Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: North Macedonia is maintaining COVID-19-related restrictions as of Sept. 11. Business and travel disruptions remain.

Alert Begins 11 Sep 2020 12:58 PM UTC
Alert Expires 25 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

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

Summary
Authorities in North Macedonia are maintaining restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of Sept. 11. Most businesses and facilities are permitted to resume, provided they implement hygiene and social distancing measures. Most public educational facilities remain closed. Facemasks must be worn in many enclosed public spaces and where social distancing of 2 meters (6.5 feet) cannot be observed.

Previously, officials opened the country's land borders and permitted international flights to resume; citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, and Montenegro must present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within the previous 72 hours for entry into North Macedonia. Those who have residency in North Macedonia, and travelers who are simply transiting the country (excluding arrivals from Kosovo), are exempt from this requirement.

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

Background and Analysis
As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could begin to reintroduce sporadic, highly targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Such measures could apply to neighborhoods or specific facilities, including schools, factories, or accommodation and office blocks. Mandatory social distancing procedures in public places and on public transport, as well as widespread voluntary “self-policing” by residents, will assist in reducing the potential for contagion, negating the necessity for a large-scale, blanket reintroduction of significant restrictions.

North Macedonia's actions are in line with those taken by other governments in the region in an attempt to restart their economies after several months of lockdown due to 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.

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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