Charters to run almost every day from Ukraine to Montenegro
During the forthcoming season, Ukrainian tourists are to be arriving in Montenegro almost every day, it was announced after the first charter flight from Kiev landed at Tivat Airport with 153 passengers on board.
The Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Ukraine, owner of tour operator ALF and leader of around 40 travel agents who today came to visit Montenegro, Olga Oleksienko, said that she hoped that there would indeed be a summer season this year, at least when it comes to Ukrainian tourists.
"‘Welcome’... we have been waiting for those words for a very long time ...I myself have fallen in love with Montenegro, and I hope that there will be flights from various Ukrainian cities at least four times a week. "Agents also love your country, and after visiting it they will offer some really great deals for tourists," Oleksienko said.
She thanked the embassies of Montenegro and Ukraine, the Airports of Montenegro and the National Tourist Organization for the positive cooperation that resulted in today's flight and the impressive welcome given to passengers and tourist representatives.
NTO Director Željka Radak Kukavičić highlighted that the organization of the first charter flight and the agreement for those to follow is an expression of trust by the people of Ukraine towards institutions in Montenegro.
"We have proven to be responsible partners and their arrival in such large numbers leads us to expect that we will have a flight almost every day," said Radak Kukavićić.
Assistant Director of Commercial Policy at Airports of Montenegro, Aleksandar Mitrović, pointed out that during the entry checks of Ukrainian passengers, all the recommendations of the National Coordination Body, ie the Institute of Public Health, were followed.
"I must stress that all passengers arrived with a negative PCR test, in line with the required health procedures. The airports in Tivat and Podgorica have all the necessary equipment, from masks to disinfectant. In this way, we are showing that we are protecting the health of employees and citizens and instilling confidence in passengers who come to Montenegro," said Mitrović.
Ukrainian dispatcher Natalija Fijalka once again thanked the Montenegrin side for organizing the flight and welcoming the passengers, emphasizing that the Ukrainian people are increasingly interested in coming to Montenegro.
Last year, over 60,000 tourists from Ukraine stayed in Montenegro, spending a total of over 460,000 nights. Almost 89 thousand passengers from a total of 543 aircraft landed at Tivat Airport from Ukraine.
An internal investigation of the Ministry of the Interior is scrutinising actions of police officers on 24th June in Budva.
The Ministry of the Interior is suggesting that there were instances of police officers illegally exceeding their authority during the police intervention.
"The Department for Internal Police Investigation has established cases in relation to events during the police intervention on 24th June in Budva. These are based upon published recordings from electronic and other media that show cases of suspected illegal use of coercion or excess of authority by police officers against individuals," reads the response of the Ministry of the Interior submitted to Vijesti.
Several weeks of political tensions due to the change of government in Budva escalated on that day, when the police intervened on several occasions against the public and councilors of the Democrats, the Democratic Front, and the Socialist People's Party.
Several recordings were published in the media showing the excessive use of police force, especially against Đorđe Đurašević and Predrag Radetić, both from Budva.
During the police intervention, Đurašević was injured, and the footage shows the officer approaching him, and then shoving him, pulling him aside and pushing him onto a parked car. Throughout the day, the police threw tear gas at several locations, and patrols then surrounded the town and arrested individuals.
Footage shows police officers striking a man who was offering no resistance and who was standing with his hands raised; police then ran towards him and knocked him to the ground.
Police officers acted similarly in a cafe in Budva, where they attacked one individual who had been knocked to the floor.
Five days after the worrying scenes in Budva, the Minister of the Interior, Mevludin Nuhodžić, announced that certain cases of police intervention would be reviewed.
"If police officers are found to have exceeded their authority, they will be prosecuted in line with procedures," Nuhodžić said.
After the events in Budva, the opposition demanded the resignation of both the Minister of the Interior and the Director of Police, Veselin Veljović.
A session of the parliamentary Security Committee was held last Monday, and the deputies of the Democratic Front said after that that they were disappointed that the leaders of the Ministry of the Interior and the police had refused to accept responsibility for the events in Budva.
The police intervention in Budva is also the subject of an investigation by the Kotor Prosecutor's Office, to determine whether the police officers had committed abuse or other criminal offences during the intervention in Budva.
The Council for Civilian Oversight of Police also requested that the identity of those in uniform, shown in footage to be using excessive force, be clarified.
Investigations ongoing into abuse of Pljevlja citizens
The Department for Internal Police Investigation has not yet issued its verdict in the case of the use of coercive measures by police officers against Pljevlja citizen O.M. (21) in the riots on 13th May this year.
"The internal investigation into the case in question is ongoing," Vijesti was told.
The Council for Civilian Oversight of Police stated in the report that at least seven police officers used their hands, feet and batons to beat the individual, who offered no resistance, exceeding their authority and violating the rights of the 21-year-old.
Due to the abuse of the individual in question, the case is in the reconnaissance phase within the local prosecutor's office.
The twenty-one-year-old was beaten by police with equipment used for dispersing demonstrators during protests against the arrest of Bishop Ioaniki and a priest of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral.
The police actions were in this case recorded on camera.
The laboratories of the Institute of Public Health (IJZCG) have analysed 475 samples for the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, among which 47 results were positive.
These are patients from Rožaje (17), Podgorica (16), Tivat (5), Danilovgrad (2), Budva (1), Petnjica (1), Andrijevica (1), Bar (1), Herceg Novi (1), Cetinje (1), and Nikšić (1).
Of the 47 new cases, 28 are contacts of previously-confirmed cases, whereas the source of the infection is still being traced in 17 of the patients.
One death has been recorded, of a patient from Rožaje, born 1953. This is the thirteenth death since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. From 1st June a total of 339 cases have been registered, with four deaths and therefore 335 active cases," an IJZCG report states.
Active COVID-19 cases by municipality:
Bijelo Polje 19,
Herceg Novi 4,
54 COVID-19 Patients Hospitalized
54 people with Covid-19 have been hospitalized in Montenegro, of which 18 are currently at the Clinical Center of Montenegro.
The head of the crisis medical staff, Ranko Lazović, said that four patients were on oxygen, and one in a life-threatening condition on a respirator. He said that the health system has the situation under control.
Lazovic added that 86 medics are in self-isolation due to coronavirus.
He stated at the beginning of the conference that in the first wave of the epidemic all measures were adopted well. The first cluster in the second wave, as he said, was registered in Rozaje.
"Montenegro is small, (the virus) immediately spreads to neighboring municipalities. And the second cluster has its source in the football match attended by several irresponsible individuals, "said Lazović.
Lazović assessed that a large number of individuals adhere to the measures, but that one can also see non-compliance with orders and measures on a daily basis.
"We are forced to solve the consequences, we cannot solve the cause," Lazovic said.
He reiterated that the number of patients is increasing day by day.
High Fines for Non-Compliance with COVID-19 Non-Proliferation Measures
Legislation on Amendments to the Law on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases was published and has entered into force, which prescribes high fines for non-compliance with measures to protect against the spread of COVID19.
€ 2,000 - 20,000 for a legal entity,
€ 200 - 2,000 for the responsible person in the legal entity and
€ 350 - 6,000 for an entrepreneur if he/she:
Does not ensure respect for maintaining distancing measures
Does not provide the required personal protective equipment - masks, etc. to employees.
Allows a person without a protective mask to enter shops, restaurants, tourism facilities, casinos, craft shops, construction sites, public transport and employee transport, state administration bodies and local self-government, etc.
Does not disinfect a facility or vehicle.
In addition to the penalty for a violation, a legal entity and an entrepreneur may be imposed a protective measure of PROHIBITION of carrying out activities for up to six months.
Penalties for violating the counter- COVID-19 measure:
€ 100 - 2,000 for each individual if he/she:
Does not adhere to physical distance
Do not use a mask and other prescribed protective equipment
Enters the building without a protective mask, where it compulsory to do so
NKT Recommends Working from Home
The National Coordination Body recommends that public administration, companies and institutions organize work from home.
“In accordance with the current epidemiological situation, we recommend that state and local administration, public institutions and companies and organizations organize work from home as much as possible,” the NKT announced.
Counter-COVID-19 Measures in Sport
The National Coordination Body for the Fight against Infectious Diseases has adopted new measures in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which are related to the field of sports, the Montenegrin Football Federation (FSCG) announced.
After a long time, unfortunately, the coronavirus has caught up with sporting events, and not just football.
Basketball players, members of our national teams, who are preparing in Tivat and Bijelo Polje, have been tested for coronavirus.
The tests were also undergone by members of the professional staff of all three of the national teams - women's, men's youth and seniors, as only a few days ago they were in contact with the head of the association, who tested positive for Covid-19.
The test results are as yet unknown, although no-one has symptoms, and training is continuing as normal.
The basketball players have been on mini-summer preparations since 22nd June.
Sports competitions in Montenegro that are already underway are continuing for now, and the FSCG has announced new measures introduced by the National Coordination Body.
"All football clubs in Montenegro are obliged to organize training and competitive matches in accordance with the recommendations of the Institute of Public Health and in compliance with all measures adopted at the session of the National Coordination Body," the FSCG said.
The following measures related to sports were adopted at the NCT session:
- Training of professional, amateur and recreational athletes and sports competitions in indoor and outdoor sports facilities are organized without spectators.
- Compulsory disinfection of equipment used for training, competitions and tournaments, as well as items that are used jointly by athletes, in accordance with the recommendations of the Institute of Public Health.
- Respect for personal hygiene measures - regular hand hygiene, before and after any sporting activity.
Mobile Platform for Tracking Tourists
The government has decided to set up a mobile platform and web portal to monitor the movements of foreign tourists and the potential spread of the coronavirus in Montenegro.
The information that was adopted yesterday at the virtual session of Government states that the agreement on the establishment of the platform was signed by the representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, NTO, the Chamber of Commerce (PKCG) and the Institute of Public Health, reports Pobjeda.
The platform will cost 60,000 euros - of which the ministry will provide 40,000 euros, and ten thousand will be provided each by NTO and PKCG.
"The goal is to enable foreign tourists to feel safe and secure, isolate potential new hotspots in hotels and accommodation as soon as possible, to maintain records of locations where foreign tourists stay - relying in part on a monitoring system that has already been developed. It will also provide the representatives of the Institute of Public Health an easy way to contact all persons suspected of being infected in the event of a new outbreak, and for foreign tourists, regardless of language barriers, a centralized channel for reporting any observed anomalies, and where needed contact with the consular mission of their country," Government information states.
July 3, 2020 - The Government of Montenegro has decided to ban all large-scale festival events planned in Montenegro for this summer. It is stated that only low epidemiological risk events will be recommended.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days, the Kotor Children's Theater Festival, and part of the Podgorica Cultural Summer will not be held, the Government of Montenegro announced.
"In planning summer cultural events, we recommend consulting the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NCT), the Ministry of Culture or the Institute of Public Health," reads the Government's Twitter account. "Everything has stopped, but the children are still growing", is the motto of the 28th Kotor Children's Theater Festival, which was supposed to open last night in the Old Town.
"The decision to postpone the festival is difficult for all of us. In addition to protecting children's health, we need to preserve both culture and freedom of expression. It is a big challenge for us who are engaged in education and pedagogical work to approach children and young people in this situation. Due to the specific situation, we decided not to ask for sponsorship this year. Still, people applied themselves, "said the Director of the Kotor Children's Theater Festival, Petar Pejakovic, at the press conference, recalling that 65 programs were prepared in nine days.
"A large part of these programs, especially those related to art or educational work, is already in place or indeed ready, so the festival will start in a certain way. In the next week, more than half of these programs will be held, by way of exhibitions, literary evenings, educational programs and installations that have already been put in place," said Pejaković.
1 July, 2020 - The Tourist Organization of the Municipality of Tivat, in cooperation with "Morsko Dobro" has, as part of the project Green Destinations, nominated Tivat for the 2020 Top 100 Sustainable Destinations. The application process comprised several key steps. Namely, through the use of the Green Destinations platform, information had to be entered and reports made on the 15 criteria required, and a good practice example had to be given. Tivat Nature Reserve “Solila” was chosen as this example from Tivat Municipality, focussing on sustainable principles, problem solving, and creating a good environment for nature, tourists and the local community.
Some of the 15 criteria are: tourism policy - the destination must have a publicly available, long-term tourism policy or strategy related to environmental, aesthetic, social, cultural and economic issues, as well as issues of quality, health and safety. Air pollution - air pollution is adequately treated, and the effects of air pollution related to tourism are effectively controlled. Promotion of local products and services - the inclusion of local craftsmen, producers and service providers in the tourism chain in accordance with the principles of fair trade is supported; local and sustainable products that support nature, culture, local identity and the local economy are promoted. Sustainability Standards - Internationally recognized sustainability standards that comply with the GSTC criteria for tourism-related businesses are promoted by the destination or business sector.
Issues related to tangible and intangible cultural heritage, nature and landscape, waste treatment, etc are also included. The application for the 2020 Top 100 Sustainable Destinations was to be completed by 1st July, while feedback is expected on 1st September, and the official announcement of destinations on the final list will be made in October. Destinations selected for the Top 100 will also qualify for the Sustainable Destination Awards 2020, which will be presented at Global Green Days Destinations in the spring of 2021 in Bodrum, Turkey.
The Tourist Organization of Tivat would like to thank all the associates and colleagues from the following organisations and businesses who helped with the application and whose cooperation made it possible for Tivat to enter the TOP 100 sustainable destinations for 2020: The Secretariat for Investments, Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development, the Secretariat for Communal Affairs and Transport, the Secretariat for Tourism and Entrepreneurship, the Secretariat for Culture and Social Affairs, and the companies DOO "Komunalno" Tivat, Brand New Tivat, as well as the Protection and Rescue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, strategic partners Porto Montenegro and Luštica Bay and NGO Expeditio.
The Top 100 Sustainable Destinations competition is being held for the sixth time in a row and aims to present tourism stories and examples of good sustainable development practice from local and regional destinations as inspiring examples to others, both travel organizers and tourists.
Through reporting on a variety of Green Destinations criteria and also using their internet platform, destinations can work on strengthening tourism sustainability, avoiding mass tourism, and also help promote tourism, warning destinations of hidden dangers associated with tourism development.
By publishing an annual list and sharing good practices and success stories of destinations, Green Destinations aims to identify initiatives that make tourist destinations more sustainable, responsible and attractive from the point of view of the tourist experience.
Source: Radio Tivat, Zora Krstovic
In the last 24 hours, the Institute of Public Health laboratories completed the analysis of 190 samples for the new coronavirus, among which 28 results were positive. These are patients from Gusinje (12), Podgorica (10), Bar (4), Cetinje, and Bijelo Polje 1 each.
Of the 28 newly discovered, 18 were contacts of previously confirmed cases, while in ten patients the source of the infection is as yet unknown.
"There are 14 patients in the Clinical Center. Two of them are in critical condition. Seven patients are in Bar hospital. There are 18 patients in Berane, 2 of whom are in critical condition. This data should be a warning. Compared to the same day in the previous wave of infection, the number of patients is much higher now, and transmission is faster," says Dr. Eraković. He pointed out that the healthcare system is fully prepared.
Director of the Institute for Public Health, Dr. Boban Mugoša, warned that measures to curb the COVID-19 spread "must be obeyed."
"Persons in self-isolation must stay in isolation. We have provided so many recommendations, instructions, orders. If we adhere to that, our response to the infection will be effective. We are opening in line with European standards. Some European countries have not opened their borders to us, and that's fine, they can do whatever they think is correct. I was asked why we haven't opened borders to Serbia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. The answer is clear- every country assesses its capacities, its system, and how many tourists are allowed to come from every individual country," Dr. Mugoša said.
Dr. Mugoša recalled that events that carry a high epidemic risk had been banned. "Due to events that represented an epidemic explosion, we had to take such measures," Dr. Mugoša says. For now, sporting events will be banned.
Dr. Mugoša recalled they had prepared a set of measures for tourists who come to visit Montenegro. "Software to which a tourist will be connected will allow us to track them when they arrive in our country," he pointed out.
Speaking about measures, he said that health comes first. "We have two forms of risk - contagious disease and poverty. The lockdown we had previously cannot be applied anywhere. Under the present circumstances, we are using effective and well-planned measures and these will produce results only if we adhere to them, "Dr. Mugoša pointed out.
Although the EU Council decided yesterday to open the borders for the citizens of 14 countries outside the Union, each of the member states was allowed to decide on the issue independently. Austria remains closed to citizens of the Western Balkans, while Germany has decided to exclude four countries from the EU list, including Serbia.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexandar Schallenberg (OVP) said today that they were worried about the first steps towards opening borders to the Western Balkans and that the planned opening of borders was being withdrawn for Serbia, Montenegro, BiH, Kosovo, Albania, and Northern Macedonia. He also advised Austrian citizens not to travel to these countries and issued the highest warning, urging them to leave these countries if they had already arrived.
Germany announced today that it is easing the restrictions for the arrival of passengers from 11 countries that are not members of the European Union (EU), including Montenegro, the Associated Press agency reported.
Yesterday, the EU Council adopted recommendations on the gradual opening of EU borders for citizens of 14 countries from July 1, including Montenegro and Serbia. Still, Germany did not accept the complete list.
Montenegro remained on the list, whereas Serbia, Algeria, Morocco, and Rwanda were left out.
Sources: Institute of Public Health, Government of Montenegro, republicworld.com