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17 Aug 2020 | 04:41 PM UTC

Serbia: Authorities introduce new COVID-19-related entry restrictions August 14 /update 16

Serbia News Alert

Serbian authorities introduce new COVID-19-related entry restrictions from August 14; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/17/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Belgrade). COUNTRY/REGION Serbia

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06 Mar 11:38 AM UTC  — 

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Event

Serbian authorities announced on Friday, August 14, that all foreign nationals seeking to enter the country from North Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, or Romania, will need to provide a negative coronavirus disease (COVID-19) PCR test, taken within the previous 48 hours prior to their departure to the country. The above restrictions do not apply to those with permanent residence in Serbia, crew members, and passengers transiting Serbia for less than 12 hours, children under the age of 12 who are accompanied by parents who have valid PCR test results, or properly accredited diplomats and their families.

On July 10, authorities introduced COVID-19 measures due to a spike in cases in the country. Under the guidelines, the wearing of face masks remains compulsory on public transport, individuals are not permitted to visit others in hospitals, and visits to care homes are limited to 15 minutes. Additionally, the recommended social distancing between people outdoors has increased from 1 to 1.5 meters and indoor establishments, including shops, offices, and restaurants, are required to provide at least 3 square meters per person.

In Belgrade, public gatherings of more than ten people indoors and outdoors are banned, while establishments with outdoor seating will only be allowed to operate from 06:00 - 23:00 (local time), and indoor establishments will be allowed to operate from 06:00 - 21:00. Indoor establishments in Belgrade must provide 4 square meters per person, and penalties remain in place for individuals not complying with the new restrictions.

As of Monday, August 17, health authorities have confirmed 29,782 cases of COVID-19 in Serbia, with 677 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

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

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

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 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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