Kosovo clamps down over omicron fears

Kosovo clamps down over omicron fears
By Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje December 1, 2021

Kosovo’s government adopted a new set of anti-COVID-19 measures on November 30, following widespread announcements about the spread of the new omicron variant.

The measures, which will take effect on December 6, were taken despite Kosovo having only 320 active COVID-19 cases. On December 1, only eight new cases and no coronavirus-related deaths were reported.

Pristina follows Croatia and Slovenia in tightening border restrictions in response to the spread of the new variant, which has already been reported in several European countries. 

For now, everyone entering Kosovo has to have received two doses anti-coronavirus vaccines, show a negative PCR test or have proof of recovery from the disease no more than 180 days old. However, starting from January 3, all people entering Kosovo must be fully vaccinated.

Within the country, all employees in state and municipal institutions must possess one of the three documents in order to be allowed to enter their workplace. 

Under the new measures, the curfew will remain in effect from midnight to 5 am, except in emergencies.

Wearing a mask for travel is mandatory, except when driving alone, or when close family members are present in the vehicle, and also while running, cycling and exercising. It is also forbidden to enter an indoor venue without a mask.

However, teaching the process in pre-university education at all levels continues in person as usual. 

Gatherings and cultural events are allowed outdoors with up to 70 people, provided people can observe one metre social distancing. 

Night clubs are forbidden to open, and festivals, concerts, pilgrimages, weddings, excursions, family and other gatherings are banned. 

Cafe bars and restaurants are allowed to work from 5 am until 11 pm, while music is only allowed until 9.30 pm.

Cultural activities, libraries, museums, cinemas, theatres, philharmonic concerts, opera, ballet, orchestras, ensembles, cultural centres are allowed to work using only 50% of their capacity.

To date, over 761,500 citizens have been fully vaccinated in the country with a 2mn population.