Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Health Alert Department of State

Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (17 July, 2020) 

Note:  These alerts will be sent each week. Visit our U.S. embassy COVID-19 webpage for updated information as it is released.

Location:  Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)

Event:  The Bosnian authorities confirmed nearly 7,700 cases of COVID-19 in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

Extension of Stay: The Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is no longer extending stays for foreign nationals and has begun to issue fines for non-residents who have remained in BiH for more than the 90-day limit. If your stay was extended due to COVID-19 you will be expected to leave the country as soon as possible. Please visit www.sps.gov.ba for more information.

  • The Border Police will impose a fine for each day of overstay past 90 days.
  • Non-residents who were issued a “humanitarian extension of stay” by the Bosnian authorities previously are currently exempt from overstay penalties until the deadline of their extension.

Public Gatherings:  Restaurant and cafes throughout the country are open, along with most other businesses.  There are still social distance restrictions and masks are required indoors and in public areas when social distancing is not possible. 

Travel: Sarajevo airport has reopened to passenger traffic. As airlines resume flights, changes and cancellations may occur. Check with individual carriers for more information.

Entry/Exit: BiH abolished self-isolation measures for those permitted entry. The BiH Council of Ministers has announced that citizens of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro may enter the country as of June 1. The most up-to-date entry information is available from the BiH Border Police.

Starting July 16, BiH borders are open for citizens and residents of European Union (EU) and Schengen countries with a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours (this does not apply to Croatian citizens).

There is still an entry ban for most non-resident foreign nationals, though some with special circumstances (e.g. For a business meeting, to a funeral, for medical treatment, or in the company of a BiH-citizen spouse) may enter. Special documentation and/or a negative COVID test may be required.

  • For the most up-to-date information, contact the Border Police of BiH directly by calling their Operations Center at +387 33 755 300.

Nations bordering BiH have decreased their border restrictions:

  • July 1, the EU opened its borders to some non-European Union residents. Re-open EU has up-to-date information.
  • Serbia: All COVID-19 related entry restrictions are lifted for both Serbian and foreign citizens. Visit the website of the Government of Serbia for additional information on these measures.
  • Croatia: U.S. citizens arriving to Croatia for tourism, business, urgent personal reasons, or educational purposes must present a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours (starting from the time of taking the swab until arrival at the border crossing).  If you have a test that is older than 48 hours, you will be allowed to enter Croatia, but you will be issued a self-isolation order and will have to be tested again locally, at your own expense.  Please direct questions regarding this new requirement to Croatian Ministry of Interior.
  • Montenegro: Borders have opened to foreign nationals with restrictions, including a negative PCR test for people entering from BiH. The government of Montenegro’s has an updated list here.

Consular Operations: The U.S Department of State began limiting its consular operations on March 17, 2020 as part of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please visit our website for additional information. Routine consular services (immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, notary services) are suspended. Limited U.S. passport and citizenship services overseas have resumed; in a critical situation, our embassy can assist with emergency services to U.S. citizens.

  • U.S. citizens in need of an emergency passport: email SarajevoACS@state.gov.
  • Those waiting for previously applied for a passport should expect significant delays receiving your passport.

Overseas Voting: U.S. citizens living overseas can vote absentee in their state’s upcoming election, no matter where they are. For additional information on registering to vote and potential changes to your state’s election due to COVID-19, visit Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) (FVAP.gov/COVID-19).

The Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued:

Social Distancing: The entity-level governments of the Federation and the Republika Srpska have implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Visit the webpages of the Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH’s Crisis Staff Headquarters for updated information. This is a fluid situation, between and within each entity. Please check with local government where you are, but general guidelines are below.

Curfew: Both the Federation and Republika Srpska have ended their curfews for individuals of all ages.

Actions to Take:

Assistance: