As of Friday, October 2, international entry into Kosovo remains restricted. The Kosovo Government approved measures proposed by health officials whereby all foreign citizens entering the country from countries deemed "high risk", according to the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), must provide proof of a negative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken at most 72 hours prior to arriving. This measure also applies to foreign citizens with a permanent or temporary residence permit. Residents without a negative RT-PCR test will be required to self-isolate for seven days. Reports indicate that travelers transiting through Kosovo and travelers arriving at Pristina International Airport (PRN), leaving within three hours of entry, are exempt.
Airports in Kosovo reopened on June 28, though commercial international flights remain limited. Authorities announced the reopening of land borders on July 1. However, restrictions on entry into neighboring countries may apply.
Authorities previously eased domestic restrictions in-country on September 25. The nightly curfew previously implemented nationwide has been lifted. Religious, cultural, sporting, and recreational activities have resumed, following strict regulations. Restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes, shops, and hotels have opened, though establishments selling food are prohibited from operating between 23:30-05:00 (local time). Many businesses, public and private, are operating though restrictions including reduced opening hours and capacity remain in place. Indoor and outdoor public gatherings of more than five people remain prohibited. Individuals are required to wear face masks in all enclosed and outdoor public spaces. Social distancing of 2 m (6 ft) must be observed by all where possible.
As of October 2, health officials have confirmed 12,683 cases of COVID-19 and 488 associated deaths in Kosovo. 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). 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.
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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