What is COVID-19 and how to prevent it's spreading
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of virus, with symptoms which include
fever, chills, a dry cough and shortness of breath. In addition, any of the following symptoms may also be present: a sore throat, muscle pain, a runny nose and fatigue.
To avoid the spread of the virus, make sure you:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water. Use hand sanitiser if you do not have access to water.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (not your hands) when sneezing or coughing.
- Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces to reduce the risk of spreading germs.
- Avoid large gatherings and crowded places.
- Avoid inessential travel, including non-essential use of public transport.
In case you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, especially:
- if you are experiencing a fever with a temperature of 38°C or above, as well as a rapid onset of cough or shortness of breath
- if you have been in close contact in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms with someone confirmed to have or suspected of having COVID-19 infection, or traveled to to the places with a high risk, you should immediately contact your nearest ambulance.
Who to call if you have COVID-19 symptoms
If you notice any of those symptoms, here is a list of contact numbers of epidemiological services in different Sarajevo municipalities:
Stari Grad: 033 278-624 / 060 328 04 54
Centar: 060 328 02 17
Novo Sarajevo: 061 165 219
Novi Grad: 033 704 937 / 062 274 217
Ilidža: 062 842 265 / 033 625 859
Hadžići: 033 580 360 / 033 421 247 / 060 353 03 04
Vogošća: 033 432 518
Ilijaš: 033 584 350 / 033 584 352
Trnovo: 033 439 047
Public Health Center of the Sarajevo Canton: 062 842 318
If you have any of the above symptoms or are concerned that you have been exposed to Covid-19 virus, do not go to ER or a hospital but call the number relevant to the municipality in which you are residing. Hotel visitors should check with the hotel for the relevant number.
The BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that an emergency contact telephone number and email address are available to all BiH citizens at home and abroad, as well as to foreigners residing in BiH, in connection with the coronary virus pandemic.
In case of any questions, citizens can call +387 33 281 309 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traveling during COVID-19
In response to the current coronavirus outbreak, the BiH government has advised against all inessential travel, at this moment.
As many countries, Bosnia have travel restrictions in place and international visitors should check their own government's guidelines for advice before any essential travel.
BiH Council of Ministers' decision bans foreigners from countries with intense virus coronary transmission, including: China (Wuhan province), South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, France, Romania, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium.
As of March 16, all BiH citizens who arrive from abroad will go to isolation for 14 days.
Flights to Sarajevo International Airport and international bus lines
All visitors should check plans before traveling, as from Monday, 30 March 2020, all passenger air traffic in Bosnia and Herzegovina was temporarily suspended as one of the prevention measures in the fight against Covid19.
In addition to Sarajevo International Airport, passenger air traffic was also suspended in airports in Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla.
All airports will remain open for humanitarian flights and cargo traffic.
All passengers who have already purchased tickets can contact the airlines to exercise their rights.
Passenger air traffic is expected to be normalized upon the end of the fight with Covid19.
As for flights into and out of the Sarajevo International Airport, these companies have stopped offering the following services until further notice at following order:
- Austrian Airlines canceled all flights from Vienna to Sarajevo and vice versa from March 19.
- Croatia Airlines canceled all morning and night flights to and from Zagreb.
- Germany's Lufthansa suspends flights from Munich to Sarajevo and vice versa from March 29.
- WizzAir canceled all flights to and from Tuzla International Airport until April 5.
- FlyBosnia has temporarily suspended all flights to and from Rome.
- Aegean Airlines suspended all planned flights between Athens and Sarajevo in the summer flight schedule.
- Qatar Airway suspended all flights between Doha and Sarajevo from March 21 until May 1.
- Turkish Airlines will suspend all flights between Istanbul and Sarajevo from March 27 until further notice.
Centrotrans Eurolines company also suspended all international bus lines from March 16 to 31.
In case of necessary travel contact the embassies or consulates of the countries you intend to travel to or the airline you intend to fly with.
You can find the contacts of the foreign embassies and consulates in our country at the following link.
Airlines' contacts are at the following link: https://www.sia.ba/Page/Aviokompanije
Procedure at the airport
The Federal Office of Inspection has put in place a thermal camera that allows the detection of high-temperature passengers.
In cooperation with the airport staff, space was provided for temporary isolation of persons with fever until the arrival of epidemiologists and doctors.
All passengers arriving at the airport will be served with a 14-days isolation decision.
Current situation in Sarajevo
The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina has declared a state of emergency in the country effective March 17 until further notice.
At present (April 10, 2020), 859 people have been infected with coronavirus in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
If you found yourself in Sarajevo during this situation, please note that all events and mass gatherings have been canceled in Sarajevo and self-isolation is recommended.
As of Sunday, March 29, the decision to ban movement on the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is one of the measures in the fight against the pandemic COVID-19, has been lined up with daylight saving time.
Thus, the new police curfew, prohibiting all movement has been moved to the new time frame - from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am.
Adequate measures must be observed at all times including mandatory wearing of medical masks, cotton straps or scarves over the mouth and nose, as well as maintaining a distance of at least one and a half meters between two people.
Anyone who violates the prohibition of movement risks being fined 500 KM.
An order was passed banning all public and private gatherings of more than 20 people.
Schools and kindergartens were suspended, and many activities were canceled until further notice. Please note that some attractions, all pubs, cinemas, museums, theaters, Zoo Pioneer Valley, sports and recreation centers are also temporarily closed.
In addition to the ban of public gatherings and events, hospitality facilities such as pizzerias, pastry shops, cafeterias, fast-foods, as well as bet shops, hookah bars, coffee bars, clubs, tea shops, cafes, hairdressing and beauty salons and playrooms are all to be closed until further notice.
Exempted from the order are restaurants serving food preparation and delivery, as well as soup kitchens, while restaurants in hotels can remain open only to service the guests of the hotels.
Supermarkets, grocery stores and bakeries will all remain open, as well as pharmacies and gas stations. The working hours of the mentioned has not been amended. The customers are to remain at least 1.5 meters from each other and follow all other hygienic and epidemiological measures.