June 17, 2020 - The Union of Medical Doctors of Montenegro (SDMCG), Action for Human Rights (AHR) and the Center for Civic Education (CCE) are calling on the Minister of Health and the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NKT) to allow entry into Montenegro without institutional quarantine to all persons with a negative PCR test, not just those who enter the country on private planes and yachts. Tourists will be required to bring a negative PCR test result that is not older than 48 hours, and Montenegrin citizens and residents will be able to be tested directly at the border.
AHR and CCE have previously pointed to discrimination regarding the fact that people are allowed to come to Montenegro on private planes and yachts from all countries, regardless of the infection rates, if they have a negative test not older than 48 hours, while this is not possible for those who want to enter the country in usual ways, for example, by car.
It is known that citizens and residents, coming from Serbia, are entering Montenegro through Bosnia and Herzegovina, without any quarantine or testing. Rumours are circulating that in this way several people who have been infected with the Covid virus have already entered the country -19 who were infected at a recent football match in Belgrade. We call on the authorities to confirm or refute these rumours.
Also, many people are entering Montenegro unhindered from Albania, although the scope of testing there is worryingly low, meaning that the numbers of people infected and the risk of importing the virus cannot be realistically assessed.
Given this, we believe that it is far more rational that, instead of there being a “narrow gateway” into Montenegro through Bosnia and Herzegovina with no testing or monitoring, everyone should be allowed to enter via the "large gateway", but with a negative test, not older than 48 hours, or indeed they should be given the opportunity to undergo a test at the border crossing. In the latter case the person would be obliged by the decision of the sanitary inspector to wait for the test result in self-isolation. Symptoms can be monitored by the Institute for Public Health (IPH) via an application they have developed and is already in use.
If the NKT and the Minister of Health believe otherwise, we expect them to inform the public of all the reasons behind their position in an open and considered manner. We also expect the Ombudsman to give a reasoned opinion on whether the orders of the Minister of Health are discriminatory or not.