From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Coronavirus in Albania: When and How to Self-Quarantine

The Albanian government has enforced self-quarantine for anyone who has travelled from Italy or Greece recently. This means that anyone who has returned in the last two weeks needs to isolate themselves at home for a further two week period.

The government has announced that anyone found to be breaking the rule is subject to a penalty of up to EUR 5000 under the Law on the Spread of Infectious Diseases.

Tomorrow morning, the State Police and the Army will be deployed throughout the country to check whether citizens have recently come back from Italy or Greece, and to ascertain why they are not in quarantine.

Activities that have been banned include social and cultural activities, sporting events, concerts, conferences, teaching excursions, and job interviews. Schools, universities, and kindergartens have been closed as have gyms, sports centres, swimming pools, internet cafes and other entertainment centres. A number of nightclubs, live music venues and large bars have been closed and restaurants and cafes have been ordered to respect a minimum distance between tables of 2 metres and 1 metre respectively.

All public institutions providing reception services at counters will cease and measures will be taken to limit contact in Post Offices.

These measures are in force until at least 3 April 2020.

For those that have travelled from an area outlined as high-risk by the government, these are the precautions you should take for self-quarantine. Failure to do so can result in a penalty.

  • Remain in your home for the entire duration of the quarantine period.
  • Do not bring visitors into your home.
  • Limit contact with family members or people you share the home with.
  • Limit contact with pets as there is a chance the infection could be zoonotic.
  • If you need medical assistance, do not leave the house, instead, call 127 and follow instructions.
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue that you immediately discard.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitizer regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
  • Do not share household items such as cups, cutlery, towels or bedding.
  • Clean surfaces regularly including doorknobs with an antibacterial spray.
  • Clean your phone, keyboard, tablets and other items regularly with antibacterial spray.
  • Keep a window open to allow a steady flow of air.

The Ministry of Health has asked citizens not to go out of their homes unless they need to. Unnecessary trips including shopping or socialising are advised against.

The reason for such measures is to contain any further spread of the virus throughout the country.