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Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (June 19, 2020)
June 19, 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 3,300 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.

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 the Republika Srpska have ended their curfews for individuals of all ages.

Public Gatherings:  Restaurant and cafes throughout the country are open, along with most other businesses.  There are still social distance restrictions in many places and masks are required 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. 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 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:

  • 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: Borders are still closed to foreign nationals, with limited exceptions (including tourism when certain conditions are met). If you need to transit through or travel to Croatia, please review the Croatian Ministry of Interior Border Police Q&A to learn whether you are eligible to enter Croatia and contact them directly if you have further questions.
  • Montenegro: Borders have opened to foreign nationals with restrictions. 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. Routine U.S. passport and citizenship services overseas are also suspended; 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:

Actions to Take: