On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a coronavirus pandemic due to an ongoing global outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, called COVID-19 (which represent an abbreviation of Coronavirus Disease 2019). In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the first case of COVID 19 was recorded on March 5, 2020, while on March 17,2020, a state of natural or other disasters was declared in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. To date, 450 cases of infections have been confirmed in the territory of BiH, out of which 13 have died and 20 people have recovered.

On March 28, 2020, the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska adopted the Decision on the Declaration of a State of Emergency in the Territory of the Republic of Srpska due to the current epidemiological situation. The Decision will enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska. Prior to that Decision, on March 16, 2020, the RS Government issued a Decision declaring an emergency situation. More detailed information on the consequences of a declaration of a state of emergency can be found at the following link:

Authorities at the state and republic levels, as well as at the level of local self-government units, have undertaken a series of measures and activities to prevent the spreading of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. You can acquire information about the measures and activities taken before March 31 at the following link:, while a brief summary of the most recent measures and activities of the competent authorities adopted in the period from 31 March 2020, can be found below.

  • On 31 March, the RS State Committee for Emergency Situations issued a Conclusion on Compulsory Police Escort of all persons entering the RS at border crossings and the same is enforced as of April 1 at 12:00.
  • As of April 2, 2020, at 07:00 am the Republic of Croatia has temporarily closed all border crossings for border traffic between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from.
  • The Mayor of Brcko District of BiH has decided to extend the period of isolation from 14 to 28 days to persons who were previously issued an isolation decision.
  • The RS Committee for Emergency Situations extended the validity of all previously issued conclusions until April 13, 2020.
  • Hearings will not be held at the Court of General Jurisdiction in Banja Luka until 13 April.
  • In the RS until April 13, the work is prohibitted for: all food and beverage establishments, shops (with the exceptions listed below), fitness centers, swimming pools, wellness and spa centers (separately and within accommodation establishments), children’s playrooms, private dental clinics, gambling companies, sports organizations and sports schools (including training and competitions for athletes of all categories), performing of service and craft activities that require direct contact (hairdressing and other treatments for beauty, body care and maintenance) ;
  • Until April 13, work of the following business entities is limited to work from 07:00 am to 06:00 pm: wholesalers, shopping malls where only grocery / consumer goods stores can work, pharmacies and agricultural pharmacies, home electrical appliences, water and sanitation, construction supplies can operate , auto parts, agricultural machinery parts, electrical materials, ceramics and paints and varnishes, if located in the shopping mall; grocery / consumer goods stores, animal feed stores, bread and pastry businesses, fresh pasta and cakes (solely with respect to the sale of their products), registered food delivery operators, public kitchens (allowed to work over the counter, without service activities), pharmacies and agricultural pharmacies, gas and fuel stations for the part of the pump and the station where the retail outlet is located, without the time limitation of work when it comes to the sale of fuel, petroleum products and gas, which must be  organized in accordance with Government measures (maximum number of customers in the facility, rapid flow and distance between customers);
  • Until April 13, limited hours of work from 07:00 to 15:00 pm relate to stores selling:  home electrical appliances, water and sanitary equipment, building materials, auto parts, agricultural machinery parts, electrical materials, ceramics, paints and varnishes, wholesale markets, small (markets) and livestock markets;
  • In Banja Luka, in addition to the business entities forbidden by the decision of the Republic Committee, the work is not allowed to stoners selling home electrical appliances, plumbing and electrical materials and sanitary ware, auto parts, construction materials, so the prohibitions apply to a set of business activities liberalized by the decision of the Republic Committee. Only the marketplace, which can operate under strict prescribed rules, is exempt from the City’s decision. This city’s decision will be reconsidered on April 5.
  • Caterers operating in a catering establishment may provide accommodation services without restriction, and food and beverage services may only be provided to guests to whom they provide accommodation services.
  • All persons under 65 are prohibited from moving in the area of ​​Banja Luka on 3 April between 7.00 am and 11:00 am.
  • From 3 April, it is forbidden to visit some entertainment locations Banja Luka (Banj brdo, Park Mladen Stojanovic, cargo in nature and green areas around the new bridge at the site of the former Green Bridge), and the listed locations will also be physically fenced.
  • The City Committee of the City of Banja Luka ordered the Health House to carry out additional hygienic-epidemiological analysis, disinfection and controls in several business entities where the last cases of infected emerged (post offices, several republican funds and a Bema factory);
  • New quarantine facilities have been identified in Banja Luka, which will be used depending on the needs. Therefore, in addition to those already provided, will be used the facilities of the Student Home and the Technical School.
  • On April 1, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the Decision on Amendments to the Decision on Temporary Closure of Border Crossings at Air Traffic for Passenger Transport in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will apply until 30.04.2020 at 24:00. The decision prohibits landing and departure from the airport in BiH for all aircraft engaged in the transport of passengers in international air transport, with the exception of humanitarian flights, emergency medical transport, search and rescue flights, and mail and goods transport, as well as non-disembarking technical flights without passengers and forced landings.
  • With the Conclusion of the RS Committee for Emergency Situations, from April 1, the public transport of persons in road traffic on regional republic bus lines (up to 50 km) was suspended.
  • In a public statement of March 31, the BiH Chamber of Commerce informed business entities that a certificate of force majeure (Vis maior) need not be obtained for contracts that do not have an international element (contracts concluded in BiH and apply only to the territory of BiH), since the Council of Ministers declared the state of natural or other disaster throughout BiH in its  decision of 17 March 2020.
  • The Banking Agency of the Federation of BiH adopted a Decision on interim measures by microcredit organizations to mitigate the negative economic consequences caused by the COVID-19 viral disease.

About the author