As of Nov. 2, authorities in Kosovo are tightening domestic restrictions introduced to combat coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The following measures will be in place indefinitely:
- Restaurants, cafes, bars, and malls are prohibited from operating between the hours of 2100-0500. Takeout and delivery from dining establishments will be available in that period.
- Indoor and outdoor public gatherings are limited to five people; mass gatherings are prohibited, including for weddings and funerals. Religious ceremonies remain permitted as long as they follow strict safety and social-distancing guidelines.
- Persons over the age of 65 may only leave their homes 0600-1000 and 1600-1900 daily.
- Protective face coverings are mandatory in all enclosed and outdoor public spaces; social distancing of 2 meters (6 feet) must be practiced where possible.
- All higher education institutions must operate via distance learning.
- People with chronic illnesses and pregnant women are excused from work.
- Cultural establishments, such as theaters, galleries, cinemas, and libraries are allowed to operate at 30-percent capacity.
All travelers arriving from countries where the overall risk of COVID-19 is considered "high" as defined by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) must provide proof of having tested negative for the disease using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Travelers who are exempt from the requirement include those who are transiting Kosovo and will be leaving the country within three hours of entry, as well as travelers arriving at Pristina International Airport (PRN) who are willing to sign a statement promising to leave Kosovo within three hours. All of Kosovo's land border crossings have been reopened since early June.
Authorities could extend, reimpose, or otherwise amend any restrictions at any time based on disease activity over the coming days and weeks.
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.
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.