COVID-19 Update #2: Serbia/Montenegro/Bosnia and Herzegovina

Serbia

  • 65 registered cases.
  • State of emergency declared.
Health measures
  • Serbian nationals and foreigners with temporary or permanent residency in Serbia allowed to enter Serbia but must self-isolate in their homes for 14 days.
  • 28 days of quarantine for those coming from Italy, Switzerland, Iran, Romania, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, Slovenia and Greece.
Movement of people
  • Provisional ban on entry for foreigners. The ban does not apply to:
    • cargo road transport crews; cargo transit is limited to 12 hours from the entry into Serbia;
    • cargo waterway transport crews; transit is limited to 90 hours for ships and 60 hours for self-propelled vessels for upstream navigation, and to 72 hours for ships and 54 hours for self-propelled vessels for downstream navigation;
    • railway crews entering the border station zone established by interstate agreements;
    • aircrafts crews;
    • persons with special entry permit issued by the Serbian Government;
    • humanitarian convoys under obligatory escort agreed through diplomatic channels;
    • accredited staff of foreign diplomatic missions, consular posts and international organizations, and members of their families with special identity cards;
    • foreign nationals with permanent or temporary residence in Serbia.
  • Ban on gatherings in indoor spaces with more than 50 people (including sport events, theatres and cinemas, concerts, public debates, exhibitions and seminars, restaurants, night clubs).
  • Employees in the healthcare and social security sectors are subject to a travel ban to countries with intensive COVID-19 transmission.
  • Ban on night public transport; daily public transport will be reduced.
  • Recommendation for senior citizens (65+) to self-isolate at home.
  • Movement of asylum seekers and irregular migrants housed in asylum centers and reception centers in Serbia is temporarily restricted, and an increased surveillance and security of these facilities established. These categories of people will be allowed to leave the facilities exceptionally and in justified cases (e.g. visit to a doctor o), for a limited period, and with a special permission of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia.
International traffic
  • International traffic diverted to major border crossings and 44 smaller and occasional border crossings will be temporarily closed.
    • Air traffic
      • Internal border crossings – Morava and Vršac.
    • Road traffic
      • Hungary – Rastina, Bajmok, Bački Vinogradi, Horgos 2, Djala and Rabe;
      • Romania: Vrbica, Nakovo, Jaša Tomanović, Кaluđerovo and Djerdap 2;
      • Bulgaria – Mokranje, Strezimirovci and Ribarci;
      • North Macedonia – Prohor Pcinjski and Goles – Golema Crcorija;
      • Montenegro – Godovo, Vrbnica and Jabuka;
      • Bosnia and Herzegovina – Priboj, Carevo polje, Mali Zvornik and Jamena;
      • Croatia – Sot, Ljuba, Nestin, Bezdan and Berkasovo;
    • Railway traffic
      • Romania – Kikinda;
      • Bosnia and Herzegovina – Mokra Gora and Sremska Rača;
      • Croatia – Bogojevo;
    • River/ferry traffic
      • Hungary – Kanjiža;
      • Romania – Golubac, Donji Milanovac, Tekija and Кladovo;
      • Bosnia and Herzegovina – Perućac;
      • Croatia – Apatin, Novi Sad and Vajska;
      • Internal border crossing – Belgrade.
Courts
  • Court of Appeals in Belgrade has adjourned all hearings scheduled between 16 and 27 March 2020; other courts expected to announce new schedules as well.
  • Entrance to the building of the Court of Appeals in Belgrade is banned.
Universities/schools/kinder-gardens
  • Closed until further notice.
Work place
  • Employers are obliged:
    • to enable remote work or all employees whose work can be done from home; a separate decision on remote work has to be issued to each employee; all employees working from home must be recorded;
    • where remote work is not possible, work should be, if possible, organized in shifts, and employer must provide protective equipment;
    • enable business meetings to be held electronically (video link, video call, etc);
    • postpone official travel in the country and abroad;
    • implement enhanced hygienic measures at facilities.
Trade and hospitality
  • Price control imposed for essential basic foodstuffs, protective equipment and disinfectants. Prices can only be raised within the limits of the annual inflation rate.
  • Export ban on flour, oil, sugar and sanitizers.
  • Export ban on medications until 15 April 2020.
  • Limitation on purchases of protective equipment (10 masks/protective gloves per person) and disinfectants (2 large packs/5 small packs per person).
Monetary measures
  • National Bank of Serbia reduced reference interest rate to 1.75%.
Capital investment measures
  • Serbian Prime Minister announced that the Government will allocate additional EUR 200 million for capital investments.
Financial aid
  • One-off aid in the amount of RSD 4,000 (cca. EUR 34) to retirees.
  • Interest-free three-month moratorium on payment of utility bills for retirees.
  • 10 % salary increase for healthcare sector starting from 1 April 2020.
Other relevant measures
  • Healthcare facilities will only accept emergency cases.
  • All election campaign activities are suspended.
  • All public institutions serving citizens at counters closed.
  • All identity documents of Serbian citizens (ID cards, passports, driver’s licenses, vehicle permits and weapon certificates) will be considered valid during state of emergency even if they expire. The Ministry of Internal Affairs will be issuing new traffic permits only for new vehicles and in case of transfer of vehicle.

Montenegro

  • No registered cases.
Health measures
  • Montenegrin nationals and foreigners with temporary or permanent residence in Montenegro have to be isolated in their homes upon entry into the country. Their health condition and that of their household members is monitored for 14 days.
Movement of people
  • Ban on entry to Montenegro for foreigner nationals, except for foreigners with temporary or permanent residence and cargo drivers.
  • Ban on international road, rail and airplane public passenger transport until 31 March 2020. Entry of permitted persons to Montenegro possible only by private vehicles.
  • The following activities are banned:
    • Student excursions and similar travel abroad;
    • Gatherings in indoor and outdoor public places (public gatherings and events, such as sports, political, religious, cultural and artistic events; private gatherings, ceremonies and events);
    • Visits to hospitals and social and child-care institutions;
    • Visits to prisons except for attorneys and court-appointed experts;
    • Travels from Montenegro to Italy, Spain, South Korea, Iran, China (Hubei area), France, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark are banned. Travels for Montenegrin citizens to Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, and Austria are banned.
    • Limited number of people allowed on the premises of state administrative bodies which serve citizens at counters to one person per counter.

Recommendations

  • Owners, managers and lessees of space in large retail chains and retail shops should implement measures aimed at preventing gatherings in confined areas. Consumers and visitors are advised to avoid crowds and gatherings in those areas.
Air traffic
  • Prohibition of charter flights to and from Montenegro by the company “Freebird Airlines” until 19 March.
Road traffic
  • The following border crossings are closed for passengers:
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Scepan Polje – Hum, on the Pluzine – Foca road; Šula – Vitina, on the road Pljevlja – Foca;
    • Republic of Albania: Potter – Baskim, on the Plav – Shkoder road; Sukobin – Muricani on the Ulcinj – Skadar road;
    • Republic of Croatia: Kobila – Vitina, on the Herceg Novi – Vitina – Dubrovnik road,
    • Republic of Serbia: Ranče – Jabuka, on the road Pljevlja – Prijepolje; Vuče – Godova on the Rožaje – Tutin road.
  • Transport of goods is not banned, but special health and sanitary measures are taken at the borders.
Railway/waterway traffic
  • Entry ban for cruisers and yachts to ports: Bar, Budva, Kotor, Kumbor Port – Portonovi, Tivat (Gat I and Gat II) and Zelenika, until 2 April 2020.
Courts
  • Court hearings postponed, except in employment and family law cases, until 30 March 2020.
  • Judges of the Higher Courts to decide which non-ugent hearings will be held.
Universities/schools/kinder-gardens
  • Closed for at least 15 days, starting from 16 March 2020.
Employment
  • During the shut-down of schools and kinder-gardens, one parent of a child not older than 11 years of age is entitled to a paid leave from work, with the exception of healthcare employees, and employees in certain state institutions. State has not undertaken to refund the employers.
  • Recommendation to employers to organize remote work where possible.
Trade and hospitality
  • The following is banned until 30 March 2020:
    • on-premise consumption in hotels, except for hotel guests;
    • nightclubs, on-premise consumption outlets (except for food delivery), playrooms, fitness centres, casinos, betting and gaming outlets;
    • stands and on-premise consumption outlets in malls;
    • a limited number of customers can be present in a shop at once (one customer per 10 sqm and no more than 50 customers at the same time (100 in markets);
    • retail outlets have to ensure that there is at least 2-meter distance between two customers in a line and they are obliged to publish a notice on the maximum number of people permitted on the premises at the same time.
Tax
  • The Government initiated procedure to remove excise on medical alcohol sold in pharmacies.
Trade
  • Market inspections will monitor whether there is price abuse with respect to basic food products, hygiene products, drugs and medical devices.
Other relevant measures
  • Personal ID documents issued after 2008 which have expired will be deemed valid.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • 25 confirmed cases (Republika Srpska 20; Federation B&H 5).
  • Federation B&H and Republika Srpska declared emergency situation.
Health measures
  • All Bosnian citizens coming from abroad to be isolated for 14 days.
Movement of people
  • Ban on entry to Bosnia and Herzegovina for foreign citizens coming from the areas with intensive transmission of virus coronas, especially from: Provinces of the PRC (Wuhan), South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, France, Romania, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium.

Republika Srpska

  • Ban on public gatherings, including sport events.
  • All sport activities for children under 15 are cancelled.

Federation B&H

  • Suspension of cultural and sports events, including trainings.
  • Employees of health institutions not to leave Federation B&H.
Air traffic
  • No restrictions.
Road traffic
  • Closure of border crossings with Serbia:
    • Mali Zvornik (in the area of BP BiH BPU Zvornik) and IBCP Brasina – railway station inside the territory of Serbia (in the area of BiH IBCP Zvornik – railway border crossing point);
    • Priboj (in the area of BP BiH GP BPU Mokronozi) and Most in Carevo Polje (in the area of BiH – under the Agreement within IBCP Uvac;
    • Jamena – river (scaffolding) BCP (in the area of BP BiH BPU Donje Crnjelovo).
Railway/waterway traffic
  • Ban on certain inter-entity railway lines.
Universities/schools/kinder-gardens

Republika Srpska

  • Shut-down of schools and universities until 30 March 2020.
  • Kinder-gardens closed in Banja Luka.

Federation B&H

  • Shut-down of universities, schools and kinder-gardens for 15 days.
Work place

Federation B&H

  • Time spent in isolation or self-isolation is treated as sick leave. It will be paid by employer but will be refunded by the cantonal health fund within 45 days from the request for refund. Sick leave certificate can be issued in a state-run healthcare institution or in a private practice.
  • Recommendations for employers:
    • reduction working hours and organization of remote work if possible;
    • annual and other leaves to be allowed according to the law;
    • to allow leave to parents of children not older than 10 years (one parent per family); unclear whether paid or unpaid leave;
    • all business trips to be cancelled;
    • meetings with a larger number of participants to be cancelled, and if necessary, to be organized in large rooms ensuring with sufficient distance between participants (1-2 meters).
Trade and hospitality

Republika Srpska

  • Closure of night clubs, wedding places, fitness centers, and children playrooms.
  • All retail outlets in Banja Luka and in most other cities and municipalities (excluding those selling food products and other FMCG, pharmacies, hotel and hostels, gas stations) closed until 23 March 2020.
  • Restricted work hours for retail outlets selling food products (7 am -6 pm; 7 am – 10 pm for drugstores and bakeries).
Banking
  • The Government announced a guarantee fund to be established to provide guarantees to banks for working capital loans to the most affected sectors.
Price control
  • Price control on flour, all kinds of bread, pastries and other bakery products made from flour and cereals, milk and dairy products, eggs and egg products, sugar, salt for human consumption, rice, pasta, margarine, all kinds of fresh meat, fish and their processed products, fruits and vegetables, canned meat, canned fish, drinking water, edible oil, infant food, dietetic products, disposable diapers for children and adults, sanitary napkins, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, soap, disinfectants for water, facilities and hands (including concentrated alcohol), toilet paper, toothpaste, protective overalls and other protective and medical clothing and footwear, goggles and visors, safety gloves, shoe covers, surgical protective masks, face shields FFP2 and FFP3 and linen and other laundry for the healthcare system.
IRBRS supporting measures
  • Three-month moratorium, starting on 1 April 2020, for loans granted by Investment-Development Bank of Republika Srpska.
Tax

Federation B&H

  • Deadline for submission of tax returns due by the end of March extended until 15 April 2020.
  • Recommendation to taxpayers to submit requests for reduction of advance corporate income tax payments in accordance with Article 52, paragraph 4, point c) of the Income Tax Act which provides a monthly advance tax to be reduced upon request of a taxpayer in the case of natural or other disaster significantly affecting taxpayer’s business.
  • Tax Administration of the Federation of B&H instructed to accept taxpayers’ requests for debt rescheduling.
  • Lump-sum tax applicable to private entrepreneurs to be reduced.

 


Note: Dear readers, you will appreciate that the governmental measures we report on are not always clear and straightforward. We give our best to interpret them properly. However, this CORONA-19 Update is not a legal advice and we do not undertake any responsibility to the readers for accurateness of information and interpretations reported here.

For more detailed information and advice, you can contact us at covid-19@bdkadvokati.com

Cart Item Removed. Undo
  • No products in the cart.