The Serbian government yesterday adopted new measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
There is a mandatory 28-day self-isolation measure for Serbian citizens, as well as foreign nationals residing in Serbia who enter from countries designated as hotspots of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, namely Switzerland, Spain, Austria and Italy.
All Serbian citizens, as well as foreign citizens who reside in Serbia and come from other countries, must comply with a mandatory measure of self-isolation, i.e. isolation at home for at least 14 days, said the Government Office for Cooperation with the Media.
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Any violation of this measure will be severely punished, in accordance with the applicable laws of the Republic of Serbia. Serbia also prohibits the export of all medicines in the next 30 days for preventive reasons, in order to provide pharmacies with the necessary supplies.
The purchase of protective masks is also limited, which means that one person can purchase up to 10 masks, 10 pairs of gloves and two large packs of disinfectants or five small packs.
All branches of public institutions in Serbia will be closed, with the exception of those which closure would endanger the smooth functioning of the country in a state of emergency. All citizens will be informed promptly about how their rights and duties are regulated and upheld.
Bearing in mind that all the measures taken so far have not produced the expected results, the Serbian Government does not exclude the possibility of taking even stricter measures to preserve the health of its citizens.
Therefore, the government once again strongly urges fellow citizens over the age of 65 to remain in their homes for their own good.
The Serbian government has stated that it is fully committed to combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus, is constantly monitoring the situation in the country, the region and the world and will promptly inform and make all necessary decisions in order to preserve the health of all.
On Sunday evening, the Serbian government issued a decree prescribing measures to be applied during a state of emergency, namely the closure of Serbia’s borders, except for Serbian citizens, and the closure of schools, nurseries and universities.
The President of the Republic, Aleksandar Vucic, the Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, and the Speaker of the Serbian Parliament, Maja Gojkovic, adopted a decree on Sunday, March 15, in accordance with the Constitution, on the introduction of a state of emergency. The decision has entered into force.
The measures prescribed by the government are the following.
As of Monday, March 16, nurseries, schools and higher education institutions are closed. Children’s enrolment in schools and education institutions for next year will take place as usual via the e-Government service:
1) eVrtic (nurseries) is available for the whole of Serbia
2) Enrolment via eUpis will be active as of 1 April
3) Diploma tests will be administered online
4) School classes will be done via distance learning, broadcasted on the RTS3 TV, RTS Planet platform and other online learning platforms.
The borders of the Republic of Serbia are closed to all foreign citizens, except for diplomats accredited in Serbia and foreigners with a residence permit. Citizens of the Republic of Serbia, as well as accredited diplomats and foreign citizens residing in the Republic of Serbia, who enter the Republic of Serbia, have to undertake 14 days of self-isolation otherwise they are going to be held criminally liable. This measure will be strictly controlled and its violation will be severely sanctioned.
Citizens will be given a legally binding document upon entering the country. The penalty for violation of this provision is up to three years in prison. This is very important to reduce the movement of citizens, which is one of the main reasons for introducing a state of emergency in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Citizens of the Republic of Serbia and foreign nationals residing in the Republic of Serbia, who come from the Swiss Confederation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Romania, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, the Republic of Slovenia and Greece, will be isolated for 28 days.
Mandatory measures for citizens include self-isolation, no gathering, no visits to relatives and no leaving home without urgent necessity with the exceptions like going to shops and pharmacies, walking the dog and throwing rubbish. People over 70 years of age are recommended not to go out at all and that all necessary activities be carried out by younger family members.
Public traffic – the frequency of night traffic and daily public transport will be reduced.
Inspections – price limitations for basic foodstuffs and essential safety equipment. There will also be strict penalties for price increases while the state of emergency is in force. Prices can only be raised within the limits of the annual inflation rate.
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