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National Coordination Body adopts new methodology for further opening of Montenegro while maintaining recognisable policy of highest level of protection of citizens against coronavirus

National Coordination Body adopts new methodology for further opening of Montenegro while maintaining recognisable policy of highest level of protection of citizens against coronavirus
Published date 19.06.2020 20:00 | Author PR Service

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The National Coordination Body for Communicable Diseases, at today's session chaired by President Milutin Simović, made a strategic decision on further opening of Montenegro in accordance with maintaining our recognisable policy of the highest level of protection of citizens, foreigners living in our country and tourist and creating the preconditions for the normalisation of the economy affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

At the proposal of the Public Health Institute, a set of criteria was adopted to increase the accessibility of Montenegro, open our borders and enable unhindered international traffic with measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The new approach is based on the principles: 1: non-discrimination – the decision is made based on the person's residence or residence status, not their citizenship, 2: flexibility – the decision is made based on the epidemiological situation with high tolerance for transit through Montenegro, and 3: common and coordinated approach – Montenegro, as a leader of European integration, is implementing measures in communication and exchange of epidemiological data with the countries of the European Union and other candidate countries.

In accordance with the adopted principles, three lists of countries were formed depending on: the number of active and new coronavirus cases, the trend of the number of infected persons and the overall response of a country to a pandemic, taking into account available information on aspects such as testing, monitoring, contact tracing capacity, treatment and reporting.
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Countries whose residents can enter Montenegro without restrictions are: Algeria, Angola, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Brunei, Bulgaria, Bhutan, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, East Timor, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gambia, Cambodia, Ghana, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mexico, Myanmar, Monaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Norway, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Slovakia, Seychelles, Senegal, Slovenia, Somalia, South Korea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Saint Lucia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

The countries whose residents can enter Montenegro, if they present a negative PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 done by accredited laboratories, are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Turkey, Israel, Poland, Romania, Italy and Ukraine. The test must not be older than 48 hours.

The National Coordination Body specifically analyzed the epidemiological situation in Serbia. It was stated that the unhindered flow of people and goods is also a strategic policy of Montenegro, to which our country is sincerely committed and our economic interest and need. It was unanimously concluded that the decision to open to Serbia can be made only after the health outcome of the recent sports event in Belgrade is known, which allowed the presence of tens of thousands of spectators, which produced a high epidemiological risk.

Part of the new policy of opening Montenegro is today's decision to enable the arrival of tourists from epidemiologically safe parts of certain countries (principle of regionalisation) by charter flights with prior communication of tour operators with our competent authorities and bilateral agreement at the level of competent health institutions.

The restriction on the number of passengers of general aviation aircraft who are allowed to enter Montenegro has been lifted.

The same rules that apply to all passengers in terms of countries of which they are residents have been introduced for people who come to Montenegro by yacht.

In accordance with the recommendations of the European Commission, the Public Health Institute proposed, and the National Coordination Body accepted, the exclusion from the stated criteria of certain categories of persons necessary for the normal functioning of vital services and employees who represent a clear economic interest. Special conditions for entry and movement through Montenegro will be prescribed for:

1. Health workers, health researchers and scientists;
2. Persons who perform or provide transport of passengers and goods;
3. Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers in performing their functions
4. Certain categories of passengers in transit;
5. Persons in need of international protection or coming to Montenegro for other humanitarian reasons (the principle of non-refoulement is respected).

All of the above measures take effect on Sunday, 21 June at midnight.

The National Coordination Body specifically analyzed the overall development of the epidemiological situation in the region and beyond, as well as the number of new cases of infection in Montenegro. It was stated that the fact that epidemiological research on import routes and possible local transmission has not yet been completed is the reason why citizens, without exception, should fully adhere to all prescribed measures.

The results of epidemiological and security checks indicate that after almost thirty days in which there were no confirmed cases of infection in Montenegro, the virus was re-imported due to the irresponsibility of individuals. This has not only damaged public health, but also endangered our economy and the national interest of the state of Montenegro. Therefore, all competent institutions have an additional motive and obligation to continuously carry out the activities prescribed by law and prosecute individuals or groups who threaten to endanger all citizens with their irresponsible behaviour.

The Weekly Donation Report was adopted. Until 15 June 2020 at 09:00 a.m. total inflows amounted to EUR 8,025,177.90 while total outflows amounted to EUR 1,758,173.33. The account balance is EUR 6,267,004.57 while total dollar inflows is $ 75,971.72. There was no outflow. (Weekly outflow overview can be downloaded here).

PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO