News Alerts

23 Apr 2020 | 09:26 AM UTC

North Macedonia: Face masks required in public spaces April 23 /update 7

Republic of Macedonia News Alert

Government introduces mandatory face mask measure for public spaces as of April 23; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/23/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/17/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Skopje). COUNTRY/REGION Macedonia

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Event

On Wednesday, April 22, Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski announced that wearing a face mask in public spaces will be compulsory starting on Thursday, April 23, in efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The use of face masks will be compulsory in public places where a two-meter distance cannot be maintained, including indoor gatherings, such as markets, shops, banks, post offices, health institutions, and in public transportation. Furthermore, individuals are now prohibited from leaving their homes between 19:00 and 05:00 (local time) on weekdays. A complete ban on movement is in effect on weekends from 15:00 on Saturday until 05:00 on Monday. Specific restrictions remain in place for elderly and young people up to 18-year-old.

President Stevo Pendarovski declared a new 30-day state of emergency across North Macedonia's entire territory on Thursday, April 16. Macedonian authorities initially declared a state of emergency on March 18. Curfews and border and travel restrictions are in effect. A ban on all public gatherings and on the entry of foreign nationals remains in place. Additionally, all border crossings in North Macedonia are closed to foreign nationals, except for freight vehicles, diplomatic personnel, and foreigners with long-term stay permits. Skopje International Airport (SKP) and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport (OHD) remain closed for all passenger flights.

As of April 23, there are 1259 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 56 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

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 trouble 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 nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

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, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease. 

 

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