Montenegro bars gatherings, closes schools, ports and border crossings

PODGORICA (Reuters) – Montenegro barred public gatherings, closed schools for at least two weeks and adopted an array of other measures on Friday, including a ban on arrivals of ships at its Adriatic ports, in an effort to pre-empt the onset of the coronavirus outbreak.

The former Yugoslav republic has tested dozens of people, but has so far not reported a single case of coronavirus infection.

In a statement, the health ministry said it had ordered the closure of several border crossings with Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Albania to try to curb the spread of the disease.

The country, which earns most of its revenue from tourism, also closed its ports and marinas for all incoming cruiser ships and yachts.

It has barred its citizens from traveling to France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Slovenia and ordered the isolation of foreign nationals arriving from these countries.

The Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, which for months has been staging mass protests against a hotly contested religion law, said it would temporarily halt weekly rallies throughout the country.

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