22.12.2020

Government approves new measures for protection against Covid-19 pandemic

51st Government Meeting

Prishtina, 22 December 2020

At the request of the Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti, and in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Government, a corresponding / electronic meeting was held today, the 51st meeting of the Government, in which the decision on general and specific measures for protection against Covid-19 pandemic was reviewed and approved.
Based on the recommendations provided by NIPHK, evaluated by the Committee for coordination and assessment of the emergency situation with coronavirus COVID-19, to take the necessary measures to prevent, manage and control COVID-19 infection in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo, taking into account the provisions of the Law on Preventing and Combating Covid-19 Pandemics in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo, according to the recommendation of the NIPHK, measures and obligations of institutions are proposed for the implementation of general and specific measures for protection against Covid-19 pandemic.

I. MEASURES FOR THE ENTIRE TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO
Entries of foreign and local citizens in Kosovo
1. Foreign citizens entering 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.
2. The exceptions to point 1 above are:
2.1. If a foreign citizen enters Kosovo via an airport or land border crossing point and leaves Kosovo within 3 hours via an airport or land border crossing point, provided that he/she signs a statement at the entrance that he/she will leave Kosovo within 3 hours;
2.2. Foreign citizens working as professional transporters (drivers), provided they adhere to the international transport protocol for protection against COVID-19;
2.3. Foreign citizens passing through Kosovo by organized bus or regular international transit line, provided that they sign a statement that they will leave the territory of Kosovo within 5 hours;
2.4. Foreign diplomats accredited in Kosovo and their families;
3. All citizens of Kosovo (including those residing in another country), upon entering Kosovo, must present a certificate for a negative RT-PCR test done no later than 72 hours before entering Kosovo, otherwise they will have to self-isolate for 7 days.
4. Exception to point 3 above are citizens of Kosovo (including those residing in another country) who have left Kosovo in the last 24 hours.
5. Municipalities are obliged to provide technical medical teams of MFMC (Main Family Medicine Centres) which, with the support of the Kosovo Police, examine the passengers entering the border crossing points: Merdare, Vermica, Kulla, Hani i Elezit, Jarinja, Dheu i Bardhë and PIA “Adem Jashari”, including primarily temperature measurement.

Organizing the work of public institutions and private organizations/businesses
6. Public institutions and private organizations/businesses, without exception, are obliged to monitor the health status of staff on a daily basis in accordance with the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”, including mandatory temperature measurement for all when entering the facilities.
7. As long as this does not affect the performance of the services and tasks of the institutions, public institutions are instructed to work only with essential staff.
8. Employees with chronic diseases (according to the official circular issued by the Ministry of Health prepared for this purpose), pregnant women and breastfeeding women are exempted from appearing at work, both in public and private institutions, while employers are instructed to create, to the extent possible, conditions for their engagement in work from home.
9. Public and private institutions are obliged to keep hand sanitizers and face masks in accessible places at the entrance to the facility, which can be used by employees of the institution and visitors.
10. Public and private institutions are obliged to place visible signs at the entrance of each facility on the rules of conduct for protection from COVID-19 (including the sign prohibiting entry into the facility without masks, the obligation to respect the social distance, etc.) in accordance with the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”.
11. Relevant officers of public institutions, private enterprises and any other entity, are obliged to take strict measures to prevent the spread of infection within their institutions, carrying out continuous disinfection and taking all necessary measures in accordance with the “Manual for protection against the spread of Covid-19”.
12. All public (central and local) institutions as well as organizations, businesses and private entities, without exception, are prohibited from organizing any ceremonials for the end of the year.

Organizing the educational process
13The educational process in pre-university institutions, public and private, for the second half of the year begins on 18 January 2021 and is organized according to the plan of the Ministry of Education and Science.
14. The educational process in all higher education institutions, public and private, is organized according to the curriculum of relevant institutions in the online form, except for exams, practical and laboratory work which must be organized in accordance with the recommendations of NIPHK and MoH.
15. The activities of public and private kindergartens continue according to the assessment and supervision of the municipal authorities, based on the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”, including daily measurement of the temperature of children and staff upon entering the facilities.
16. Dormitories and students’ cafeteria operate in accordance with the Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19.
17. All educational institutions at all levels of education, public and private, are prohibited from organizing extracurricular activities, such as excursions, group trips, various parties for teachers and students, etc.

Organization of municipal emergency headquarters and municipal health services
18. Municipalities are required to have a fully activated municipal emergency headquarters to monitor the implementation of measures, the health status of COVID-19 infected citizens and other issues, as well as to coordinate with the relevant central level.
19. Municipal emergency headquarters, the Directorates of Health and the MCFMs are required to monitor and provide the necessary health services for at least 2 weeks for persons infected with COVID-19 and will report daily to the RCPH-NIPHK.
20. Municipalities are obliged to provide home health services for all chronically ill patients and for persons over 65 years of age.
21. Municipalities are required, in cooperation with the Kosovo Police, to provide technical medical teams to conduct routine examinations of foreign and local citizens entering the territory of Kosovo, as set forth in point 4 above in this decision.

Measures for persons over 65 years of age
22. Persons over the age of 65 are allowed to leave the house from 6:00 to 10:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00, while beyond this time they have the right to get out only for urgent and health needs by proving with relevant document the need to go out beyond this time to the competent control authority.
23. The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, in accordance with the situation created and the recommendations of NIPHK and MoH, is instructed to exempt all beneficiaries of social and pension schemes managed by MLSW from regularly appearing at the relevant offices for recording purposes, as required by relevant laws.
24. MCFMs provide all health and social services as well as regular health examinations to citizens staying in nursing homes.

Measures for public activities
25. Gathering of citizens in a number of more than 4 people in public squares, parks, public places, winter and similar recreational centres is prohibited, except for the cases allowed by this decision.
26. All public gatherings in public spaces of all forms are prohibited, except for the cases allowed by this decision.
27. Seminars and workshops of all public and private institutions are prohibited.
28. It is forbidden to organize weddings and family parties.
29. Religious ceremonies and activities are prohibited, except with the participation of the immediate family.
30. Exceptions to point 29 above are special religious ceremonies organized with the special approval of the Ministry of Health based on the recommendations of the NIPH.

Measures for business activities
31. The activity of public car and livestock markets is prohibited.
32. Slaughter of animals is allowed only in premises authorized for this purpose.
33. It is allowed to perform the following activities (according to NACE codes determined by KBRA – Ministry of Trade and Industry):
33.1. Health sector,
33.2. Security and justice sector,
33.3. Public sector (central and municipal administration),
33.4. Production sector,
33.5. Agriculture and livestock sector,
33.6. Construction sector,
33.7. Transportation of goods,
33.8. Food product sector,
33.9. Services/distribution sector.

II. SPECIFIC MEASURES BY MUNICIPALITIES
34. Municipalities are categorized into three groups based on the risk of spreading the infection:
34.1. Low risk municipalities – up to 75 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants within a week (categorized in green),
34.2. Medium risk municipalities – from 76 to 150 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants within a week (categorized in yellow),
34.3. High risk municipalities – over 150 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants within a week (categorized in red).
35. Every week, every Friday, NIPH and MoH publish the figures of infected by municipalities and categorize municipalities according to the level of risk described in the above point.

36. Measures for low-risk municipalities (up to 75 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants within a week):
36.1. Economic operators are allowed to work from 05:00 to 20:00,
36.2. Shopping centres are allowed to operate from 05:00 to 20:00,
36.3. Hotel and gastronomic services are allowed to work from 05:00 to 20:00, while after 20:00 they work with the “take away” and “delivery” services”,
36.4. Public transport is allowed to operate using up to 50% of capacity, respecting the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”,
36.5. Taxis are allowed to work with one (1) passenger in the back seat or up to three (3) if they are family members, in compliance with the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”,
36.6. Institutions subordinated to the MCYS and municipalities (such as theatres, libraries, philharmonic, galleries, ensembles, ballets, cinemas, youth centres, museums, cultural centres with groups, etc.) are allowed to work only until 20:00 using 30% of the space/area of the respective facilities, for all activities (both in performances and exercises), respecting the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”,
36.7. Indoor and outdoor sports activities are allowed, where up to 20 people can participate during indoor exercises, while up to 50 people can participate during the competition, based on domestic and international sports protocols as well as on the basis of the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”,
36.8. Gyms and indoor pools are allowed for individual recreational activities using only 40% of the space/area, in compliance with the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”,
36.9. Notwithstanding points 36.6, 36.7 and 36.8 above, the Ministry of Health is empowered to make operational decisions based on NIPH recommendations to ban these activities.

37. Measures for medium risk municipalities (from 76 to 150 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants within a week):
37.1. Economic operators are allowed to work from 05:00 to 20:00.
37.2. Shopping centres are allowed to operate from 05:00 to 20:00.
37.3. Catering and gastronomic activities are allowed to work from 05:00 to 20:00, while after 20:00 they work with the “take away” and “delivery” services”.
37.4. All public and private institutions are advised to reduce the number of employees based on their specifics and the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”;
37.5. Public transport is allowed to operate at 50% capacity, respecting the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”;
37.6. Taxis are allowed to work with one (1) passenger in the back seat or three (3) if they are family members, respecting the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”;
37.7. Institutions subordinated to the MCYS and municipalities (such as theatres, libraries, philharmonic, galleries, ensembles, ballets, cinemas, youth centres, museums, cultural centres with groups, etc.) are allowed to work only until 20:00 using 30% of the space/area of the respective facilities, for all activities (both in performances and exercises), respecting the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”,
37.8. Indoor and outdoor sports activities are allowed, where up to 20 people can participate during indoor training, while up to 50 people can participate during the competition, based on domestic and international sports protocols and based on the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”,
37.9. Gyms and indoor pools are allowed for individual recreational activities using only 40% of the space/area, in compliance with the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”.
37.10. Notwithstanding points 37.7, 37.8 and 37.9 above, the Ministry of Health is empowered to make operational decisions based on NIPH recommendations to ban these activities.

38. Measures for high risk municipalities (over 150 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants within a week:
38.1. It is prohibited for citizens to move outside their houses/apartments from 20:00 to 05:00, except for urgent and health needs documented in an appropriate manner, excluding from this measure health staff, security staff, judiciary staff and similar, and workers of economic operators who are provided with special circulation permits;
38.2. Entries and exits of citizens and cars in the territory of the respective municipality from 20:00 to 05:00 are prohibited, except for:
38.2.1. Health staff, security staff, judiciary staff and similar,
38.2.2. Citizens for medical needs, production, supply and sale of basic goods (food, medicines for humans and animals and poultry),
38.2.3. Economic operators and transport of goods/services to ensure the functioning of the supply chain,
38.2.4. Construction companies,
38.2.5. Operators performing public works.
38.3. Economic operators are allowed to work from 05:00 to 20:00.
38.4 Shopping centres are allowed to work from 05:00 to 20:00.
38.5. Hotel and gastronomic services are allowed to work from 05:00 to 20:00, while after 20:00 they work only with the “delivery” service”.
38.6. Public and private institutions are obliged to work only with essential staff, which staff is determined by the decision of each institution separately;
38.7. Public transport is allowed to operate at 50% capacity, in compliance with the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”;
38.8. Taxis are allowed to work with one (1) passenger in the back seat or three (3) if they are family members, respecting the “Manual for protection against the spread of Covid-19”;
38.9. Institutions subordinate to MCYS and municipalities (such as theatres, libraries, philharmonics, galleries, ensembles, ballets, cinemas, youth centres, museums, cultural centres with groups, etc.) are allowed to work only until 20:00 using up to 30% space/area of relevant facilities for all activities (both in performances and in exercises), respecting the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”,
38.10. Indoor and outdoor sports activities are allowed, where up to 20 people can participate during indoor training, while up to 50 people can participate during the competition, based on domestic and international sports protocols, as well as on the basis of the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”,
38.11. Gyms and indoor pools are allowed for individual recreational activities using only 40% of the space/area, in compliance with the “Manual for protection against the spread of COVID-19”.
38.12. Notwithstanding points 38.9, 38.10 and 38.11 above, the Ministry of Health is empowered to make operational decisions based on NIPH recommendations to ban these activities.

III. OBLIGATIONS OF INSTITUTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF MEASURES
39. The Minister of Health is obliged to issue instructions for clarifying the points of this decision, if necessary.
40. 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).
41. The Minister of Health, UHCSK and NIPH 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.
42. The Minister 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.
43. The Kosovo Police and responsible inspectorates are obliged to monitor the implementation of measures and other decisions for the implementation of Law No. 07/L-006 on Preventing and Combating COVID-19 pandemics in the Territory of the Republic of Kosovo.
44. For violators of measures, the competent authorities are obliged to impose punitive measures in accordance with Law No. 07/L-006 on Preventing and Combating COVID-19 pandemics in the Territory of the Republic of Kosovo and other applicable laws.
45. The only authority that can interpret this decision is the Ministry of Health, while any other institution can provide clarifications to the appropriate groups affected by this decision only after the approval of this clarification by the Ministry of Health.
46. The Ministry of Health is obliged to publish on its official website the Circular regarding chronic diseases, for which persons according to point 8 of this decision are exempted from appearing at work.
47. Government Decision No. 01/42 dated 11.11.2020 is hereby repealed.
48. The decision enters into force on 23.12.2020, at 05:00, and is valid until another decision is made.