A state of emergency has been declared in Serbia due to coronavirus, President Aleksandar Vucic announced.
The decision comes into effect on the date of publication in the Official Gazette (March 15), Vucic said at a press conference in Belgrade.
– Based on the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, I inform you that we have reached the decision on pronouncing a state of emergency in the territory of the entire Serbia – the president said at Palace Serbia after a meeting of the crisis group for the suppression of Covid-19 and the crisis group for removing the existing consequences of coronavirus and preventing potential ones.
Starting tomorrow, no schools, kindergartens, faculties, or gyms are open, Vucic announced.
As said, people over 65 need to stay at home, which will be inspected over the next three days.
The president said that there was a possibility of adopting a binding decision of having older people stay at home, if the violation of this measure amounts to 0.1-0.2%.
When it comes to Serbian citizens, Vucic said that they can't be banned from re-entering Serbia and that everyone coming back is first put into a 14-day quarantine, whereas those who come from coronavirus hotspots have to spend 28 days in quarantine, regardless of whether they exhibit the symptoms.
Foreign residents are banned from entering Serbia.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on RTS that private companies would remain open in the next period.
– The government intends to close everything except for stores and pharmacies, but it can't be done because of the Constitution. That is why a decision was reached to have everything closed at 8 pm – Brnabic said.
– Everyone who can work from home should, and those who can't, which is not the case with most sectors, except for the production ones, need to take all the protective measures, as many companies have already done – she added.
Let us remind that the Ministry of Health of Serbia announced on March 15 that a total of 48 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection had been registered up to that point.
State of emergency in Belgrade
The emergency group of the City of Belgrade reached the decision on the evening of March 15 to declare a state of emergency in the territory of Belgrade in line with the Defense Law and the decision on declaring a state of emergency by the president of the state, the president of the National Assembly and the prime minister.
As said, several orders have been issued which should contribute to preventing, suppressing and ending the Covid-19 epidemic in the territory of the city of Belgrade:
– The Secretariat for Public Transport has been ordered to reduce the volume of public transport in the territory of the City of Belgrade from Tuesday, March 17, 2020, while canceling all the night lines.
– The Secretariat for Education and Child Protection has been ordered to close all preschool institutions in Belgrade.
– The Secretariat for Economy has been ordered to carry out the order whereby restaurants, cafes, bars and other similar facilities may be open between 8 am and 8 pm from Monday, March 16, 2020. No more than 50 people can be inside these facilities at any moment.
– The Secretariat for Welfare has been ordered to close daycare centers and clubs for adults and the elderly.
– The Secretariat for Sports and Youth has been ordered to close all sports facilities in Belgrade.
– The head of the City Administration has been ordered to enable people with severe chronic illnesses and people over 60 to work from home.
– The Secretariat for Defense, States of Emergency, Communication and Coordination with Citizens has been ordered to adapt the operations of the Belgrade Call Center to the end of providing information that can help citizens and to coordinate its operations with municipal groups for states of emergency and municipal call centers. The purpose of founding these centers is to organize help for the oldest fellow citizens, such as the delivery of food and medical drugs to their home addresses and organizing medical help.
– The Secretariat for Municipal Police and the Secretariat for Inspection Affairs have been ordered to increase the supervision of all indoors facilities with a capacity of over 50 people, in line with the decision adopted by the government on March 15.
– The emergency group of the City of Belgrade has ordered all the heads of municipal emergency groups in Belgrade to activate civil protection commissioners and their deputies for protection and rescue activities, Beoinfo reports.