On Thursday, June 25, Montenegrin authorities reintroduced a number of restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to a rise in the number of confirmed cases. The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases, which is leading the COVID-19 response, has prohibited all political rallies in public places and the presence of spectators at sports events. Religious gatherings in public places, except in areas belonging to religious buildings, are also prohibited. Only immediate family are permitted to attend funerals and a number of upcoming cultural events have been postponed, including Statehood Day on July 13. Montenegro had declared itself COVID-19-free in May but has now reported around 100 new cases in the past ten days.
Additionally, a curfew has been placed on the municipality of Rozaje between 18:00 and 05:00 (local time) as of Friday, June 26, until further notice due to the epidemiological situation in the area, with over 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the past week. Authorities had already reintroduced some restrictions in Rozaje on Saturday, June 20. All public gatherings of more than two people have been banned and the Vuča-Godovo border crossing with Serbia has been closed until further notice, with additional security forces deployed to the border to enforce the closure.
Montenegro's borders reopened on June 1, but only for countries that meet certain criteria. Specifically, only citizens of countries with fewer than 25 active COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents will be eligible to visit Montenegro. A full list of eligible countries can be found here.
Although Montenegrin authorities have eased some COVID-19 measures, a number of restrictions remain in place. The wearing of face masks in public spaces and on public transport remains mandatory. Public gatherings of more than 200 people are also prohibited.
As of June 26, health authorities have confirmed 424 COVID-19 cases and nine associated deaths in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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 COVID-19 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.
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 COVID-19 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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