Albania has decided to suspend its COVID-related curfew to allow residents to celebrate New Year’s Eve in public.
Deputy head of police Albert Dervishaj made the announcement on Friday where he unveiled also that the police will increase their presence to prevent crime and disruption, especially at border check points.
In Tirana, it is traditional to gather at Skanderbeg Square to ring in the new year with fireworks. Under the current anti-pandemic rules, however, Albanian residents cannot leave their homes between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Furthermore, indoor activities have a 50-people cap, while outdoor events are required to operate at 30% capacity.
The government’s decision comes shortly after the first two cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed in Albania.
Over December, Albania has seen an average of 300 new cases and two deaths per day due to the virus, as vaccination uptake lags.
Although curfew is lifted for New Year’s Eve, Dervishaj urged people to celebrate at home and avoid using fireworks.