Event: 1) Deteriorating capacity to deal with Covid-19 patients, shortage of supplies, and unenforced safety measures result in one of the world’s highest per capita rates for new Covid-19 infections. 2) Limited ability of the U.S. Embassy in Pristina to assist in medical emergencies. 3) Additional restrictions on social gatherings.
If you plan to enter or depart Kosovo this summer, please read this entire Health Alert for important details. We understand the desire to visit family and friends, but we urge you to postpone or cancel travel to Kosovo this summer.
UPDATE 1: The unmitigated spread of Covid-19 in Kosovo, and throughout the region, has caused a deterioration of the country’s medical infrastructure. Some hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and have run out of supplies such as oxygen or lack the necessary staffing to properly monitor equipment and treat patients. The per capita rate of new infections has steadily climbed over the past few weeks and is now one of the highest in the world. Fatalities related to COVID-19 are on the rise. Furthermore, although social distancing measures and face masks are obligatory, the rules are openly flaunted in public places like restaurants, stores, and cafes.
UPDATE 2: U.S. citizens who traveled to Kosovo in contravention of the worldwide Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel, are increasingly contacting the Embassy for assistance when family members get infected. The staff of the U.S. Embassy in Pristina do not have access to an alternate medical facility. Although we do coordinate medical assistance and donations with ministries and institutions, we cannot assist individual patients who fall ill with Covid-19.
UPDATE 3: In addition to curfews from 2230-0500 throughout most of the country, the following activities were recently prohibited:
- Religious ceremonies and activities
- Public markets (green, vehicles and animals)
- Public gatherings, as well as private family parties
- Group cultural and sports activities (indoors and outdoors)
Outside of curfew hours, restaurants/cafes may function only in open spaces with a distance of 2meters between tables. Persons over the age of 65 and those with chronic diseases can go out in public from 0500-1000 and from 1800-2100.
Normal consular operations remain suspended due to COVID-19. Travelers with an immediate travel need and an expired passport, or a passport that expires in the next six months, may contact us at PristinaACS@state.gov to make an emergency appointment. All non-emergency services, including notarials, remain suspended until further notice.
– International air travel: The Pristina International Airport is open to all travelers; however, some U.S. citizens were denied boarding in the U.S. because they could not prove they are residents or citizens of Kosovo. Contact the airline before your trip to verify the requirements, or the Kosovo Embassy for clarification and assistance. Kosovo does not require a Covid-19 test, nor is there a mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
– EU travel and transit: Neither U.S. nor Kosovo citizens can enter the EU as of 28 June. This travel ban does not include passengers in transit, but each country has the right to institute further restrictions. Check with the airlines, airports, and the U.S. Embassies located in your transit to verify entry/exit requirements and be aware that they can change frequently and without warning. If you travel to Kosovo (or back to the U.S.) on vacation you should be prepared to stay for a long period of time in the event that the travel ban is extended to transiting passengers and flights are cancelled.
– Land borders: Kosovo’s land borders remain open without restrictions to passenger traffic entering Kosovo. The North Macedonian and Albanian borders are also open and there are no requirements for PCR tests or quarantine. Montenegro requires a negative PCR test and/or quarantine. Border guards have the authority to deny entry to travelers at their discretion. Check the entry/exit requirements for each country before crossing international land borders.
Note: RT-PCR (Covid-19) tests are not available upon request in Kosovo. Due to the limited capacity of the national lab, they currently are only available to those with severe symptoms; however, they are available to the public at several locations in Skopje for 60 Euro.
On March 31, the Department of State updated the Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel, due to the global impact of COVID-19.
On March 16, the United States Embassy in Pristina reduced staffing and operations, however, emergency consular services for U.S. citizens continue to be available. To apply for an emergency passport, or if you have any other urgent matter, contact PristinaACS@state.gov.
Actions to Take:
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC’s latest recommendations
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit our Embassy web page on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Kosovo.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the U.S.
- U.S. Embassy Pristina, Kosovo
+ (383) 38-5959-3000
- State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Kosovo Country Information
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.