Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Kosovo enforces measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 as of March 14. Border crossings closed. Flights suspended from March 16.

This alert affects Kosovo

This alert began 14 Mar 2020 15:13 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel, health restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through late March
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Kosovo have taken several measures to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as of March 14. All flights to Pristina International Airport (PRN) will be suspended from March 16. All medical and military flights are exempt. It is not clear if some limited departure flights will still proceed; however, it is likely that departure flights will be subject to disruptions. The period of the suspension is unclear. Land borders will be closed to all travelers except Kosovo citizens, again from March 16. Citizens entering the country will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The government reportedly plans to suspend all inter-city public transport. It is not clear if this order has already been enforced. Citizens of the Klina and Vitina municipalities have been restricted from moving to and from these areas. The government has ordered the nationwide closure of cafes, bars, and shopping centers. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews.

Background and Analysis
Coronavirus disease 2019 (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.

Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission can occur, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.

Advice
Reconfirm all travel arrangements if planning to travel to and from Kosovo through late March. Follow all official immigration instructions. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Pristina International Airport: www.airportpristina.com