The Albanian government has imposed a mandatory two-week quarantine for those entering the country from Greece and North Macedonia. It means that those eligible to vote among the roughly 600,000 Albanians living in Greece are effectively banned from voting in the April 25 elections.
The decision was announced on Monday by Deputy Minister Mira Rakacolli in a meeting of the Technical Committee overseeing the pandemic.
She said the committee suggested the measure relying on last year’s analysis of coronavirus spread by emigrants entering the country from Greece on the Orthodox Easter.
“Our experience on last year’s Easter but also Christmas showed that the movement of people put the country in an aggravated epidemiological situation. We assess for a two-week quarantine to be imposed starting from tomorrow on those who enter [Albania] from North Macedonia and Greece,” Rakacolli stated.
On the Orthodox Easter, many Albanian emigrants travel to their families in Albania due to extended holidays and some to celebrate. This year, Easter falls on May 2, two weeks from now.
However, the implementation of the mandatory two-week quarantine started today, Tuesday, five days ahead of general elections in the country, and it will last until after Easter, May 3.
Also prevented from voting in these elections are the over 25,000 people infected with coronavirus, despite the violation of the Albanian Constitution and related decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHT), which guarantee the right to vote as a fundamental right of every citizen.