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14 Apr 2020 | 01:05 PM UTC

Albania: Authorities announce amendment of domestic travel restrictions as of April 13 /update 9

Albania announces the amendment of domestic travel restrictions as of April 13 amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic; follow government directives

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Event

On Monday, April 13, Albanian authorities announced relaxed curfew hours during weekdays, while weekend lockdown restrictions have been extended amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. During weekdays, the Albanian government will allow individuals longer to shop and conduct business in public areas: individuals are now able to leave their homes for 90 minutes between the hours of 05:00 and 17:30 (local time) to visit shops, banks, and pharmacies after receiving permission via an app. During the weekends, the lockdown will be extended from Friday evening to Monday morning. Previous restrictions were from Friday evening to around lunchtime on Saturday.

Additionally, drones are now being used by the police to spot anyone leaving their homes during lockdown hours.

As of Tuesday, April 14, 467 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Albania, as well as 23 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.