Freedom of movement restrictions have been placed on over 65s, while bars, restaurants and coffee shops have had their working hours limited further in a bid to manage the spread of COVID-19.
A government decision taken at an electronic meeting on Sunday has introduced a number of new measures designed to protect Kosovo from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Freedom of movement restrictions have been applied to over 65s, who are now permitted to leave the house only between 06:00-10:00 and 16:00-19.00. Outside of this schedule, the right to go outside is only extended to those with health needs.
Businesses providing gastronomic services, including bars, restaurants and coffee shops, have had their working hours reduced. These businesses are now prohibited from operating between 21:00 and 05:00, except for takeaway services, while shopping malls are also prohibited from operating during these hours.
All higher education institutions, both private and public are now obliged to conduct all teaching online. However, the student dormitories and cafeteria will remain open and exams and laboratory work will continue in line with Ministry of Health guidelines.
People with chronic illnesses and pregnant women have been exempted from appearing at work, while municipalities have been instructed to increase efforts to provide home health care services to the chronically ill. Recipients of social schemes and benefits from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare have been released from the obligation to regularly provide evidence for their claims.
A number of measures remain from the Government decision on September 25, including tighter entry requirements for foreign nationals from ‘high risk’ countries. Medical teams from Family Medicine Centres will now also provide checks at the borders, including at Prishtina International Airport.
Gatherings of more than five persons in squares, parks and other public places remain prohibited, as do other large gatherings including weddings, seminars, workshops and family parties. However, religious ceremonies are still permitted as long as they are in accordance with the Government’s Manual for the protection against the spread of COVID-19.
Cultural activities including at theatres, galleries, museums, cinemas and libraries remain permitted at a 30 percent capacity. Sporting activities are also allowed to continue, though the number of permitted participants has dropped from 30 to 20, while gyms are now obliged to operate at a 40 percent capacity.
Kosovo has seen a spike in coronavirus cases in recent days, with 2,236 positive test results confirmed by the National Institute of Public Health since last Monday. Health officials have warned that this rise in cases could lead to serious strain being put on Kosovo’s health service.
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