Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Montenegrin authorities shorten COVID-19 related curfew hours on April 21; curfew is now 2300-0500 daily. Other measures remain in place.

This alert affects Montenegro

This alert began 22 Apr 2020 17:41 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Montenegrin authorities on April 21 reduced curfew hours introduced to combat the spread of COVID-19 through at least April 28. The curfew will now be in place 2300-0500 daily. In addition, authorities lifted the ban on recreational activities in public areas, and extended store operating hours, which are now 0700-2200. During curfew hours, no person is permitted to be outside their home, with the exception of individuals carrying out work deemed essential by the government and individuals walking pets.

The following restrictions remain in place:

  • Ban on gatherings of people from different households
  • Ban on international passenger traffic
  • Ban on intercity passenger transport, excluding travel for essential activities


The travel restrictions do not apply to Montenegrin nationals returning home or freight transport. All persons arriving in Montenegro will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. Additionally, authorities previously closed all non-essential businesses and public establishments.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures the government has taken correspond with similar actions taken by other European governments in recent days 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. 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.

Resources
Institute for Public Health: www.ijzcg.me

World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int