The worldwide pandemic of the COVID-19 has forced governments to undertake actions in order to fight the rapid spread of this infectious disease. Since March 15, 2020, Serbian authorities have been imposing various kinds of measures for the purpose of protecting its citizens and preventing the spread of the COVID-19.
The measures that affect daily life and work-related activities the most are the ones concerning the limitation and prohibition of movement. The first order imposing full lockdown to the elderly and partial lockdown to other citizens was rendered on 18 March 2020 and has been amended several times since.
The latest update concerning lockdown is contained in the Order on Limitation and Prohibition of Movement on the Territory of the Republic of Serbia rendered on 2 April 2020 by the Minister of Interior with Minster of Health’s consent and which entered into force on the following day (henceforth: the Order).
In accordance with the latest, as well as all previous orders concerning lockdown, movement outside living space is prohibited at all times to persons older than 65 in settlements with more than 5,000 inhabitants, as well as to persons older than 70 in settlements with 5,000 or fewer inhabitants. The amendment from the latest Order concerns the time when the said prohibition does not apply. Namely, the period when elder citizens are allowed to leave their living space has been changed to Saturdays from 4 AM to 7 AM.
With regard to other persons, the prohibition of movement from 5 PM to 5 AM remains in force on working days. However, the Order introduced full lockdown during the weekend, i.e. prohibition of movement to all persons from 1 PM on Saturdays to 5 AM on Mondays starting from 4 April 2020.
The exception from lockdown has been made for pet owners, who are allowed to take their pets for a 20-minute walk from 23 PM to 1 AM every day and from 8 to 10 AM on Sundays, whilst not going further than 200 meters from their homes.
Finally, the Order imposes one new limitation with regard to the period when movement in public places is allowed. Namely, outside the lockdown period, it is prohibited to move in groups consisting of more than two persons, with the exception of parents with children. Further, funerals can be attended by up to 10 persons, whilst they must keep the distance of a minimum of 2 meters between them.
The violation of described prohibitions implies both criminal responsibilities in accordance with the Criminal Code, and the responsibility for a misdemeanor in accordance with the Minister of Interior’s Regulation on Misdemeanor for Violating the Order on Restriction and Prohibition of Movement of Persons on the Territory of the Republic of Serbia with the penalty for the latter ranging from RSD 50,000 to 150,000.
The described prohibitions do not apply to licensed healthcare workers, army, police, and security service officers on duty, persons granted movement certificates, crew members of vehicles, cargo ships, trains and aircraft and persons in urgent need of medical care with maximum two persons in escort.
By Ivana Petkovic, Senior Associate, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic