Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Bosnia and Herzegovina extends COVID-19 related passenger flight suspension and ban on nonresident entry until at least June 1.
This alert affects Bosnia and Herzegovina
This alert began 01 May 2020 16:43 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Business and travel disruptions
On April 30, authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina announced the extension of the COVID-19 related suspension on passenger flights, as well as the ban on nonresidents entering the country, until at least June 1. Cargo, humanitarian, medical, and repatriation flights are exempt from the flight ban.
Authorities had previously eased certain restrictions related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of April 24. The government has lifted the nightly 2000-0500 curfew. Age restrictions related to the curfew have been lifted; persons above the age of 65 may again leave their homes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 0900-1300, while persons below the age of 18 may leave their homes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays between 1400-2000. Individuals in these two age groups must wear a protective face mask when in public and keep at least 2 meters (6.5 feet) away from others.
Moreover, travelers entering the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina will no longer be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility; they must, however, still undergo a 14-day self-isolation period. Freight transporters, train conductors, aircraft pilots, and cabin crews are exempt from this measure. Border crossings between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia are temporarily suspended; cross border workers, and freight transporters are exempt.
In the Republika Srpska region, the nightly 2000-0500 curfew remains in place until at least May 10. Persons entering Republika Srpska will also still be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a government-designated facility.
The following measures are in place nationwide:
- Educational institutions remain closed
- Public transport remains open, albeit with a reduced schedule
- Non-essential businesses remain closed
Any restrictions may be extended or otherwise amended with little to no advance notice over the coming days, depending on disease activity in the country.
Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government are similar to actions taken by other regional governments in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational if stopped by authorities. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.