Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to lift COVID-19-related 14-day mandatory self-isolation for Bosnian citizens from May 21.

This alert affects Bosnia and Herzegovina

This alert began 20 May 2020 18:06 GMT and is scheduled to expire 10 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: From May 21
  • Impact: Easing of restrictions; business and travel disruptions remain

Summary
Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina will lift the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related mandatory 14-day self-isolation for Bosnian citizens on arrival in the country from May 21; the measure remains in place for foreigners traveling to the country with some exceptions, including diplomats, freight transporters, train conductors, pilots, and cabin crews.

Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina previously extended 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. Individuals must wear a protective face mask when in public. Age restrictions related to the curfew have been lifted. Individuals must wear a protective face mask when in public and keep at least 2 meters (6.5 feet) away from others.

Border crossings with Serbia 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 indefinitely.

The following measures are in place nationwide:

  • Educational institutions remain closed.
  • Public transport remains open, albeit with a reduced schedule.
  • Many nonessential 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.

Advice
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.


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