Montenegro Marks Rise in COVID-19 Cases as Tourists Arrive
Tourists taking photos of a ship in the Boka Kotorska bay, Montenegro. Photo: BIRN/Samir Kajosevic
The head of the Institute for Public Health, Igor Galic, on Wednesday said the epidemiological situation in Montenegro is complex, and the number of new infections could increase in the next weeks.
"The number of new cases in the last 14 days per 100,000 residents is 134, while two weeks ago it was 50. Some towns have seen even greater growth, especially in the coastal parts of the country," Galic said in parliament.
"An increase in the number of COVID-19 infections is to be expected given the number of tourists staying in the country," he added.
Under current health measures, entry into Montenegro without a negative PCR test or vaccination validation is allowed to all nationals of EU and regional countries, as well as Israel, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Trying to rescue the tourism-dependent economy, Health Minister Jelena Borovinic Bojovic said on May 12 that Montenegro would provide hospital treatment to all tourists who catch the coronavirus during their stay in the country, adding that their hospitalization costs would be covered by the state. Montenegro also provides PCR tests to those tourists who need it to return to their home countries.
On July 26, the Minister of Economic Development, Jakov Milatovic, said that 140,000 tourists were registered in Montenegro, noting that more than 1.9 million people crossed Montenegro's borders in the previous three months.
In an attempt to control the pandemic, the Health Ministry has prohibited indoor public gatherings, music festivals nightclubs and discotheques until August 2.
The ministry announced that a national COVID-19 certificate will be activated from August, and...