Albania lifts some Covid-19 restrictions

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 28, 2021 12:14

Albania lifts some Covid-19 restrictions

By Enxhi Begvarfaj

The Albanian Technical Committee of Experts announced today the easing of some of the restrictive measures in force, to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Starting from June 1st, masks won’t be needed outside, a restriction put in place since October of last year, while the curfew is reduced by one hour, starting from 11 PM to 6 AM. From July 1st and onwards, the movement restriction will start at midnight.

For the past 14 months, in Albania, there has been a steady decline in new cases affected by Covid-19, as well as in number of victims. Yesterday marked the first time since September 24th with 24 hours without any losses.

The two-week incidence has decreased from 35,000 per 100,000 cases, followed also by a decrease in the daily average of positive cases from 42 to 28. The number of municipalities presented with new cases is now 9. The same ratio of male to female infection continues, 48 to 52. The number of hospital admissions remains low. “It needs to be said that the sample positivity has dropped below 1%, 0.8% to be completely accurate” said the Director of the Institute of Public Health, Albana Fico, during a communication of the Technical Committee of Experts.

According to data from Wednesday, across the country there are only 819 cases still active. The significant improvement of the situation, as a consequence of the vaccination process, led to today’s decision to alleviate some of the restrictive measures.

Starting from June 1st, the obligation to maintain a protective barrier outside the premises is removed. Wearing a mask will still be required indoors, as well as on public transport. Police hours are postponed from 23:00 to 06:00 starting from June 15th, outdoor gatherings will increase from 10 to 50 people while still practicing social distancing, in compliance with IPH protocol. “If the situation remains under control, the curfew will be extended to 24:00 – 06:00 starting from July 1st” said the Head of the Committee, Deputy Minister of Health, Mira Rakacolli.

Also from July 1st, sports activities will be allowed to be attended, but only with 30% of capacity. The same goes for theaters and cinemas. Same restrictions will apply from nightclubs and music, which will be banned after 22:00.

Authorities have called once again for the need to comply with the measures. “Despite the steady numbers during the last several weeks, the pandemic is not over, even the circulation density of the virus is low and the sample positivity remains below 1%, it is important to continue the implementation of the measures,” said Ms. Fico.

These calls, however, seem to be in vain, just as the easing of today’s measures seems to be merely a formalization of the everyday reality, as the number of people wearing masks nowadays is very low, and movement restrictions are ignored even by the authorities themselves.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 28, 2021 12:14