Montenegro declared first COVID-free state in Europe
Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic announced on Monday that the Balkan republic of 620,000 people, which relies heavily on revenues from tourism along its Adriatic coast, would open its borders to travelers from countries reporting no more than 25 cases of COVID-19 infection per 100,000 people – including Croatia, Albania, Slovenia, Germany and Greece.
At the press conference after meeting a committee tasked with combating the epidemic, Markovic declared Montenegro a COVID-19-free state. The PM started the news conference by taking off his face mask.
“The battle with such a vicious virus has been won and Montenegro now becomes the first coronavirus-free country in Europe,” Markovic told reporters.
The declaration comes 69 days after Montenegro reported its first COVID-19 case and after 20 days without a new one.
In early March, Montenegro shut borders, airports and seaports, closed schools and banned public gatherings and outdoor activities. The restrictions have been gradually eased since March 30.
Montenegro has reported 324 confirmed cases of COVID-19 illness and nine deaths.