The Serbian government’s pandemic Crisis Team decided on Tuesday to impose a partial lockdown from Wednesday, March 17 to Monday, March 22.
According to Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, the same measures that were imposed over the past two weekends would be in place.
“We are closing down everything and we’ll see what happens by Monday,” she told reporters after a Crisis Team meeting, adding that only food retailers, pharmacies and gas stations would be left open “everything needed for some form of normal life”.
The Crisis Team imposed the partial lockdown two weekends ago, ordering the closure of restaurants, cafes, clubs and all other businesses which were deemed not crucial to normal living conditions. The decision was viewed as a compromise between what are termed the medical and political sections of the Crisis Team. Doctors on the team called for a complete lockdown, possibly including an overnight curfew similar to what was in place a year ago under the state of emergency.
Brnabic confirmed that the latest decision was a compromise, saying that the measures were stricter but would be in force for five instead of the 14 days demanded by doctors.
“Whether we extend them depends on all of us. I am appealing for a maximum of discipline, understanding for the situation that our health care system faces and the staff working in terribly hard conditions for a year, to try to help them and protect them and their families since some of us are not showing enough understanding to protect themselves and their families,” Brnabic said.
She added that the Crisis Staff had “long and fierce talks” to try to balance three things – protecting the health care staff, jobs and supporting the economy and mental health of the nation. She said the authorities would talk to everyone who believes their business is suffering damages because of the measures.