID-19 and that she did not get proper help.

21st to 26th of April: Government is considering the gradual lifting the restrictions from 4th of May including the opening of high schools starting from 11th of May. Restaurants and coffee shops should also start working from 25th of May.

27th of April to 1st of May: Authorities have announced opening the archaeological sites which were closed for two months due to covid-19 preventive measures. Sites should be opened starting from 18th of May and government states they already have a plan that will provide maximum safety and protection of guests including distancing measures.

May, 2020

2nd to 7th of May: Greek Minister of Tourism announced that tourists who planning to visit Greece this summer will have to show a proof that they tested negative for the coronavirus before they board the airplane to come to the country. For the moment, according to German newspapers, tests offered for the virus at the Vienna airport,  cost 190 euros each. Greece is to gradually open its ancient cultural heritage sites starting on May 18 and museums are to be opened in June.

8th to 13th of May: According to the Greece government, the country is ready for  “a gradual restoration, based on common rules and standards, of transport and tourism throughout the European Union.” The country is aware that this season will not be like the previous ones but they are preparing a comprehensive plan for the next few days which is to save this summer season any way possible. President of Chamber of hotels, Alexandros Vassilikos stated that the Commission’s recommendations on Wednesday “emphatically confirm three things: first, the importance of tourism in all European economies; second, the extent and depth of the problems faced by all businesses in the hospitality sector; and third, the urgent need for tourism’s restart.”

14th to 23rd of May: The country announced that it will allow the reopening of year-round hotels on June 1, including camping grounds. On June 15, seasonal hotels will reopen, the same day that full schedules will resume for flights from abroad – based on a list of approved countries. All other international airports in Greece will be allowed to receive flights from abroad as of July 1. Things are getting back to normal in the country and, after more than two months of coronavirus lockdown cafes and restaurants in the Greek capital finally reopened their outdoor spaces. 

24th of May to 1st of June: Greece will reopen to foreign flights as of June 15 for the countries: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, and Finland. The country might still conduct random sample testing on arriving passengers but there will be no forced quarantine. From June 15 to 30, flights will only be allowed into the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki. Other regional and island airports around the country will open on July 1.

June, 2020

Greece has opened the borders for the following countries: Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Cyprus, Croatia, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland. These countries can enter Greece without any restrictions. On the other side, travellers could be asked for mandatory testing upon the arrival to Greece and quarantine in case it is needed in order to prevent the disease spreading. 

July, 2020

Following the EU decision on further ease of the lockdowns and reopening its external borders to a “safe travel” list of nations, the country has reopened its borders to some foreign travellers. The group currently excludes the US, Brazil and Russia, where Covid-19 infection rates remain high. There are no restrictions for the EU travellers.

Kosovo

Number of infected: 9688, 300 deaths, 5480 recovered

March, 2020

18th to 20th 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 to 25th 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 to 30th 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.

April, 2020

1st to 4th of April:  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. 

5th to 15th of April: While the government is deciding on the new preventive measures that will include scheduled movement of people throughout the country, US Congress members invited President Trump’s administration in order to stop using “heavy-handed” tactics with government in Kosovo. The country’s health system has been highly criticized for publishing the information on the new measurements only on Albanian language. Despite Albanian is a language of the majority, Kosovo is trilingual country and each website should be updated and published in Albanian, Serbian and English.

16th to 20th of April: Besides the coronavirus pandemic, the country is still dealing with possibility of forming the new government. President Hashim Thaci announced further steps which are to be taken this week in order to form a new government. Despite the Prime Minister Albin Kurti lost a no-confidence voice on 25th of March, he is still demanding new elections, once the pandemic is over.  

21st to 26th of April: Citizens of Kosovo have been protesting from their balconies due the of the no-confidence motion that toppled the government. They are requiring new elections due to President Hashim Thaci decision to give the mandate to Democratic League of Kosovo without holding elections. Public protests will be held on 4th of May when the movement restriction will be terminated.

27th of April to 1st of May: In Kosovo, for the past five days, more people have been cured of the virus than infected. Government has decided on a gradual plan to help the country return to normal by allowing citizens to go out for a total of three hours. Until 1st of June it is planned to completely open retails, beauty salons, open markets, restaurants with take out options, museums,  gyms, religious ceremonies, daycares, and malls. The country is planning to fully open restaurants, universities and high schools, cinemas and theatres. It will also be evaluated on opening the border and airports.

May, 2020

2nd to 7th of May: 26 years old man who was guaranteed in Pristina, at the state run facility has committed a suicide on Sunday, 3rd of May. The authorities are trying to clarify the circumstances over this case. Starting from Monday Kosovo has started loosening the preventative measures and citizens are finally allowed to go out for 90 minutes two times in a day. Most of the shops and takeaway restaurants are opened and the mayor of Pristina, Shpend Ahmeti, announced on his twitter profile that after the novel coronavirus pandemic measures will be taken to reduce the number of cars on the roads by paying to drive in the city centre, more expensive parking lots up to the closure of particular roads over the weekends, and permanent closure of a few roads” in order to focus on public transport, cycling and greenery.

8th to 13th of May: The increase in coronavirus cases in Kosovo in recent days has made it difficult for Albanian authorities to decide on the exact date when other citizens will be allowed to travel. However, the opening of borders with neighboring Albania is planned for June 1st. The Council of Europe Development Bank has approved a 35m-euro loan to Kosovo to support the provision of health care to those affected by the Kovid-19 pandemic, the bank said.

14th to 23rd of May: The second phase of lifting restrictions and allows cafes and restaurants to open to sell takeaway food. Retail sales outlets, dentists and physiotherapists’ clinics, beauty salons, farmers’ markets, rail transport and other forms of public transport have all opened including museums and galleries. Kosovo residents may go out for a total of four hours a day, with scheduled movements of two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon. 

24th of May to 1st of June: The Kosovo government lifted almost all measures introduced in mid-March in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The main land borders of the Republic of Kosovo are officially open and an assessment of the possibility of opening air borders will be made soon. The whole sector of gastronomy and similar services is opening including shopping malls and all civil servants at all levels of institutions. The Minister of Health stated that persons who have a negative PCR test for coronavirus not older than 4 days when entering Kosovo do not have to isolate themselves, while those who do not have a test must self-isolate for seven days. This measure will last until June 20, when the assessment of the epidemiological situation will be conducted again.

June, 2020

Kosovo has opened most of its land borders and government is considering the airport reopening of the airport on 28th of June. There are no strict quarantine measures upon the entrance to the country.

July, 2020

The country is still allowing entrance to most of the world countries. However, it does not mean that travelling to Kosovo is still safe and there might be limitations, depending on the country people are travelling from. Do check with the embassy for further instructions.

Montenegro

Number of infected: 3480, 60 deaths, 2178 recovered

March, 2020

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. 

19th to 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 to 28th 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 to 30th 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.

April, 2020

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.

5th to 15th of April: Sporting halls in three towns will serve as temporary hospitals due to the coronavirus pandemic and will get the necessary equipment which will be provided until 16th of April. Although the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro announced it will discuss with government over the holding the traditional Easter prayers, it is announced that public gatherings for Orthodox Easter will not be allowed and police will prevent any potential attempt of violating the government’s measures.

16th to 20th of April: First parliament session that is to be held since the COVID-19 outbreak is announced for Wednesday, 22nd of April. The president of parliament, Ivan Brajovic, stated they will have onlice sessions during which they will see “what are the government’s plans” regarding the economic crisis the country is dealing with currently.

21st to 26th of April: Deputy Prime Minister and President of the National Coordinating Body for Infectious Diseases, Milutin Simovic, said that a new mitigation of coronavirus measures is planned for May 4th.  If the country successfully overcome this phase, catering facilities and beaches will be opened from May 18th including the shopping malls. The director of the Institute of Public Health, Boban Mugoša, told the NKT press that it is likely that from Monday it will be mandatory to wear masks.

27th of April to 1st of May: Montenegro recorded significant results in reducing the number of infections that led to changes in restrictions. Authorities have announced reopening  of shops, gyms and fitness centres, libraries and bookstores, dental offices, driving schools, rent-a-car services, museums and galleries including a public transport which should start from 4th of May . Citizens are also allowed to visit their cottages and family farms in other local government units.

May, 2020

2nd to 7th of May: The country is still recording a significant decrease of positive cases and the best results in disease prevention in the region. Barbers, beauty salons, shops, fitness centres, taxis and dentists have been reopened. However, all people must maintain social distancing measures and wear protective mask indoors.The next phase to is set for May 18 during which cafes, restaurants and bars should be opened.

8th to 13th of May: 13th of May is the ninth day that Montenegro has not recorded any cases of coronavirus infection. Measures are being eased in Montenegro. Thus, the work of health institutions will be normalized, public transport is allowed in cities where there are no patients, intercity as well, but not between all cities, but by regions that are divided into three groups. It is also allowed to perform religious rites with respect to certain distance measures and a limited number that can be in the building at the same time, while in closed spaces it is still mandatory to wear protective masks. Hotels, bars and restaurants and shopping malls are set to reopen on 18th of May. Ministry of Tourism called facilities to follow new rules to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. “All employees must take care of their personal hygiene, and guests must disinfect their hands before entering a restaurant, bar or the reception areas. All door locks must be disinfected”.

14th to 23rd of May: Most of the restrictions are being  lifted including the curfew hours and movement restrictions starting from 15th of May. This country has not registered any new cases since May 5 and have been  announced the end of the pandemic period.  There is only one active case, while 314 people have recovered since the pandemic started. Nine people died due to virus-related complications. Public gatherings remain banned, however, and people must keep a physical distance and wear protective masks in indoor areas.

24th of May to 1st of June: From Monday, June 1, Montenegro will open all land border crossings to neighbouring countries that were closed as part of the measures of the spread of coronavirus. However, with additional measures  for citizens of countries with more than 25 cases of COVID-19 confirmed cases per 100,000 inhabitants, it was announced in Podgorica. At the border crossings, the traffic of passengers and goods will be in accordance with the valid measures, including the measure adopted on Thursday, which stipulates that upon entering Montenegro, the quarantine measure is not prescribed to Montenegrin citizens and foreigners with permanent or temporary residence in Montenegro who are entering from countries with a rate of confirmed active cases of coronavirus infection of less than 25 per 100,000 inhabitants from the list of the Institute of Public Health.

June, 2020

The country has lifted the measures and travellers from the countries where a rate of active coronavirus cases is less than 25 per 100, 000 inhabitants are allowed to enter Montenegro without mandatory quarantine or self isolation.

July, 2020

Besides the EU countries which are allowed to enter without further restrictions, Montenegro has also opened its borders to additional 50+ non EU countries without further restrictions meaning that the presenting a negative PCR test or self quarantine is non obligatory. You can check the list on the website https://www.ijzcg.me/me/novosti/covid-19-popustanje-mjera-u-medunarodnom-saobracaju.

North Macedonia

Number of infected: 11399, 517 deaths, 7480 recovered 

March, 2020

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.

April, 2020

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. 

5th to 15th of April: Regardless on pandemic the country is dealing with, the Macedonian Orthodox Church has decided to stay open for the Easter and allow the mass attendance. North Macedonia government has announced  it will not keep the people away from the churches during the Easter. Government is also considering to extend a state of emergency for the next 30 days. 

16th to 20th of April: The North Macednia’s ministers: Minister Oliver Spasovski, Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani, Health Minister Venko Filipce and Education Minister Arber Ademi have been placed in self isolation at their homes for 14 days. The isolation came as a result of meeting with a local authorities in Kumanovo which is one of the hotspots for COVID-19. Authorities stated that despite the isolation of ministers normal functioning of the government will not be endangered and that government sessions will be held via videoconferencing calls.

21st to 26th of April: North Macedonia announced that wearing protective face masks to public places is mandatory. Those who do not abide by the rules will be fines with 20 EUR. This decision made people waiting in long lines in order to purchase face masks.

27th of April to 1st of May: Government stated that citizens will not be under complete lockdown during the holiday 1st of May. The curfew hours will remain the same on Friday and during the weekend it will start at 2 pm.
While the oil prices are globally decreasing, the country decided to raise the fuel prices which will be used in the fight against the spread of the disease.

May, 2020

2nd to 7th of May: The number of new COVID-19 infections in North Macedonia is decreasing and the the head of the Infective Diseases Clinic in Skopje, Milena stevanovic, informed media that North Macedonia has passed most critical stage of the pandemic. Government has announced the gradual easing of safety measures and restrictions which will include the return of administration employees to work and the gradual opening of hospitality facilities.

8th to 13th of May: Minister of Health Venko Filipche announced that Committee for Infectious Diseases is going to send a proposal for lifting the measures which will include reopening of the educational centres, betting shops and the shopping malls. Filipche said that the plan is also for gradual opening of cafes and restaurants under certain protocols (keeping distance between people, obligatory wearing of face masks) and, furthermore, from 25th of May, facilities such as casinos, clubs, gyms, pools and hotels should also open their door.

14th to 23rd of May: The Health Ministry reported increase in positive cases. Over the past two weeks, the country had not cut the number of cases below 20 per day. Therefore, it has still not declared an end to the state of emergency. This puts North Macedonia in a shocking situation as the political parties have already begun intense debates about whether to hold previously postponed early general elections in June. The authorities are considering re-introducing another two-and-a-half day curfew over the weekends.

24th of May to 1st of June: For the moment, only citizens and legal residents of North Macedonia will be permitted entry into North Macedonia. North Macedonia is not yet ready to open its borders. Northern Macedonia Health Minister Venko Filipce says his country expects the country to open its borders in mid-June. According to the Minister of Health of Northern Macedonia, after the opening of the borders, citizens can travel freely to any country if they pay attention to preventive measures against covid-19. 

June, 2020

All of the airports are still closed and there is still no certain information on a definite date when the country will be able to open the borders for foreign travellers. 

July, 2020

The country has officially reopened for international tourism and is now allowing tourists from all countries to visit, restriction free. Both international airports are open and, for the moment, there are no restrictions for any country. Foreign travellers are allowed to enter North Macedonia without presenting a negative PCR test.

Romania

Number of infected: 59273, 2616 deaths, 29289 recovered 

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

Ministry of Public Health COVID-19 Guidance 

Romanian border police: +4021 316 2598

March, 2020

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 to 24th 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 to 27th of March: Romania has exceeded a number of 1000 positive on corona virus including  153 healthcare workers. 

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

April, 2020

1st to 15th of April: Romanian government has estimated that public deficit will reach 6.7 per cent of GDP by the end of the year due to the COVID-19 crisis. In order to keep the coronavirus from further spread, Romania has ordered an extension of the state emergency for the next 30 days. However, the government has agreed to change the curfew hours during the Orthodox Easter so the people could receive the eucharist outside the nearest church and light the candles. 

16th to 20th of April: Romania is one of the Balkan countries with the highest number of people who tested positive on Covid-19. Authorities are investigating 9 people who, it is believed, are involved in the attack at police officers. Allegedly, 9 citizens of Romanian town Hunedoara pelted stones at police and forced them to leave the neighbourhood.

21st to 26th of April: Romania will start to ease the restrictions which were imposed during the COVID-19 outbreak. According to minister Ludovic Orban, lockdown will end on 15th of May. The restaurants, however, will remain closed until the government analyses the risks of reopening.

27th of April to 1st of May: The head of the Emergency Situations Department, Raed Arafat has once again warned the citizens that the holiday season does not start on May 1 and reminded that the authorities would announce the first relaxation measures in terms of tourism only after  the state of emergency ends which will be on 15th of May.

May, 2020

2nd of May to 7th of May: Romania’s Constitutional Court declared over 300,000 fines that are issued by the police for breaking COVID-19 movement restrictions under the state of emergency are unconstitutional due to the decision that the fines are too vague and do not offer clear criteria. The fines, whoever, will be cancelled only after those who were fined approach to the court. The authorities have no intention on extending the country’s state of emergency which should end on 14th of May. Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said that the country will instead declare a “state of alert” which allows authorities less exceptional power compared to those during the state of emergency.

8th to 13th of May: Since the state of emergency is coming to its end, the most of tourist landmarks in Romania will open their door for visitors in the coming period. The newly formed protocol dictates that all employees will have to use masks and facilities will have to be equipped with disinfectant mats while the door handles will be disinfected. The country also allowed trains for transfer of people who have temporary jobs in Western Europe such as agricultural workers, caregivers and other categories. 

14th to 23rd of May: The number of infections decreased from about 300 per day in April to about 30 per day in May. However, in last 7 days numbers rose again so the country lifted the full lockdown on May 15, when it ended a two-month state of emergency and started a milder regime known as a state of alert. Romanians can now circulate within their municipality but they do need to carry a form stating the motive for their travel should they leave these administrative limits. A ban on sitting in restaurants and cafes including terraces remains and group gatherings with more than three people are also banned. 

24th of May to 1st of June: Romania has reopen the outdoor restaurants. Special safety measures will be implemented,  such as maintaining a distance of over 2 meters between tables and sitting only four people at each table. Romanians are allowed to go to the beach with a distance of two meters between sun-beds which must be maintained. Foreigners are still not allowed to enter the country.

June, 2020

The country has allowed the entrance to foreign travellers coming only from the EU/Schengen countries and UK. Other foreign travellers are still not allowed to enter the country.

July, 2020

Romania has officially opened the borders to non EU countries as well. The authorities brought the green list of the countries that are allowed to enter Romania without any further restrictions. The countries allowed to enter Romania are:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vatican City.

Slovenia

Number of infected: 2233, 125 deaths, 1927 recovered 

March, 2020

16th to 19th 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 to 24th 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 to 30th of March: 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. 

April, 2020

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.

5th to 15th of April: Slovenian government is preparing measures that might be enabling for some industries to relaunch their operations after the Easter Holidays. In case the current decrease of COVID-19 positive cases continues, government will examine measures that will consider restarting or some of the branches of industry. In order to limit the spread of coronavirus, measures regarding the movements are still on. 

16th to 20th of April: Miroslav Petrovec, from the Microbiology Institute of the Faculty of Medicine in Ljubljana, announced at the press conference that testing on covid-19 virus will be carried out by ten mobile teams every day until the end of the week. Three thousand people from three hundred places across Slovenia have been invited to be tested. Testing is being conducted on a voluntary basis, with the assumption that at least one thousand and five hundred will agree to the test, and the results will be known by the middle of next week. Tests will also provide an answer on how many people have recovered from COVID-19 without being aware of it, and how many there are antibodies in the blood in response to the disease.

21st to 26th of April: Former Slovenian President Milan Kucan believes that Slovenia is effectively fighting the virus corona epidemic, but fears that “in the name of fighting the virus corona”, democratic values ​​will be sacrificed, criticising the current government. In fear of potential illegal migration, the government is considering setting up an army at the Croatian border.

27th of April to 1st of May: Slovenia is gradually abolishing some epidemiological measures, including the most stringent ones, on restricting movement within the municipalities. According to government announcements, in mid-May, with precise guidance from health authorities, classes in primary and secondary schools could start again, but there are still many unknowns as to how to provide work for smaller groups of students and the necessary social distance for students in order to prevent any possible coronaviruses infections.

May, 2020

2nd to 7th of May: The newly established expert team of the Slovenian Ministry of Economy proposed on Monday the gradual opening of accommodation capacities in the tourism sector, which will probably suffer the biggest losses due to the coronavirus epidemic. Opening of smaller accommodation capacities is a priority for the moment. Slovenian epidemiologists warn that the second wave of the epidemic at the end of the summer is not ruled out because most of the population did not develop antibodies in contact with the new coronavirus.

8th to 13th of May: Slovenian government has announced that starting from the next week a new major lifting of the previous restrictive measures introduced due to the coronavirus epidemic will begin. It was announced that restaurants and inns, smaller accommodation capacities for tourists and driving schools will be opened from 18th of May. With some restrictions, school classes for some grades of primary and secondary schools and kindergartens will also reopen. By government decision, all shops, including shopping malls, will be allowed to operate from 18th including bars and inns which will be able to serve guests indoors and tourist accommodation facilities with a capacity of up to 30 guests. However, mountain lodges and hostels still remain closed.

14th to 23rd of May: The Slovenian border is now open to citizens from EU countries and the European Economic Area (EEA), if they have not stayed outside the EU in the last 14 days. Restrictions and mandatory quarantine remain for third-country nationals (BiH, Serbia, Montenegro…) if they enter Slovenia with the intention of staying. In the case of EU citizens, their entry into Slovenia can be denied if they have symptoms of coronavirus. All smaller border crossings to Italy are closed. The border crossings that are in function: Vrtojba, Rateče, Fernetiči, Škofije and Krvavi potok (5–23).

24th of May to 1st of June: According to a decree by the Slovenian Government entry to Slovenia is allowed without restrictions and without quarantine to all tourists from the European Union and the Schengen area who have booked overnight stays in Slovenia. Ljubljana Airport is reopened and air transport to Slovenia is no longer restricted. Some airlines, including Lufthansa and EasyJet, have announced they will resume flights to Ljubljana in June.

June, 2020

Countries that can enter Slovenia without measurements are: Croatia, Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Portugal. 

Quarantine shall be ordered for individuals entering Slovenia from a country that is neither on green list of countries nor the list of countries with a deteriorated epidemiological situation (i.e., the red list); this means the country is on the yellow list.

Serbia

Number of infected: 27332, 621 deaths, 14417 recovered

National Health Institute of Serbia

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

March, 2020

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 to 21st of March: Serbia has registered first victim, a  59-year-old patient in Serbia’s second died from complications from the coronavirus. The government 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 to 23rd 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. 511 criminal complaints against people who violated self-isolation orders was filled by police of Serbia.

24th to 25th of March: Three thousand beds are prepared in Belgrade’s Fair Halls for patients with mild cases of COVID-19. 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. 

April, 2020

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.

5th to 15th of April: Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic decided to refuse the apel from the Serbian Orthodox Church and stated there will be no changes in curfew hours despite the fact it is Orthodox Easter this weekend. The Serbian Orthodox Church was asking from the goverment to lift the curfew hours on Sunday so the people could leave their homes and attend the Easter liturgy. There is a high increase of corona virus confirmed cases in Serbia and over 500 medical workers have also tested positive for COVID-19. Over 3000 patients are in hospitals and 130 on respirators.

16th to 20th of April: President Aleksandar Vucic has announced that the curfew hours will be shortened for one hour starting from Tuesday. Besides the curfew hours, elderly people will also finally be allowed to leave their homes and take a walk on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Starting from 21st of April, Serbia plans phased openings of small businesses while the shopping centres will be able to open their doors starting with May. 

21st to 26th of April: Although lifting the restrictions and allowing the mechanics, tailors, dry cleaners and retailers reopening with protective measures, Serbia will leave the weekend curfew from 6 PM on Friday to 5 AM on Monday. Shopping malls, hairdressers and beauty salons, gyms and fitness centres will remain closed for the moment.

27th of April to 1st of May: Although measures and restrictions are being reduced, the President of Serbia announced a four-day curfew during the 1st of May holiday.  This led to great resentment of the citizens including a several Serbian opposition political parties which protested  “the unconstitutional introduction of a state of emergency” and “the measure of locking down Serbian citizens at the parliament building in Belgrade.

May, 2020

2nd to 7th of May: Serbia still retains the position of one of the countries with the highest number of infected people in the region. Nonetheless, the state eased preventive measures, opened the shops and restarted the public city transportation. Social distancing and the wearing of masks and gloves will be an “individual responsibility of citizens.”

8th to 13th of May: Serbia will open borders with four countries on June 1st – Northern Macedonia, Albania, BiH and Montenegro. Passengers will be free to cross the border with the obligation to have a quick coronavirus test or two weeks of isolation. Foreign Ministry Secretary General Veljko Odalovic said earlier that a solution was being sought so it would relax and facilitate the possibility of entering Serbia with tests from reference institutions that would allow people to enter the country and without going into self-isolation. 

14th to 23rd of May: Serbia has opened borders for travellers and traffic without the necessary coronavirus test and commission permission. The country has lifted most of its restrictive measures, including curfew hours. Entering the country will also be without a negative PCR  and medical facilities that were transformed into so-called COVID-hospitals are going to restart normal work. 

24th of May to 1st of June: The Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed out that Serbia is absolutely ready to open its borders completely, without quarantine and tests, but that he does not know whether other countries are ready for that, adding that the pandemic has shown that it is important for the region to cooperate. Currently, foreign nationals can enter the Republic of Serbia under two conditions – a negative PCR test for coronavirus not older than 72 hours and a certificate issued by a commission consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

June, 2020

Airports are open and some of the commercial flights have resumed. Although, flight schedules are likely to remain subject to change at short notice. Border crossings are open and subject to entry requirements in neighbouring countries. 

There is no obligatory COVID-19 test requirements nor the self isolating upon arrival to the country. 

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.