Public transportation services resumed operations in the capital Tirana on Monday, July 6, after four months of suspended operations due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Reports suggest that operations will run at a maximum 70 percent capacity, with strict hygiene measures and social distancing protocols for both passengers and public transport operators to follow. All individuals are required to wear face masks on public transport vehicles and at transport hubs, those who violate the measure will be fined. Social distancing must be adhered to, allowing a 1m (3.2 ft) distance between passengers. The operating vehicles will reportedly be disinfected and cleaned periodically by employees and service personnel.
Albanian authorities began easing certain lockdown measures in June, allowing people to move around freely, with parks, gyms and internet cafes now open. Following the decision to end the state of emergency on June 23, initially introduced in March, outdoor bars and restaurants, guest houses and small hotels, museums and other recreational venues also reopened. Social distancing and strict hygiene measures must be adhered to in these establishments. A ban on public gatherings remains in place.
International flights to and from Tirana International Airport (TIA) resumed on June 22. Airlines will have to abide by health regulations and social distancing rules imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority. The airlines are also responsible for ensuring these regulations are communicated to and adhered to by travelers.
As of Tuesday, July 7, there are 3038 cases of COVID-19 in Albania, including 81 associated deaths. 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 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.
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.
Copyright and Disclaimer