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26 Oct 2020 | 04:37 PM UTC

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Authorities introduce stricter COVID-19 measures across the country October 26 /update 6

Bosnia and Herzegovina News Alert

Authorities introduce stricter COVID-19 measures nationwide on October 26 amid spike in cases; follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/26/2020, 12:00 AM until 11/9/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Sarajevo). COUNTRY/REGION Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Authorities have introduced new measures on Monday, October 26, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) following a recent spike in recorded infections. In the autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, face masks will be mandatory outdoors at all times. In addition, all non-urgent medical appointments will be suspended for two weeks and all health institutions will be required to allocate 30 percent of their capacity for COVID-19 patients. In the autonomous Republika Srpska, primary and secondary schools have been ordered to change to online classes for a week.

Face masks remain obligatory on public transport, in public places, and outside in most parts of the country, and restrictions on the numbers of people gathering remain in place. Social distancing measures should continue to be observed with individuals maintaining a physical distance of 2m (6.5 ft). Most businesses, shops, and restaurants are operating, many at reduced hours and following social distancing regulations.

The country's main airports are operating commercial flights, although restrictions remain in place for travelers entering the country. Foreign travelers are required to provide a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result obtained no more than 48 hours prior to travel. Diplomats traveling on official duties, EUFOR/NATO staff, freight drivers and crew, and foreigners in transit to their country of residence are exempt from this measure.

As of October 26, there are 41,596 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1104 associated fatalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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).

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 the 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 general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:   

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.  
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue; throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands. 
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.


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