Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Montenegro to ease certain COVID-19 entry restrictions for citizens and legal residents as of Sept. 4.

Alert Begins 04 Sep 2020 06:12 PM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Authorities in Montenegro are easing certain coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related entry restrictions for Montenegrin citizens, as well as foreigners who have either temporary or permanent residency status in the country. Effective Sept. 4, such individuals may enter Montenegro from any neighboring country without restrictions, provided they stayed less than 48 hours in that country. Although these travelers will have full freedom of movement upon returning to Montenegro, they will be subject to health supervision, including daily symptom monitoring by a physician, for an unspecified period of time.

Montenegro continues to allow all citizens of EU countries to enter without restriction; no self-isolation or proof of negative COVID-19 tests are required for anyone traveling from the EU. Moreover, the nation's borders are open to travelers from countries that currently have no more than 25 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Travelers from certain non-EU or non-Schengen Area countries - including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, and Turkey - may also enter Montenegro unconditionally. Citizens and residents of countries classified as medium risk, or "yellow-listed" - specifically, Australia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Singapore, and the US - are permitted to enter the country provided they produce proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival and have not traveled to a high-risk, or "red-listed" country in the last 15 days. The government defines high-risk countries as those where more than 25 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants have been reported.

Citizens and residents of Montenegro arriving from any high-risk country are required to quarantine upon entry; citizens and residents of those countries remain barred from entry. Healthcare workers, freight transporters, and diplomats are exempt from such travel restrictions. Authorities update the lists on a regular basis.

International flights are operating at Podgorica (TGD) and Tivat (TIV) airports. International passenger rail services are suspended; international road and maritime borders are open, though delays are likely at entry points as border officials conduct required checks on arriving persons.

In Montenegro, COVID-related restrictions have been eased to the point where most businesses and facilities have been allowed to reopen, provided they comply with strict hygiene and social distancing directives. Public gatherings of up to 40 people are permitted outdoors and up to 20 people may assemble indoors. Protective face coverings must be worn in public spaces.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. 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. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

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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