Thousands of protesters gathered on Thursday evening, July 9, in urban centers nationwide to protest against President Aleksandar Vucic's handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In Belgrade, demonstrators gathered in the vicinity of the parliament building chanting for the president to resign. Unlike the two previous days, Thursday's demonstration passed off largely peacefully.
Further unrest is likely in Belgrade and other urban centers in the near term.
On Tuesday, July 7, President Aleksandar Vucic announced that a weekend-long curfew would be enforced in Belgrade from Friday, July 10, to Monday, July 13, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. Around 80 percent of all Serbia's active COVID-19 cases are in Belgrade, and hospitals in the capital are reportedly running close to capacity. However, large-scale protests in Belgrade on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 8, prompted Vucic to cancel the planned lockdown, reintroducing a ban on gatherings of more than ten people in the capital instead. Shops, pubs, clubs, restaurants, and other indoor spaces in Belgrade will also have there opening hours restricted over the weekend, and will be closed from 21:00 (local time) on Friday.
Those in Belgrade are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate transportation disruptions in the vicinity of demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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