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COVID-19 UPDATE BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

May 16, 2020 23:00 by Arijana H.-Softić
2236 confirmed cases.
Bosnia and Herzegovina declared state of natural/other disaster.
National Assembly of Republika Srpska declared state of emergency.

MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE AND VEHICLES

Ban on movement of all citizens in Republika Srpska between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. except of: Officers and healthcare workers on duty; persons granted by employers a confirmation on required movement, persons in urgent need of medical assistance, cargo road transport crews.
Ban on all public gatherings until further notice.
Compulsory wearing of masks, cotton straps or scarves over mouth and nose in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, and ban on gatherings of more than 3 people outdoors.

AIR AND ROAD TRAFFIC

As of March 30, 2020, all airports are closed for passengers flights.
All international road border crossings with Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro are closed.
Only the nationals, foreigners who have a registered residence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, diplomats, scientists, healthcare and military professionals and truck drivers are allowed entry.

HEALTH MEASURES

Bosnia and Herzegovina residents coming from abroad to be self isolated for 14 days at home. Tent quarantines operational at all border crossings.
Facilities for isolation of infected persons already operational.
Compulsory isolation for any person who fails to comply with the decision on the isolation measures.
Foreign citizens coming to Republika Srpska on business must present invitation letter and certificate of an authorized laboratory on SARS-COV-2 negative test not older than 48 hours, and must spend 14 days in self-isolation.

DATA PROTECTION

Agency for Personal Data Protection of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued the Decision prohibiting publishing of personal data of persons that are corona virus positive and persons subject to self-isolation measures.

TRADE AND HOSPITALITY

All services in public swimming pools and bathing areas, nights clubs, children playrooms are closed until further notice.
Shopping malls in Fedeation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are closed until further notice.
In Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina reopening of:
- Beauty salons and hairdressers;
- Retail outlets (except those operating inside shopping malls);
- Public transport;
- Cinemas, museums, concert halls, art galleries;
- Sports, recreation centres, bars

In Republika Srpska reopening of:
- Hospitality businesses for on-premise consumption;
- Beauty salons and hairdressers;
- Retail outlets;
- Shopping malls;
- Private dental ordinations;
- Fitness and training places;
- Gaming operators;
- Retail outlets (those that are allowed to work) must ensure at least 1.5-meter distance between customers, until further notice.

PRICE CONTROL

Price control on flour, all kinds of bread, pastries and other bakery products made from flour and cereals, milk and dairy products, eggs and egg products, sugar, salt for human consumption, rice, pasta, fresh meat, fish and their processed products, fruits and vegetables, canned meat, canned fish, drinking water, edible oil, infant food, dietetic products, disposable diapers for children and adults, sanitary napkins, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, soap, disinfectants for water, facilities and hands (including concentrated alcohol), toilet paper, toothpaste, protective overalls and other protective and medical clothing and footwear, goggles and visors, safety gloves, shoe covers, surgical protective masks.

WORK PLACE

Reduction of working hours and organisation of remote work where possible.
Annual and other leaves to be allowed according to the law.
All business trips to be cancelled.
Meetings with a larger number of participants to be cancelled or to be organised in large rooms ensuring sufficient distance between participants.
Allow leave to parents of children younger than 10 years.

BANKING, TAX AND RELIEF

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the Law on Mitigation of Negative Economic Consequences in this entity, in the first reading, with 31 delegates in the House of Peoples voting in favour of the bill, 16 were against it and one abstained. This Law, known as the "Corona Law," provides, among other things, subsidizing contributions for compulsory insurance, suspension of calculation and payment of default interest on public revenues, and establishment of the Guarantee Fund.
Canton Sarajevo adopted Law on Mitigation of Negative Economic Consequences and Savings in Canton Sarajevo. This law provides co-financing of minimum salary, termination of administrative, court and comunal fees payments, as well as termination of tourist memberhip fees payment.
Banking Agency of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Banking Agency of Republika Srpska adopted decisions on temporary measures for banks to alleviate negative economic consequences of COVID-19 and preserving of stability of the banking sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Banks are obliged to devise a set of relief measures to be offered to clients whose ability to repay the loans has been affected by the COVID-19 crises (moratorium on loan repayments, grace periods, modification of exposures, debt reprogramme).
Banking Agency of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Banking Agency of Republika Srpska adopted decisions on temporary measures for micro-credit organisations to alleviate negative economic consequences of COVID-19 and preservation of stability of the banking sector in the Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Banking Agency of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted Decision on temporary measures in relation to the banks’ reporting to the Agency.
Banking Agency of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted Decision on temporary measures in relation to the factoring companies’ reporting to the Agency.
Relief on indirect tax for equipment and funds donated by Bosnian and international entities for the prevention, control and elimination of COVID-19.
The Government of Republika Srpska has passed a decision on delaying the payment of various public fees, as well as the personal and corporate income tax for 2019 until June 30th, 2020.
The Government of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted Law on mitigating negative economic consequences.
Ministry of Economy of Canton Sarajevo and Canton Zenica – Doboj announced a public invitation for allocation of budget funds for payment of 50% of March salaries for all legal and natural persons whose business activities are prohibited by repressive measures.
Links to the invitation:
https://mp.ks.gov.ba/sites/mp.ks.gov.ba/files/javni_poziv-mart.pdf
https://www.zdk.ba/javni-pozivi/item/8520-javni-poziv-za-prikupljanje-zahtjeva-za-odobrenje-i-dodjelu-finansijskih-sredstava-za-subvencioniranje-50-najnize-neto-plate-za-mart-2020-godinu

COURT AND STATE ADMINISTRATION

Most courts cancelled hearings until further notice except in urgent cases (detentions, security measures etc.).
Procedural deadlines in court proceedings suspended in Republika Srpska during the declared state of emenrgency, except in emergency cases listed in the decision of the President of Republika Srpska. Also, the statute of limitations will not run during the state of emergency.
Misdemeanour proceedings for breach of pandemic orders will be held.
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the Draft Law on deadlines and procedure in Court proceedings during the state of natural/other disaster on the Territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

REAL ESTATE

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has adopted a decision on indefinitely reducing its rent for 50% for premises owned and leased by the Federation.
Municipality of Stari Grad Sarajevo has adopted a decision on waiving the entire rent for the month of April, for premises owned and leased by this Municipality.
Republika Srpska has adopted a decision on suspending the payment of rent for agricultural land for three months.
Republika Srpska has issued a decision by which it recommends to the state-owned public electricity company Elektroprivreda RS to not charge interest on all services provided in March, April and May 2020.
The same recommendation is given for all other utility companies, including IPTV service providers. Republika Srpska has passed a decision suspending the payment of concession fees, for three months.

OTHER

In Republika Srpska misdemeanor sanctions imposed on individuals who, during a state of emergency through social networks, media or otherwise spread fake news or allegations causing panic or severely disturb public order and significantly impede implementation of public authorities' measures.
In Republika Srpska - One-off aid in the amount of BAM 1,000 to each employee in the public healthcare sector who was working minimum three weeks in period between 15 March 2020 and 15 April 2020.
The Constitutional Court concluded today on April 22, 2020 that challenged Orders prohibiting movement of the persons under age 18 and over age 65 during covid19 outbreak on the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina violate the right to freedom of movement. The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Civil Protection Headquarters are ordered to harmonise the Orders with the standards arising under Article II(3)(m) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention, within five days as from the date of the receipt of this Decision.
Read more at:
http://www.ccbh.ba/novosti/sjednice/?id=8df4d385-2c8c-494f-88c0-588d1ce062a2&lang=en