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North Macedonia to enforce new measures in fight against COVID-19

The Commission for Infectious Diseases in North Macedonia proposed restricting business working hours until 23:00, as well as cutting to a half public transport capacities.

The Minister of Health, Venko Filipçe, said that the parliament will vote this week to approve several measures, such as: mandatory masks and limiting gatherings to no more than 4 people after 22:00.

Filipçe warned that the government will consider imposing a curfew if citizens won’t comply with these measures or if new infections numbers continue to rise.

“We have a rise of new cases. We were expecting these numbers but hospitals are filling up. With the recent proposals we have almost exhausted all options for a normal functioning of society. The next step, or next proposition, will be imposing a curfew”, said the health minister.

The director of Public Transportation said that they are going to add 40 new buses in order to accommodate the needs of the citizens amid the new measures to be introduced by the government.

However, his major concern rests with citizens using public transportation without wearing a protective mask.

“Currently, we don’t have mechanisms how to enforce citizens to get off from the bus if they are not wearing a mask. Time is punishing us, we’ve had 7-8 incidents as of today,” said the director of public transportation.

An additional measure proposed by the Health Ministry is to reduce the public administration capacities, by switching to work from home.

Filipçe said that this would also help reduce the number of citizens that commute every day to work, but all measures will have to receive a green light by the parliament before they are enforced.

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