Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: North Macedonia expands curfew; residents not allowed to leave their homes on weekends and from 1600-0500 on weekdays from April 8.

This alert affects North Macedonia

This alert began 06 Apr 2020 16:31 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Curfew, entry and travel restrictions, business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in North Macedonia will expand their nationwide indefinite curfew from 1600 April 8. Citizens and residents will not be allowed to leave their homes at all on weekends and from 1600-0500 on weekdays. In addition, persons above the age of 65 are only allowed to leave their homes in the mornings from 1000-1200 on weekdays, while persons under the age of 18 may only leave home from 1300-1500 on weekdays. Authorities have indicated that individuals who break the curfew face up to a year in prison. North Macedonian authorities had previously closed all border crossings, including airports in Skopje (SKP) and Ohrid (OHD). Anyone who has arrived from abroad must observe a 14-day self-isolation period.

Authorities have also imposed entry and exit restrictions on several areas in the country, including the Debar and Centar Zhupa municipalities. Multiple public spaces, including cafes, bars, and shopping centers, are closed. Grocery stores remain open. Officials have closed schools through April.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government correspond with similar 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.

Resources
Ministry of Health (Twitter): zdravstvo.gov.mk

North Macedonia Government: https://vlada.mk/

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