Serbia mandates evening Covid certificates

From Saturday onwards, Serbia will make a valid Covid-19 certificate mandatory for access to bars and restaurants in the evenings, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic announced following a crisis meeting of the country’s pandemic task force.

Brnabic explained that the new measure will be implemented after 10 p.m. every day at all restaurants, cafes and bars by authorised personnel, reports Xinhua news agency.

The certificates will be verified using a QR (quick response) code that will show whether a person has been fully vaccinated in the past seven months or had a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test for Covid-19 not older than 72 hours, the government said in a statement.

Non-Serbian citizens will be required to produce the European Union’s (EU) Digital Covid-19 Certificate or similar documents issued by countries with which Serbia has bilateral agreements.

According to Brnabic, the country’s vaccine rollout has slowed down in recent weeks.

In the country of seven million people, 2.9 million have received one vaccine dose, 2.8 million have received two doses, and 792,711 have received the third dose.

Although Serbia started its mass vaccination campaign in January, the number of people willing to receive the shot remains low.

The number of new infections has been increasing again since late August.

In the past 24 hours, 7,745 new Covid-19 cases were registered, which increased the total to 1,070,705.

A total of 6,708 patients are currently hospitalised, 273 of them are on ventilators.

In the past 24 hours, 58 new deaths were also reported, bringing the cumulative total to 9,272.