7th Meeting of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo

Prishtina, 18 April 2021

The Government of the Republic of Kosovo, led by Prime Minister Albin Kurti, held its regular meeting, the seventh in a row, in which it has taken a decision on the approval of general and special measures to control, prevent and combat the COVID-19 pandemic, throughout the territory of the Republic of Kosovo, and has adopted several decisions from the areas of its constitutional and legal responsibilities.

The first decision that was approved at today’s meeting of the Government was the one on general and special measures to control, prevent and combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision adopted at today’s meeting of the Government of Kosovo includes the following measures:

1. This decision applies to the entire territory of 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 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 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 5 hours;
3.4. Foreign diplomats accredited in Kosovo and their families
3.5. Persons who have evidence of taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

4. In public and private institutions and other entities, only essential staff should be present at work. Essential staff are considered to be workers whose physical presence in the workplace is necessary for the performance of work duties.

5. Relevant heads in public and private institutions and other entities are obliged to define the essential staff in cooperation with the employees.

6. Public and private employers are instructed to create the conditions for the performance of work from home for employees who are not essential staff for the needs of the employer.

7. All pregnant employees should be relieved of the obligation to be present at work, giving them the opportunity to work from home.

8. 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.

9. 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).

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

11. Wearing a mask covering the nose and mouth is mandatory, in all cases except:

11.1. When driving alone or with close family members;
11.2. When running and cycling;
11.3. When walking outside residential areas and not in groups with more than 4 people of the same family.

12. The movement of citizens shall be restricted from 22:30 to 05:00, except:

12.1. Cases of an emergency nature (to seek medical help, purchase medication, provide care or medical assistance, avoid injury, or escape the risk of injury).
12.2. Circulation for health, safety personnel, and operators performing public works and services.
12.3. Economic operators that ensure the functioning of the supply chain (including the transport of goods/services), but provided that they are provided with a special permit from the EDI system of the Tax Administration of Kosovo.

13. Employers are obliged to ensure that their employees subject to the restriction from point 12 have enough time to travel to and from their homes.

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

15. Dormitories are allowed to work according to rule of one student in a room.

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

17. 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..

18. All gatherings with high risk of spreading the infection, with more than 30 people (meetings, seminars, trainings) are prohibited. Regardless of the number of persons, holding a reception for consolation / sound and organizing weddings is prohibited.

19. Exceptions from point 18, are meetings of the Assembly of Kosovo, meetings of the Government, or meetings of special public interest, which are allowed regardless of the number of persons.

20. Funerals are allowed only with the participation of close family, not more than 30 people.

21. The activity of shopping malls is allowed according to the relevant guideline.

22. All operators who have wholesale and retail trade for economic activities are obliged to determine the maximum number of customers in the premises at the same time according to the rule – 1 person per 8 m2. These operators are obliged to mark at the entrance the maximum number of allowed customers at the same time. The area is accounted for the area where customers are allowed to stay.

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

24. Gastronomy services are allowed to conduct their activity in accordance with the relevant guideline. Up to 40 clients are allowed per 100 m2 (4 persons per 10 m2). The surface area is calculated for the area where food and drinks are served.

25. The environment shall be configured so that customers sitting at different tables are separated by ensuring a distance of at least 1 meter between chairs/seats.

26. Customers shall stay seated at all times in any premises of the economic operator in which food or beverage service is permitted except:

26.1. When entering or leaving the premises of the economic operator;
26.2. While paying the order;
26.3. When going to or returning from the toilet;
26.4 When necessary for health and safety purposes.

27. If an outdoor area where food and drinks are served is covered by a roof, tent, or other static element, at least two full sides of the entire area shall be open to the outside and shall not be significantly blocked by any wall or other impenetrable physical barrier.

28. If the outdoor area where food and drinks are served is equipped with a movable roof and the roof is retracted, the roof and at least one full side of the outdoor dining area shall be left open.

29. The “delivery” service is allowed to operate even after 22:30, after being provided with a special permit by the EDI system (TAK).

30. In hotels, after 22:30, the service of drinks and food is allowed even in the area designated for eating and drinking, only for the guests of these entities, who are verified through the list that shows the persons staying for accommodation and that is provided by the relevant entity.

31. The activity of public markets of vehicles, animals and birds is allowed up to 40 per cent of the capacity.

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

33. Public transport is allowed to operate using up to 50 per cent of capacity and according to the relevant guideline.

34. Taxis are allowed to work with 1 passenger in the back seat or 3 passengers in the back seats if they are family members.

35. Institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and municipalities (such as theatres, libraries, philharmonics, galleries, ensembles, ballet, cinemas, youth centres, museums, cultural centres with groups and the like) are allowed to work using 30 per cent of the space/area of the respective facilities for all activities (both in performances and exercises).

36. Sports activities are allowed without the presence of the public, which shall be carried out in accordance with local and international sports protocols.

37. Using gyms, sport halls and the like for individual recreational activities according to the relevant guideline is allowed.

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

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

40. 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.

41. 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.

42. The Ministry of Health is obliged to issue temporary, general and special guidelines for preventing and combating COVID-19, as follows:
42.1 Temporary Guideline for the application of general measures for preventing and combating COVID-19;
42.2 Temporary Guideline for the sector of personal services and businesses, industry, public administration and NGOs;
42.3 Temporary Guideline for educational institutions of all levels;
42.4 Temporary Guideline for gastronomy, hospitality, sales sector and shopping malls;
42.5 Temporary Guideline for religious gatherings, funerals, workshops and cultural activities;
42.6 Temporary Guideline for gyms, sport halls and other recreational and sports activities;
42.7 Temporary Guideline for public transport;
42.8 Temporary Guideline for health care institutions;
42.9 Temporary Guideline for civil aviation;
42.10 Temporary Guideline for correctional institutions, asylum centres and foreigner detention centres.

43. The guidelines referred to in point 42 are mandatory for all persons and sectors to which they apply.

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

45. 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).

46. 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.

47. 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 NIPH.

48. 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.

49. 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.

50. 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.

51. Government Decision No. 01/05 dated 05.04.2021 is hereby repealed.

52. The Decision enters into force on the day of publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Kosovo and shall remain valid until another decision is made.

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

Referring to the latest report of the National Institute of Public Health, from 13 March 2020 to 16 April 2021, the number of confirmed cases with COVID-19 is:
– positive: 101.153
– deaths: 2.061

In such a situation of endangerment of the public health, measures are necessary to control, prevent and combat the COVID-19 pandemic according to the recommendations of the NIPHK and experts. Carefully monitoring the epidemiological situation, paying particular attention to the number of new infections, deaths, infrastructure capacities and human resources in health, the Government sets out measures that simultaneously aim to prevent and control the spread of infection and minimize damage to the economy.

The Ministry of Health has coordinated the decision-making with stakeholders who have been directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic. The Government notes that these stakeholders have exercised their right to democratic influence in decision-making, in accordance with Article 45.3 of the Constitution.

The measures were taken paying attention to three objectives:
– Preventing the spread of the disease and not compromising hospital capacities;
– To the extent possible, not compromising the economic activities, but giving priority to preserving the life and health of the population;
– Preserving 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. Should the epidemiological situation change, new decisions and measures taken in line with the new situation are not ruled out.

Consequently, based on the recommendations given by the NIPHK, line ministries, stakeholders and relevant experts, it was decided as in the enacting clause of this Decision.

Also, the government cabinet has approved the decision on the Authorization of the Minister of Health to supplement – amend the Administrative Instruction (Health) No. 01/2015 Marketing Authorization for Medicinal Products avoiding the procedures set out in Regulation No. 09/2011 of Rules and Procedure of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo and Regulation No. 13/2013 on Government Legal Service. Approval of this draft decision will pave the way for the negotiation of immunization products with various international manufacturers.

During this meeting, the government cabinet has reviewed and approved the Draft Administrative Instruction on amending and supplementing the Administrative Instruction No. 03/2016 on Special Measures for Registration of Joint Immovable Property on Behalf of Both Spouses. The purpose of this administrative instruction is to amend Article 9 of the basic administrative instruction No.03/2016 to stimulate the registration of joint immovable property on behalf of both spouses, in public registers, as an affirmative measure that promotes gender equality. In this sense, the Administrative Instruction No.03/2016 will be extended for 2021.

The Government Cabinet today approved the decision which confirms the will of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo for further proceedings in the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo for review of some Government decisions.

In this meeting, the Government Cabinet has approved the decision to amend and supplement the Government Decision No. 01/69 of 15 March 2021, by which point 1 of Decision No. 01/69, dated 15 March 2021 is amended, so that the name “for the Guardians” is replaced with the name: “for the Correctional Service Personnel of Kosovo”.