From: Alice Taylor
New COVID Rules Enter Into Force Today in Albania

Today, those working in supermarkets, public administration, and shopping malls will be required to show their vaccination certificate to attend work.

Those that do not want to get vaccinated must present a negative PCR test every five days at their own expense.

These decisions were taken at the last meeting of the Technical Committee and are a response to the risk posed by Omicron and an attempt to increase stagnating vaccination rates.

In addition, any citizen over 18 can get a booster six months after their second dose. Anyone who has visited South Africa, Kenya, Angola, Zambia, Botswana, or Senegal in the last two weeks is banned from entering the country, except for residents and citizens who must quarantine for two weeks.

Curfew remains in place between 11 pm, and 6 am, and restrictions on entry continue. A vaccination passport must be provided to enter the country, a PCR test, a rapid test, or a certificate stating recovery from the virus in the last six months. Children under six are exempt from the rules.

Those who cannot comply are required to quarantine for ten days with a test at the end.

Family members are not allowed to visit hospitalized relatives, and masks are required inside all public spaces, including shops.

Gatherings over 50 people or over are prohibited, but cultural events and sporting events can take place with 30% of spectators.

COVID-19 cases remain low, but this is likely due to a low testing rate. The percentage of positive tests exceeds 11%, suggesting a moderately high level of community transmission.

Doctor Tritan Kalo said another concern is the prevalence of influenza, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19. He warned against citizens self-medicating with antibiotics which can cause issues when they are needed.