27 March 2020
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Covid-19 outbreak: Montenegro enters the lion’s den – obsolete*

The COVID-19 pandemic has finally caught up with the last bastion of Europe: Montenegro.  While no state of emergency is in place, Montenegrin authorities have adopted a series of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.  Accordingly, the Ministry of Health of Montenegro issued the Order for Measures to Prevent the Introduction into the Country, Combat, and Prevent the Transmission of the New Coronavirus (“Order”).


Movement restrictions

Pursuant to the Order:

  • international passenger transport is suspended, except for the arrival of Montenegrin citizens, notified through diplomatic missions and consular posts to the Operational Headquarters of the National Coordinating Body for Infectious Diseases, along with compulsory quarantine accommodation in accordance with the resolution of the health and sanitary inspection;
  • intercity passenger transport is prohibited, except for passenger vehicles providing services essential to the transport of goods, supply and delivery of medicines, emergency medical care, utilities, fuel and electricity supply, transport of employees, return of persons who were away from their place of residence i.e. permanent residence, to their place of residence;
  • socializing is limited to groups of two persons in public spaces (sidewalks, squares, streets, parks, promenades, beaches etc.)
  • it is forbidden to leave the premises from 7 in the afternoon until 5 in the morning on working days. Movement is also prohibited on Saturdays from 1 in the afternoon to Monday to 5 in the morning.
  • it is also forbidden to stay in public areas from 5 in the morning until 7 in the evening, for children under the age of 12, without the presence of one parent, guardian, adoptive parent, or other adult members of the household, with the duty to observe the prescribed distance from other persons at least two meters. These measures do not apply to persons carrying out regular work tasks (healthcare workers, firefighters, soldiers, police officers and others);
  • finally, it is forbidden to gather in apartments with persons who are not members of the household.


Employment measures

Medical doctors may, at the request of an employee, extend a certificate declaring him/her temporarily unfit for work by up to 30 days (as determined by the selected team of doctors or the employee’s primary care doctor), or extend – up to 30 April 2020 – a certificate declaring them temporarily unfit for work for 30 days or more (determined by the competent medical committee).


Occupational health and safety measures

Legal entities and private individuals carrying on construction work are required to organize work in a way that ensures compliance with epidemiological measures, in particular with social distancing measures for employees and other occupational health and safety measures.


Restriction of working hours for certain facilities

Pharmacies, retailers and wholesalers of food, drink and hygiene products, specialized stores selling baby equipment, construction materials, plant protection products and planting materials, animal feed and medicines, agricultural machinery and funeral equipment, are required to organize working hours from 8 am to 18 pm.  The exception to this rule are home deliveries, which may be made during the working hours displayed by the trader, in accordance with the laws.


Owners/lessees of newsstands are required to organize working hours from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., in two shifts of four hours per each employee.


Expired vehicle registration certificates and residency permits to remain valid

Road traffic authorities are to treat expired vehicle registration certificates as valid if the driver, in addition to the expired certificate, is in possession of a valid insurance policy and roadworthiness certificate.


State bodies, state administration bodies, bodies of local self-government and local government, companies, public institutions and other legal entities, entrepreneurs and private individuals are required to treat permanent residency permits, temporary residency permits, and temporary residency and work permits for foreign nationals that have expired as valid, based on which foreign nationals exercise their rights or discharge their obligations in dealings with those bodies.


No fees for online certificates

A fee moratorium (to the sum of EUR 2) applies to citizens who have ordered birth certificates and citizenship certificates through the portal www.dokumenta.me.


Temporary, but binding nature of the measures

The measures are temporary  in nature and will take effect 15 days from the date of entry into force of the Order, which enters into force on March 25, save for the measure regarding extension of certificates of temporary unfitness to work.  Those failing to comply with of the foregoing measures may be found criminal liability under the Criminal Code of Montenegro for the crime of failing to comply with health regulations to control a dangerous infectious disease and the crime of serious criminal offences against public health.


For more information, please contact us via covid19@geciclaw.com