Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Serbia to introduce special health supervision regime from 1800 Sept. 18; returning residents must complete online COVID-19 self-assessment.

Alert Begins 18 Sep 2020 01:00 PM UTC
Alert Expires 05 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

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

Authorities in Serbia will introduce a 10-day special health supervision regime for returning permanent residents from 1800 Sept. 18 as part of the government's effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the regime, permanent residents of Serbia will be required to complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment no more than 24 hours after entering the country. Upon completion, some residents may be instructed to report to a COVID-19 clinic or hospital. Residents who are not so instructed will be required to complete a second assessment 10 days after returning from abroad.

Authorities previously tightened entry restrictions for travelers arriving from neighboring countries. Upon entering Serbia, citizens and residents of Bulgaria, Croatia, North Macedonia, and Romania must produce proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival. This requirement does not apply to Serbian citizens returning from these countries. The measure has been introduced due to increased COVID-19 infection rates in the four countries in question.

Several domestic restrictions remain in force in Serbia. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. All persons in the country must wear protective face coverings and observe social distancing of at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) in public spaces. Local authorities could introduce stricter measures within their jurisdictions if infection rates warrant.

Most nonessential businesses in Serbia have been permitted to resume operations, including shopping malls, gyms, and restaurants, provided they follow strict hygiene requirements. Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG) has reopened for commercial flights, and limited domestic and international flights have resumed. Protective face coverings are mandatory on all flights. Except as stipulated otherwise, travelers to Serbia are no longer required to produce a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the country. Public transport has resumed in major cities. Intercity road and rail travel has resumed. Kindergartens have reopened.

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

Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational if stopped by authorities. Reconfirm all travel arrangements if traveling to, from, or via Serbia. Shipping disruptions may occur; consider delaying or rerouting shipments. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.

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 health precautions.

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