Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in North Macedonia announce nationwide curfew 1100 May 24-0500 May 26 in latest COVID-19-related measure.

This alert affects North Macedonia

This alert began 23 May 2020 09:28 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Authorities will impose a nationwide curfew 1100 May 24-0500 May 26 in the latest effort to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Officials will suspend all public transport and ban the movement of persons. Essential service workers will be allowed to move freely.

The measure is the latest in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous measures include:

  • A state of emergency is in force through May 30.
  • Almost all border crossings to passenger traffic, including airports in Skopje (SKP) and Ohrid (OHD), are closed.
  • Arriving travelers must self-isolate. The measure, announced May 22, replaces a previous mandatory 14-day quarantine in state-provided facilities.
  • Numerous public spaces and nonessential businesses are closed.
  • All persons must wear protective face coverings while inside stores, banks, and other essential businesses.
  • Curfew hours in North Macedonia are 1900-0500.


Previously, authorities eased certain COVID-19-related restrictions from May 13. The moves enabled several types of businesses to reopen, including shopping malls, gambling establishments, and driving schools, as well as other private establishments that provide training and education. Personal sports and fitness businesses were also allowed to resume operations, provided participants conduct sessions outdoors.

Authorities could extend, ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by North Macedonia are similar to actions taken by other Eastern 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
Reconfirm all public transportation and business appointments. Follow all official directives. Abide by national health and safety measures. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Prepare for freight delivery disruptions. Consider delaying or detouring goods.

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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