28.05.2021

14th meeting of the Government of Kosovo

Prishtina, 28 May 2021

The Government of the Republic of Kosovo, led by Prime Minister Albin Kurti, held its 14th meeting, whereby approved decisions under its scope of constitutional and legal responsibilities.

The first item that received the approval of the Government was the decision through which the Government, in accordance with the Conclusion No. 08-P-16 dated 17.05.2021 of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, issues its opinion on the legislative initiative for the Draft-Law on amending and supplementing the Law on Vehicles. With the legislative initiative of this Decision it has been determined that the draft-law must be analysed in details in order to address the recommendation given, harmonize it with the applicable legislation of the Republic of Kosovo and amend one of its Articles, in order to lift the obligation of homologation for new vehicles that possess a conformity certificate.

Also, the Government Cabinet approved the Decision for the establishment of the Inter-Institutional Working Group for Reviewing the Security Strategy 2021-2030 of the Republic of Kosovo, with the following composition:

1.1. Security Advisor of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo – Chairperson;
1.2. Representative of the Kosovo Security Council Secretariat– Deputy Chairperson;
1.3. Representative of the Strategic Planning Office in the Office of the Prime Minister – Member;
1.4. Representative of the Office of the Prime Minister – Member;
1.5. Representative of the Office for European Integration in the Office of the Prime Minister – Member;
1.6 Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora – Member;
1.7. Representative from the Ministry of Defence – Member;
1.8. Representative from the Ministry of Justice – Member;
1.9. Representative from the Ministry of Finances, Labour and Transfers – Member;
1.10. Representative from the Ministry of Economy – Member;
1.11. Representative from the Ministry of Internal Affairs – Member;
1.12. Representative from the Ministry of Health – Member;
1.13. Representative from the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and innovation – Member;
1.14. Representative from the Ministry for Communities and Return – Member;
1.15. Representative from the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure – Member;
1.16. Representative from the Kosovo Intelligence Agency – Member;
1.17. Representative from KSF – Member;
1.18. Representative of the General Directorate of the Kosovo Police – Member;
1.19. Representative of the General Directorate of Kosovo Customs – Member;
1.20. Representative of the Emergency Management Agency – Member;

Representatives from the Presidency of the Republic of Kosovo and Committee on Security and Defense Affairs are also invited to the Working Group. Furthermore, Non-Government Organizations, International Organizations, foreign Embassies operating in Kosovo, along with other local and international experts may be invited in the capacity of observers and experts to the working group. Based on working needs and for implementation of obligations foreseen under this Decision, the Chairperson of the Working Group may also invite other experts and representatives. The Kosovo Security Council’s Secretariat will be in charge of administrative support and coordination of the drafting process for the Security Strategy of the Republic of Kosovo.

Furthermore, the Government issued a decision on general and specific measures for controlling, preventing and fighting COVID-19 pandemics, which will enter into force as of 31st of May.

A. [Territorial application]

1. This decision applies to the entire territory of the Republic of Kosovo.

B. [[Entrances and exits of foreign citizens from the Republic of Kosovo]]

2. Foreign nationals entering the Republic of Kosovo, including those with temporary or permanent residence permits in Kosovo, coming from high-risk countries according to the official ECDC list, must have a negative RT-PCR test for COVID-19 done in the last 72 hours, based on the principle of reciprocity.
3. The following are exceptions from point 2:
3.1. If the foreign citizen enters Kosovo through the airport or through land border crossing points and leaves Kosovo within three (3) hours through the airport or land border crossing points, provided that at the entrance they sign the declaration that he will leave Kosovo within three (3) hours;
3.2. Foreign nationals working as professional transporters (drivers), provided that they comply with the international transport protocol for protection against COVID-19;
3.3. Foreign citizens passing through Kosovo through organized transport by bus or regular international line, transit, provided that a declaration is signed that they will leave the territory of Kosovo within five (5) hours;
3.4. Foreign diplomats accredited in Kosovo and their families.
3.5. Persons who have evidence of taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
3.6. Persons with a positive serum antibody test result -IgG issued no later than thirty (30) days prior to arrival.

4. Entry into the Republic of Kosovo is prohibited for persons coming from India, Brazil and South Africa.
4.1 Citizens of the Republic of Kosovo who come from India, Brazil and South Africa must be quarantined in their homes (place of residence) for fourteen (14) days being tested twice a week.
4.2. Point 4.1 does not apply to citizens of the Republic of Kosovo who stay in transit (less than 48 hours) in the countries defined in point 4.1 of this decision
4.3. Foreign diplomats are excluded from the scope of point 4 of this decision.

C. [Protection and safety at work]

5. Pregnant women are exempt from the obligation to be physically present at work. Public or private employers are instructed to give them the opportunity to work from home.
Ç. [General protection and hygiene measures]

6. Public and private institutions and other entities are obliged to keep hand sanitizers and face masks in accessible places at the entrance of the building and indoors.

7. Public and private institutions and other entities are obliged to place visible signs of the rules of conduct for protection from Covid-19 at the entrance of each facility (including the sign prohibiting entry to the facility without masks, respecting the distance).

8. Officials of public and private institutions and other entities are obliged to carry out disinfection and ventilation of enclosed spaces.

9. Wearing a mask covering the nose and mouth is mandatory, in all cases except:
9.1 When walking only outdoors;
9.2 While driving the vehicle alone or in a group with no more than four (4) persons;
9.3 When running, cycling and exercising;
9.4 While eating or drinking.

D. [Education institutions]

10. Public and private institutions of all levels of education continue teaching according to the relevant guidelines for the education sector.

11. Dormitories are allowed to work according to the “one student–one room” rule.

12. All public and private institutions of all levels of education are prohibited from organizing extracurricular activities, such as excursions, group walks, and various parties of teaching staff or students.

Dh. [Showing up for social and pension schemes]

13. The Ministry of Finance, Labour and Transfers is instructed to release all beneficiaries of social and pension schemes managed by the MFLT from regular submission to the relevant offices for recording purposes as required by the relevant laws.

E. [Restriction of public and private gatherings]

14. Indoor gatherings are allowed up to fifty (50) persons (meetings, seminars, trainings) provided that the physical distance over 1.5 meters between persons is respected.

14.1 Meetings of the Assembly and the Government are allowed regardless of the number of persons.

15. Gatherings in open spaces are allowed up to one hundred (100) persons, provided that the physical distance over 1.5 meters is respected.

15.1 Outdoor gatherings of special public interest with over one hundred (100) persons need to be approved by the Ministry of Health/Emergency Operations Centre, with the recommendation of NIPHK.

16. Organization of parties is prohibited until 15 June 2021, and after this date, there will be a re-evaluation of this point based on the epidemiological situation.

17. Holding a reception for consolation is allowed by ensuring that participants wear masks and respect the distance of 1.5 meters, as well as strictly adhering to the relevant instruction.

Ë. [Contact Restrictions]

18. From 00:00h to 05:00h, the gathering of more than ten (10) persons is prohibited.

F. [Shopping malls and other economic operators]

19. The activity of shopping centres is allowed according to the relevant instruction.

All operators who have wholesale and retail trade as their economic activity are obliged to set the maximum number of customers in the premises, while respecting the rule – 1 person per 8 m2. These operators are obliged to write at the entrance the maximum number of allowed customers inside at the same time. The area is calculated for the area where customers are allowed to stay.

G. [Work with parties]

21. The responsible person of the public or private institution and of the economic operators is obliged to stop queues or gathering inside and outside the work/business environment unless they keep a physical distance of at least 1.5 meters from other groups of persons.

Gj. [Gastronomy]

22. Gastronomy services are allowed to conduct their activity in accordance with the relevant guideline. Up to 50 clients are allowed per 100 m2 (5 persons per 10 m2). The surface area is calculated for the area where food and drinks are served.

23. Gastronomy services are allowed to conduct their activity from 05:00 to 23:00.

24. Music is allowed until 22:45.

25. Premises managers should ensure that customers keep one (1) meter distance from customers at different tables.

26. The back of one chair to the back of the other chair should have a one (1) meter distance.

27. Up to 4 people are allowed in the table indoors. In case the tables are bigger than two (2) meters, then the precondition is to use the space considering the capacity of five (5) people in 10 m2.

28. In the indoor spaces, food and beverage service is allowed only for guests who are sitting or standing on a table or counter;

29. Outdoor spaces are allowed up to six (6) persons at the table, counter or standing tables.

30. Each table should be equipped with disinfectants containing at least 60-70% alcohol.

31. Instructions should be placed in the outdoor areas of the premises regarding the information of the clients about the protocol of measures against COVID-19, which is published on the website of the Ministry of Health.

H. [Markets and slaughter of animals]

32. The activity of public markets of vehicles, animals and birds is allowed up to 40 percent of the capacity.

33. Slaughter of animals is allowed only in the premises authorized for this purpose.

I. [Public transport]

34. Public transport is allowed to operate using up to 50 percent of capacity and according to the relevant guideline.

35. Taxis are allowed to work with up to three (3) passengers.

J. [Theatres, libraries, etc.]

36. Theatres, libraries, philharmonics, galleries, ensembles, ballet, cinemas, youth centres, museums, cultural centres with groups or other similar institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and municipalities (such as and the like) are allowed to work using 50 percent of the space/area of the respective facilities for all activities (both in performances and exercises).

37. Responsible people of organizing cultural activities should ensure that guests wear masks and respect the 1.5 meters distance.

K. [Sports and recreation]

38. Training activities are allowed which must be carried out in accordance with local and international sports protocols.

39. Organization of sports competitions is allowed without the presence of the public in compliance with the protocols and recommendations of world organizations for the organization of sports events and the protective measures of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo.

40. The number of participants in the competition (athletes, clubs, officials, and other participants necessary for the development of the competition) is determined by the sports federations respecting the distance measure and other protective measures.

41. Competitive activities are allowed without the presence of the public, which must be carried out in accordance with local and international sports protocols.

42. The use of gyms, sport halls and the like for individual recreational activities are allowed according to the relevant guidelines.

43. The use of gyms, sport halls and the like is done in the proportion of 1 client in 8 m2.

44. Where possible, the maximum number of clients who can access gym facilities is set in the fitness/sport hall software.

45. The person in charge of gym/sport hall is obliged to take special care at the peak of the clients’ visit, i.e. between 17:00 – 20:00, to respect the distance specified in the guideline.

46. It is obligatory to place information signs and disinfectants (or other means for cleaning) on each gym facility for the purpose of raising awareness and so that they are disinfected by each client after use.

L. [Guidelines and clarifications]

47. The Ministry of Health is obliged to issue temporary, general and special guidelines for preventing and combating COVID-19, as follows:

47.1 Temporary Guideline for the application of general measures for preventing and combating COVID-19;
47.2 Temporary Guideline for the sector of personal services and businesses, industry, public administration and NGOs;
47.3 Temporary Guideline for educational institutions of all levels;
47.4 Temporary Guideline for gastronomy, hospitality, sales sector and shopping malls;
47.5 Temporary Guideline for religious gatherings, funerals, workshops and cultural activities;
47.6 Temporary Guideline for gyms, sport halls and other recreational and sports activities;
47.7 Temporary Guideline for public transport;
47.8 Temporary Guideline for health care institutions;
47.9 Temporary Guideline for civil aviation;
47.10 Temporary Guideline for correctional institutions, asylum centres and foreigner detention centres.

48. The guidelines referred to in point 47 are mandatory for all persons and sectors to which they apply.

49. The Ministry of Health is obliged to issue clarifications, when needed, on the points of this decision.

Ll. [Implementation]

50. The Minister of Health, KFVA and the Kosovo Police, in cooperation with the municipal emergency headquarters, are obliged to monitor the implementation of this decision and submit a weekly report to the Office of the Prime Minister (every Friday until 16:00).

51. The Ministry of Health, HUCSK and NIPHK are obliged to submit to the Office of the Prime Minister a weekly report (every Friday until 16:00) on the implementation of measures, the situation in health care institutions, the epidemiological situation and forecasts for the next two weeks.

52. 52. The Ministry of Health is obliged to, on the basis of Law No. 07/L-006 on Preventing and Combating COVID-19 Pandemics in the Territory of the Republic of Kosovo, issue operational decisions depending on the epidemiological situation and the recommendations of the NIPHK.

53. The Kosovo Police and responsible inspectorates are obliged to monitor the implementation of measures, other decisions and the relevant guidelines for the implementation of the Law No. 07/L-006 on Preventing and Combating COVID-19 Pandemics in the Territory of the Republic of Kosovo.

54. For violators of measures, the competent bodies are obliged to impose punitive measures in accordance with the Law No. 07/L-006 on Preventing and Combating COVID-19 Pandemics in the Territory of the Republic of Kosovo and other applicable laws.

55. The Ministry of Health is the only authority mandated to interpret this Decision, while other institutions may provide clarifications on the respective categories to which this Decision applies only after the approval of such clarification by the Ministry of Health.

M. [Repeal of Decision 01/07 and 02/11]

56. Government Decisions repealed: Decision No. 01/07 dated 18.04.2021 and Decision No. 02/11 dated 07.05.2021.

N. [Entry into force]

57. The Decision is to be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Kosovo and enters into force on 31.05.2021.

The measures taken under this decision are based on the following reasoning:

According to the report of the National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo, the epidemiological situation with COVID-19 in Kosovo is stable with the continuation of the decrease in the number of positive cases. The decrease of positive cases for the last two weeks compared to the previous two weeks marks a decrease of 67.08%.

In such a situation, referring to the current data on the epidemiological situation and the recommendations of the NIPHK, the Government imposes more relaxed measures that enable increased economic activity but at the same time aim to control the spread of infection.
The Ministry of Health has coordinated the decision-making with stakeholders affected directly or indirectly by the pandemic. The Government notes that these parties have exercised their right to democratic influence in decision-making, in accordance with Article 45.3 of the Constitution.

The easing of the measures was done by paying attention to three objectives:

– Preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection;
– Non-infringement of economic activities, but giving priority to preserving the life and health of the population;
– Preserving the mental and physical health of citizens.

The measures set out in this decision as well as the timelines serve to keep the epidemiological situation under control despite the optimistic epidemiological data in relation to COVID-19 infection.

The partial removal of restrictions is being done responsibly and with the necessary preparations to deal with an eventual situation of increasing of the number of infections, therefore, the change of the epidemiological situation consequently requires new decisions and measures in line with the new situation.
Therefore, based on the recommendations given by the NIPHK, line ministries, stakeholders and relevant experts, it was decided as in the provision of this decision.

Also, the Government of Kosovo has taken a decision on amending and supplementing the Decision No. 04/08 dated 21.4.2021 of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, through which point 1.4 of this decision is amended thereby appointing Mr. Bajram Miftari as Deputy Member for the subject, Constitutional Law, Organization of the Judicial System of Kosovo, Fundamentals of the European Union System and Human Rights, in the place of Mr. Hajrip Krasniqi.

In today’s meeting of the Government, the Minister of Finance, Labor and Transfers, has been authorized to approve transfers from the sub-program “Contingencies” to any other sub-program in Tables 3.1 and 4.1 for individual amounts required up to forty thousand Euro (40,000.00 €).

Also, the Government of Kosovo, by way of a decision, has established the Ministerial Commission for Public Enterprises, with the following members:

– Minister of Economy -Chairperson of the Commission;
– Minister of Finance, Labor and Transfers -Member;
– Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure -Member;
– Minister of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade -Member;
– Minister of Regional Development -Member;
The Strategy for Integrated Waste Management in Kosovo 2021-2030 and the Action Plan 2021-2023 have also received the approval of the government. This strategic document aims to achieve integrated and sustainable development of waste management which results in the preservation of public health, and the social and economic development of the country.

Also, the government cabinet has reviewed and approved the Report on the level of execution of international borrowing projects.

In this meeting, Prime Minister Kurti informed the government cabinet regarding the agreement reached between the Government of Kosovo and Pfizer for COVID-19 vaccines.

“We have good news. We have successfully completed negotiations for the arrival of vaccines in Kosovo, whereby we have bought vaccines from the manufacturer Pfizer and now, as a result of this, we will be able to carry out vaccination beyond priority groups and move towards our commitment to successfully complete the immunization of the population this year, respectively carry out the vaccination of 60% of the citizens of our country”, stated Prime Minister Kurti, congratulating the entire team of the Ministry of Health who have negotiated and have successfully concluded this agreement.