COVID-19 Information

Click here for the latest alerts and messages for U.S. citizens in Albania.

 

Reconsider travel to Albania due to the Global Level 4 Travel Advisory (March 20, 2020)

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite time-frame.

Country-Specific Information:
  • Albania has confirmed more than 270 of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • All flights and ferries are suspended between Albania and Italy indefinitely.
  • The Albanian government announced:
    • All pedestrian and vehicle traffic is prohibited from 1 p.m. on April 4, 2020 until 5 a.m. on April 6, 2020. All businesses will be closed during this time.
    • Vehicle restrictions to include:
        • Private vehicles can be used to get to and from work. Vehicles may be on the road each day from 5 a.m. until 8 a.m. and then from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. Drivers who wish to use their vehicles must receive approval from the Albanian State Police by completing an online questionnaire found here. Individuals who drive without proper approvals may be subject to fines and/or the suspension of their driving privileges.
        • Outside of the limited hours for commuting no personal vehicles are permitted on the roads other than emergency vehicles, government vehicles, company vehicles and vehicles delivering food and medical supplies. Violations of this order could result in a three year suspension of your driver’s license and/or fines of up to 5,000 euros.
        • Individuals traveling to the airport may take personal vehicles or a taxi during the period of the driving ban. Be prepared to show copies of plane tickets or flight itineraries at check-points en route to the airport. Please note, only individuals with plane tickets and drivers may be in the vehicles – no guests are permitted.
    • All schools are closed indefinitely.
    • All sporting events, cultural events and other large public gatherings in Albania are cancelled indefinitely.
    • All restaurants, bars and night clubs in the cities of Tirana and Durres are closed indefinitely.
    • All indoor activity centers for children, gyms, sports centers, swimming pools, internet cafes, cultural centers, recreational areas including the park at the artificial lake, and entertainment centers are closed indefinitely.
    • All public transportation is restricted indefinitely.
    • All interviews for prospective job applicants are suspended indefinitely.
    • Directed government offices to provide services for the public via online platforms including the e-Albania platform.
    • Pedestrians are only permitted on the roads between the hours of 5 a.m. until 1 p.m. Pedestrians cannot walk side-by-side with other people on the street. Pedestrians should only venture out to go to work or to obtain necessary items from grocery stores and pharmacies. There will be a 10,000 leke fine for violations of these rules.
    • Only one family member is permitted in a grocery store at a time and that individual needs permission from the Albanian government. Shopping permits are only valid for one hour.  Retirees are not permitted to go shopping.
      • If you have an Albanian ID number, you can apply for permission to shop at www.e-albania.al.  Your permission will come in the form of an email or an SMS and you will need to print or save this authorization to show when you are shopping.  This approval should come quickly.
      • If you do not have access to this website you can send an SMS to 55155 with your Albanian ID number and the general time when you want to go shopping.  This approval process can take 24 hours. 
    • American citizens should text 55155 to get permission to go shopping.
      • Text messages should be in the following format:  “F” space “your ID number (such as passport number)” space “Time” when you want to go shopping
        • Example:  If your passport number is 123456789 and you want to go shopping at 9 a.m. you would text F 123456789 0900
        • It takes 24 hours to get approval by text and then the approval will state the specific date and time for which it is valid.
  • The Albanian government has implemented police and military vehicle checkpoints to identify passengers who have traveled to WHO high-risk regions for COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Individuals who fail to comply with the self-quarantine mandate face an administrative fine of 5,000 euros.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
  • There are limited options for traveling in and out of Albania at this time. Land borders with neighboring countries are closed and all flights in and out of Albania are currently suspended.
  • Albania has increased the number of medical personnel at all ports of entries.
  • Enhanced screening and quarantine measures are being implemented. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Visit the website of the Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Institute of Public Health for additional information on these new measures.
  • For information on entry/exit requirements, please visit our web page “Entering and Residing in Albania
Regional Travel:
  • All land borders between Albania and Montenegro are closed.
  • All border crossings between Albania and Kosovo are closed until March 28, 2020. No one will be permitted to cross at the land borders except for citizens of Albania or Kosovo who are returning to their home country, government vehicles, ambulances and commercial goods.
  • All land borders between Albania and North Macedonia are closed.
  • All borders (land, sea and air) between Albania and Greece are closed to vehicles moving in both directions except for commercial transit.
Travel to the United States:

At this time, there are no commercial flights available from Albania.  If you are an American Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident and you would like to leave Albania please email ACSTirana@state.gov immediately with the names, dates of birth and passport numbers of all family members who wish to travel to the United States.  Also include a mobile phone number where we can reach you.  We will contact you immediately should options become available.

Quarantine Information:
  • The Government of Albania mandates a 14-day self-quarantine for all travelers who enter Albania from areas identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as high risk for COVID-19. Additionally, those who are concerned they may have contracted COVID-19 through exposure to other vectors are also asked to self-quarantine at home and contact the Albanian government at the medical emergency phone number 127, should symptoms consistent with the virus appear.  English speaking staff are available to assist non-Albanian speakers.
  • An official isolation and treatment site has been designated at the Infectious Disease Hospital at Mother Teresa University Hospital. The National Medical Emergency Center is responsible for the physical transfer of any patients suspected to be infected with the virus. No private hospitals are authorized to manage COVID-19 cases. There is no official information available about the length of time individuals will be held in these temporary quarantine spaces.
Actions to Take:
Local Resources:
(Note: The below links to local resources are in Albanian language only.)
Other links: