COVID-19 Information

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

 

Last updated on 11/05/2021.

***  Effective November 8, 2021, all non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are eligible to travel but are not fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test one (1) day before their flight. U.S citizens and LPRs who are fully vaccinated will need to present airlines with proof of vaccination and of a negative COVID-19 test three (3) days before their flight.

Exemptions will be considered on an extremely limited basis.  Please contact your nearest embassy or consulate to apply for an exemption.  Please visit the CDC webpages for more information about exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

EU Travel Restrictions

On August 30, 2021, the European Council put the United States on its COVID “red list,” thereby recommending that EU member states restrict entry for travelers from the United States who cannot show proof of vaccination by an EU-approved vaccine, or who do not fall into specific excepted categories. Please see the European Council website for more information.

There is no specific guidance regarding whether individual EU member states will accept CDC cards as proof of vaccination.

While U.S. Embassies endeavor to provide the latest information for travelers, guidelines evolve quickly. U.S. citizens must thoroughly research the current entry restrictions and requirements directly from any EU member state they plan to enter, prior to travel. Also consult in detail with air carriers or other transportation providers prior to travel for their latest updates on boarding and entry requirements.

Country-Specific Information:

  • Albania has confirmed more than 149,000 cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • Commercial flights returned to Albania on June 15, 2020.  We recommend that you contact your airline regarding any boarding restrictions that may be in place, especially for any travelers transiting the Schengen area, as circumstances can change rapidly, and air carriers have the final decision as to who they will and will not board.
  • The Albanian government announced (newest on top):
  • Effective September 6, 2021, all passengers who transit or apply to enter the Republic of Albania, ages six or older must meet one of the following three conditions:
    Submit a vaccination passport where the date of full vaccination is no later than two weeks from the date of entry in Albania.
    • Have a negative PCR test within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test within 48 hours, or
    • Alternatively, may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 6 months preceding travel.
    • Citizens residing in Albania who return and do not have one of the above documents must self-isolate themselves for 10 days and inform the health authority to perform a test at the end of the isolation period.
  • Effective September 1, 2021, the daily curfew will be from 11:00pm to 6:00am, until further notice. Bars, restaurants, fast food, and other similar activities are prohibited from operating between 11:00pm and 6:00am, except for delivery services. Non-compliance with this rule may result in a fine up to 700,000 ALL (~ $7,000.00). Public movement is restricted during these hours except for work reasons, health care emergencies, or urgent needs.  The e-Albaniaportal must be used for special permission to move during this time.
  • Effective September 1, 2021 wearing a mask indoors is mandatory for any individual 11 years old and above,  Wearing a mask outdoors is also mandatory when social distancing is not possible as per the standard 2 meters (~6 feet) distance.  Non-compliance with this rule may result in a fine up to 3,000 ALL.
  • As of June 15, 2021, gathering outdoors is permitted up to 50 individuals.
  • As of June 1, 2020:
    — Preschools and kindergartens reopened.
    — All cultural events and other large public gatherings in Albania are cancelled indefinitely.
    — Professional sporting events have resumed, with no spectators allowed to attend.
    — Malls and shops are open with strict social distancing guidelines in place.
    — Hairdressers and dentists are open with strict social distancing guidelines in place.
    — Restaurants and cafes are open.
    — All indoor activity centers reopened.
    — Beaches are open.
    — Outdoor exercise is permitted.
    — Libraries and museums are open.
    — Public transportation has resumed.
    — All maritime and air borders have reopened.

COVID-19 Testing:

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Albania? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
  • Public Health Labs:
    • Currently, to be tested for COVID-19 by the Albanian public health authority one must have symptoms and a recommendation from the public health authority’s family doctor.  However, private testing labs will perform a test for a fee, and no symptoms or a doctor’s recommendation is required (see details below).
    • If you have an Albanian social security number, you also have an assigned public health family doctor.
    • To learn who your public health family doctor is, call the help line at 0-800-4040 to find out.
    • Tests are free of charge if done by the Albanian Institute of Public Health (IPH).
  • Private Labs:
    • Individuals can also arrange private testing by going to a private testing lab. No symptoms or doctor’s order is required to arrange a private test, and no advance appointment is necessary.
    • According to the Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection, there are several private labs authorized to perform SARS-CoV-2 testing for administrative issues. For a full list, please see the Ministry of Health list here.
  • Hard copy letters of test results are provided within 24 to 72 hrs. You can arrange another method of delivery (e.g.: email or text) with the individual labs.
  • Stay home and contact the Albanian National Medical Emergency line at 127 if you believe that you have contracted the COVID-19 virus.
  • Wait for guidance before going to a medical facility.
  • More information can be obtained by calling the national green line at 0-800-4040 to find out.
  • Visit the website of the Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Institute of Public Health for additional information.
  • For information on limited humanitarian exemptions, please review the following page “Covid-19 Testing Required for U.S. Entry”.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Albania approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
  • Are vaccines available in Albania for U.S. citizens to receive? No
  • Which vaccines are available in Albania?
    • According to Albanian health authorities, the government is currently administering Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Gamaleya and Sinovac vaccines.
    • So far Albania has administered more than 1,500,000 doses of vaccines.
    • At this time U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals are not eligible to receive a vaccine locally unless they have an Albanian residency permit, an Albanian social security number, and are registered with the national health system. If you have a residency permit and an Albanian social security number, you can register for details about the vaccination process at e-albania.al. Once you register you will be contacted with more information about receiving the vaccine.
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
  • Starting September 1, 2021, vaccination will be mandatory for groups at-risk, including medical staff, teachers, and students, by September 30, 2021.
    • Those who will not have evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 will have to show negative COVID-19 test results periodically.
  • The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes.
    • The government of Albania issued a statement on June 1, 2021, containing guidelines for foreign citizens entering Albania.  Visit the Albanian Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEFA) website here.  Please pay close attention to the dates on which specific policies will take effect.
    • Commercial flights returned to Albania on June 15, 2020.
    • As of April 12, 2021, direct civilian air traffic to and from Great Britain has resumed.
    • Lufthansa and Austrian Air continue with a reduced number of weekly flights to/from Tirana until further notice.
    • We recommend that you contact your airline regarding any boarding restrictions that may be in place, as air carriers have the final decision as to who they will and will not board.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes.
    • Effective September 6, 2021, all passengers who transit or apply to enter the Republic of Albania, ages six or older must meet one of the following three conditions:
      • Submit a vaccination passport where the date of full vaccination is no later than two weeks from the date of entry in Albania.
      • Have a negative PCR test within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test within 48 hours, or
      • Alternatively, may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 6 months preceding travel.
      • Citizens residing in Albania who return and do not have one of the above documents must self-isolate themselves for 10 days and inform the health authority to perform a test at the end of the isolation period.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes.
    • 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.
  • For information on entry/exit requirements, please visit our web page “Entering and Residing in Albania.”
  • Albania’s land borders are now open for travel, but some neighboring countries have travel restrictions in place impacting U.S. citizens. If you want to travel to a neighboring country, please visit the website of the U.S. embassy located in that country for more information on specific restrictions on U.S. citizens:
    — COVID-19 update webpage of U.S. Embassy in Kosovo.
    — COVID-19 update webpage of U.S. Embassy in Montenegro.
    — COVID-19 update webpage of U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia.
    — COVID-19 update webpage of U.S. Embassy in Greece.
    — COVID-19 update webpage of U.S. Embassy in Italy.
  • When exiting, only those passengers that have a ticket to travel will be permitted to enter the airport premises. Escorts will not be allowed to accompany them inside.  These passengers will not be permitted to enter without masks.  Non-compliance with this rule may result in a fine up to 3,000 ALL (~ $30.00).

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? Yes.
    • Effective September 1, 2021, public movement is restricted during the hours between 11:00pm and 6:00am, until further notice.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No.

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No.
    • There is no general requirement for travelers returning to Albania to self-quarantine.
    • Quarantine will only apply in specific cases when ordered by health authorities, as noted above.
    • 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.
    • Effective September 6, 2021, all passengers who transit or apply to enter the Republic of Albania, ages six or older must meet one of the following three conditions:
      • Submit a vaccination passport where the date of full vaccination is no later than two weeks from the date of entry in Albania.
      • Have a negative PCR test within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test within 48 hours, or
      • Alternatively, may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 6 months preceding travel.
      • Citizens residing in Albania who return and do not have one of the above documents must self-isolate themselves for 10 days and inform the health authority to perform a test at the end of the isolation period.

Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes.
    • Commercial flights returned to Albania on June 15, 2020.
    • U.S. citizens who are returning to the United States are currently only being allowed to transit one Schengen country on their journey home.
    • We recommend that you contact your airline regarding any boarding restrictions that may be in place, as air carriers have the final decision as to who they will and will not board.
    • Visa holders wishing to travel to the United States should review travel restrictions here for the latest information.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes.
    • Masks are mandatory for any individual 11 years old and above in all indoor and outdoor spaces to include public transportation.

Fines for Non-Compliance:

  • As of September 1, 2021, public movement is restricted during the hours of 11:00pm and 6:00am, until further notice, except for work reasons, health care emergencies, or urgent needs. The e-Albania portal must be used for special permission to move during this time. Non-compliance with this rule may result in a fine up to 10,000 ALL (~$100).
  • Bars, restaurants, fast food, and other similar activities are prohibited from operating between 11:00pm and 6:00am, except for delivery services. Non-compliance with this rule may result in a fine up to 700,000 ALL (~ $7,000.00).
  • As of September 1, 2021, masks are mandatory indoors (malls, shops, supermarkets, public transport, etc.) and outdoors when the distancing protocols are not possible to follow. Non-compliance with this rule may result in a fine up to 3,000 ALL (~ $30.00).
  • More information can be obtained by calling the national help line at 0-800-4040.

Consular Operations:

  • U.S. Citizen Services:
    • As of December 2, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Tirana is offering limited routine U.S. citizen service appointments to include:
      — Regular passport applications and renewals,
      — Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and
      — Notarial services.
    • Wait times for appointments may be longer than normal.
    • For more information on how to schedule an appointment for the above services, please visit our webpage.
    • If you require an emergency service, please write to ACSTirana@state.gov.
  • Immigrant Visas:
    • As of February 24, 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Tirana resumed limited immigrant visa services for all categories of immigrant visas.
    • Appointment availability will continue to be very limited due to resource constraints and the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • Immigrant visa applicants will be contacted directly once their case has been scheduled for an interview.
  • Nonimmigrant Visas:
    • As of November 8, 2021, the U.S. Embassy resumed limited services for all categories of nonimmigrant visas.
    • Appointment availability will continue to be very limited due to resource constraints and the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • Wait times remain longer than normal.
    • Please continue to monitor our website for updates.

Local Resources:

(Note: The below links to local resources are in Albanian language only.)