News Alerts

16 Mar 2020 | 11:13 AM UTC

Albania: Borders closed as of March 16 due to COVID-19 /update 2

Albania News Alert

Government closes borders to prevent spread of COVID-19 as of March 16; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/16/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Tirane). COUNTRY/REGION Albania

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Event

As of Sunday, March 15, at 00:00 (local time), all land borders with Albania have been closed until further notice as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Therefore, travel between Albania and Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Greece is prohibited, unless for the transportation of goods. The government previously announced on Friday, March 13, that maritime borders with Italy and Greece will be closed with the exception of freight vessels. Albania has also banned all air travel with Italy.

The Albanian Minister of Education, Sport, and Youth announced on Monday, March 9, that educational institutions nationwide will close from March 9 through Monday, March 23. Prime Minister Edi Rama further announced that all large public gatherings will be canceled, including cultural and sporting events.

As of March 16, health officials have confirmed 42 COVID-19 cases nationwide. Further spread of the virus is expected in the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

 

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