The most asked question by Serbs these few months is how to get tested for COVID-19 in Serbia. The answer varied depending on the situation and period of asking the question. What is the situation these days?
Nowadays, it is much better. There are fewer and fewer confirmed cases every day. However, the government decided to increase the number of laboratories that will perform coronavirus tests. It is all in order to boost the capacity of the health system in the autumn season. We must protect ourselves as much as we can.
It is obvious that the situation in Serbia is now under control. All of us hope it will stay that way. Anyhow, we decided that we should remind you of some ground rules. You will find out the latest information below. Pay attention to them.
The measures have changed several times since the beginning of the epidemic. The following country-wide measures from the Serbian Government are in effect:
- ban on public gatherings involving more than 30 people, indoors or outdoors;
- no more than one person per 4 square meters is allowed indoors;
- use of face coverings in all indoor locations, as well as outdoors when required physical distancing is not possible;
- the recommended distance between people outdoors is 1.5 m;
- cafes, clubs, and restaurants can operate until 11 p.m.
How to get tested for COVID-19 in Serbia?
Diagnostic tests, also known as PCR tests, show if someone currently has the virus. These tests look for signs of the genetic material of the virus. The other tests detect the presence of antibodies. A swab is taken from the nose or throat. Then competent persons send it to a reference laboratory for examination. The results are ready in a few days (from 24 to 48 hours). Another type of test – an antibody test – is for determining if someone has had the virus. If you suspect you have had the virus, it is best to take this test.
Citizens can get a COVID-19 PCR test at several locations. Along with the Institute for Virology, Vaccines, and Sera “Torlak”, the list of laboratories for PCR testing also includes the Institute of Public Health of Belgrade, the Institute for Biocides and Environmental Medicine, and the Institute for Public Health of Serbia Dr. Milan Jovanovic Batut.
Is testing necessary to enter Serbia?
Serbian citizens and foreigners can enter the country without a PCR test and mandatory self-isolation. When it comes to travel to other countries, citizens should follow the situation in Europe and the world. You will get information at the Institute of Public Health. Every country has a website dedicated to this. However, pay attention. Several European countries have already decided to ease measures to restrict movement. You should check this out carefully.
Entry and Exit Requirements
The Serbian Government reported that all Serbian citizens, as well as foreigners resident in Serbia to take a self-assessment test the day you return to this country. The result of this test will determine whether you then report to a COVID-19 clinic. If you cannot fill out the online questionnaire, you should contact your local Institute of Public Health. You should phone them for instructions. After that, you should print or save the results of your self-assessment. This is proof that you completed it.
If entering Serbia from North Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, or Romania, you will need to provide a negative PCR test. It has to be not older than 48 hours. If entering from other countries, you do not need a negative PCR test.
The Ministry has a web page dedicated to COVID-19 in English. You should check it every time when planning to travel abroad. Still, we advise you to be patient. Maybe it is not too safe to travel, yet. On the other hand, if you do decide to travel somewhere, follow the rules. You have already realized that they are different in each country.
The Serbian Ministry of Health also established an emergency hotline for individuals who have symptoms or believe they may have come in contact with the virus. It is: +381 64 8945235. Numbers for Institutes of Public Health outside Belgrade can be found here.
We hope you find all these information on how to get tested for COVID-19 in Serbia useful. Until our next article, stay tuned. Follow the News on our page.