Republic of North Macedonia: 1.839 confirmed cases of corona-virus as of May 13 (382 active cases, 1.351 recovered and 106 deaths).
Worldwide: 4.823.479 confirmed cases and 318.857 deaths, according to World Health Organisation statistics.
State of Emergency and Curfew
State of emergency was declared on March 18, 2020 across the whole country and will remain in force by the end of May. The state of emergency gives an opportunity to the Government to provide conditions for the rapid and efficient implementation of measures, to prevent and protect the health of the citizens, as well as to promptly implement set of economic reliefs to speed-up the healing of the local economy, due to the coronavirus crisis.
On Sunday, March 22nd, the Government announced nationwide curfew to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The ban on movement in the whole country will begin at 19:00 and will last until 05:00 in the morning, every weekday.
All citizens are obliged to wear personal protective equipment on the face when leaving their home, i.e. when moving in public places and areas of open and closed type, in markets, in the public transport and when entering closed spaces where many people gather (state institutions, markets, stores, banks, post office, waiting rooms, healthcare institutions etc.)
Wearing personal protective equipment on the nose and mouth is mandatory for all legal entities.
General information on the latest developments in the country
The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia adopted a Decision limiting the prices of basic food-products and other products that are of an essential need in day-to-day live to every citizen. To maintain continuous trade exchange with the countries, the Government enabled uninterrupted transit of goods, allowing trucks and persons to enter the country under special protection conditions in accordance with the protocol of the Ministry of Health.
All cross borders will remain closed except for representatives of the diplomatic corps in the country, as well as other persons for whom the Ministry of the Interior will grant permission/s.
The Government of R. of North Macedonia adopted a new protocol for foreign nationals under special residence conditions. All legal entities can host visitors of foreign countries for which that visit is an essential from an economic and/or social aspect. For more information, please carefully abide to the this protocol.
The counters of the public institutions will work part time. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to use e-services of the public institutions, where available.
The Public Revenue Office (PRO) informs all taxpayers that it will refrain from submitting decisions on enforced collection of taxes and other public charges from the taxpayers who have not paid their obligations to the PRO, while the Covid-19 measures are into force.
National Call Center for information related to the economic and other measures +389 (0) 2 324 8040
The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia has delivered two sets of economic measures to support the local economy, making it quite challenging for the businesses to quantify these measures and respond very quickly in terms of modifying their cash flows in this crisis situation.
|Measure 1 – Direct financial support to micro, small and medium-sized companies that perform business activity in tourism, transport, hospitality sector, by the Development Bank of North Macedonia for a total amount of EUR 5.7 million in the form of 0% interest rate loans. The financing has maturity of 24 months with a 6-month grace period. Each company, depending on the number of employees, can receive zero interest loans from EUR 3 thousand to EUR 30 thousand as follows: |
– Micro companies with 1 – 10 employees may apply for a loan in the range of EUR 3 thousand – EUR 5 thousand
– Small companies with 11 – 50 employees may apply for a loan in the range of EUR 5 thousand – EUR 15 thousand
– Medium-sized companies with 51 – 250 employees may apply for a loan in the range of EUR 15 thousand – EUR 30 thousand.
|Measure 2 – Subsidy on salary contributions up to 50% per employee (based on the average salary paid in 2019) for April, May and June of 2020. Companies to be eligible to apply for salary subsidies, must be able to fulfil the following terms: |
– must not reduce the number of employees below the number of employees recorded in February 2020
– must not pay dividends during 2020
– must not pay bonuses to its employees after adoption of this measure.
|Measure 3 – Exemption from paying corporate income tax (CIT) for a period of three months (April – June 2020) under the following conditions: |
– the company should not distribute any dividends during 2020 and provide bonuses or other awards to its employees and members of the management and supervisory boards from the date of enforcement of the regulation (26 March 2020) until 15 June 2020
– the number of employees as it stands as at the date of enforcement of the regulation should not be reduced until three months after the expiry of its validity (indicatively, 15 September 2020), except in cases of death, retirement or dismissal by employees.
|Measure 4 – Reduction of statutory default interest will be reduced by 50% and the penalty for public duties will be reduced from 0.03% to 0.015% i.e by 50%.|
|Measure 5 – Reduction of the reference interest rate of the National Bank to 1.75% that should further reduce the cost for financing for companies and households. From 10 to 5% and from 8 to 4% for the period for which the Central Bank prescribes the reference interest rate will be changed to provide more favorable conditions when the reference interest rate decreases.|
|Measure 6 – Restructuring of loan liabilities to commercial banks loans to interest-free, with an interest rate of 0 percent, and the grace period to be 6 months and the repayment period to be 2 years. Hospitality industry: all fees related to the Association for copyright protection (ZAPM) to be put on hold.|
|Measure 7 – Financial help to all companies in the private sector affected by the Covid 19 crisis, by paying MKD 14.500, net minimum wage per employee for April and May. To be eligible to obtain this measure, the companies:|
-must not pay dividends, bonuses, annual awards, business success awards to their stakeholders, employees and members of the Management Boards
-have reported at least 30% decrease in their earnings, compared to their last year’s average. The same rule applies for the seasonal employers as well
-for the companies, where 10% of their employees receive the highest salaries, their net average must not exceed MKD 120,000 for the period for which these companies apply for financial support
-the financial support will not apply to those employees who received net salaries higher than MKD 39,900 in December 2019, and January/February 2020
-employers are required to retain the same number of employees as they had at the time of application until the September 2020
-employers are not obliged to repay their financial support if they report loss for 2020.
In all other cases, employers must refund up to 50% pre-tax profit plus tax expense.
|Measure 8 – All employees at sports associations, will receive a minimum wage of 14,500 denars for the April and May.|
|Measure 9 – 141 independent artist will receive a minimum wage of 14,500 denars for April and May, including paid contributions, through the Ministry of Culture.|
|Measure 10 – Monthly salary for the citizens who lost their jobs due to the crisis, will be paid in amount of 50% of the average monthly net in the last 24 months in accordance with Article 68 of the Law on Employment and Unemployment insurance.|
|Measure 11 – All elected and appointed officials and heads of departments of state and local government, Members of Parliament, Prime Ministers, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Mayors, Directors, Judges and Prosecutors, will receive a minimum net salary of MKD 14,500 denars for April and May.|
|Measure 12 – Presidents and members of municipal councils, governing and supervisory boards of public institutions will work without remuneration. The decision will be valid until the Government decides to terminate it. This measure does not apply to unemployed individuals to whom this is their only source of income.|
|Measure 13 – Financial support in amount of MKD 7.000 per household for April and May, will receive all those who are unemployed or have been part of the informal economy.|
|Measure 14 – The enforcement law will be suspended by June 30 and all enforcement actions will be on hold for this period.|
|Measure 15 – Banks will offer deferment on loan payments to their clients. With this measure, legal entities will receive access to more favorable conditions, such as greys periods, loan reprogramming options, more favorable interest rates etc.|
|Measure 16 – Leasing companies and financial institutions to provide options for reprograming of loans and lower instalments. Leasing companies and financial institutions will individually offer their clients – the legal entities with most appropriate benefits, according to the clients’ needs. New loan agreements will include grace period of 3 months. The statutory default interest rate, will be reduced from 51% to 31%, while all other administrative costs for new loan agreements will be limited to 20%.|
|Measure 17 – Instalments for social housing rent for social families, citizens will be waved for the period, also for legal entities that are renting premises under regulation for of right to qualify for use of this benefit.|
|Measure 18 – Additional EUR 8 million interest-free loans will be available for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. These loans will be granted with grace period of 12 months and repayment period of 3 years. These loans will range from the minimal amount EUR 3.000 to maximal amount of EUR 90.000. Measure 13 – To protect liquidity of companies, the Development Bank of North Macedonia will provide low-rate loans worth EUR 50 million total. The primary purpose of this credit line is to provide fresh capital to support new projects, new jobs, increased liquidity and export. These loans will be available through the commercial banks, with interest rate of 1.5%.|
|Measure 19 – During the period of emergency and 6 months after it is forbidden to imitate a bankruptcy procedure.|
|Measure 20 – Mandatory use of the first part of annual paid leave for 2020 and the remain 2019 annual leave by end of May.|
|Measure 21 –The Government will establish Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, available for donations by individuals and legal entities.|
|Measure 22 – Decreasing the fees up to 50% for individuals who have employment under a copyright agreement, and also at a same time are also engaged by the state institutions. This measure does not apply to individuals to whom this is their only source of income.|
On May 18, the government of the Republic of North Macedonia, presented the third set of measures, to help the local economy and its citizens.
Protocols arising from the Plan to reduce restrictive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (adopted by the Government of North Macedonia on May 12)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed numerous attempts how organisations and civilians can easily become target of Phishing: malicious emails appearing to be from WHO.
WHO is aware of suspicious email messages attempting to take advantage of the COVID-19 emergency. This fraudulent action is called phishing.
These “Phishing” emails appear to be from WHO, and will ask you to:
- give sensitive information, such as usernames or passwords
- click a malicious link
- open a malicious attachment.
Using this method, criminals can install malware or steal sensitive information.
How to prevent phishing?
- Verify the sender by checking their email address.
- Check the link before you click.
- Be careful when providing personal information.
- Do not rush or feel under pressure.
- If you gave sensitive information, don’t panic.
- If you see a scam, report it.
To tackle the COVID-19 situation, many countries have imposed entry restrictions and border closures.
Therefore, the Government of North Macedonia announced that is closing both airports in the country in the following order: St. Paul the Apostle Ohrid effective from 00:00 am on Sunday, March 15th and Skopje International Airport effective from 00:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020 and will remain closed by the end of May, 2020.
Land borders with all neighbouring countries, including Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, and Serbia, are currently closed.
Only citizens and legal residents of North Macedonia are allowed to cross the borders of North Macedonia following the protocols confirmed by the local authorities.
According to the recommendations and protocols of the Infectious Diseases Commission, all citizens coming back to the state must spend 14 days in state quarantine.
All those in self-isolation, as soon as they experience any symptoms characteristic of COVID-19 should contact the
Call immediately your selected GP, the closest public health centre or the National Info Call Center at 0800 002 03
Measures of self-isolation
- It is not allowed to leave the house except in an emergency.
- When you enter self-isolation, you are obliged to contact your nearest doctor. No further reporting is required unless you get a temperature.
- Measure your body temperature in the mornings and evenings.
- Pay attention to the symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath …).
- Wash your hands regularly with soap or use a hydro-alcoholic solution.
- Clean and disinfect items and surfaces on a regular basis in the premises where you reside.
- Ventilate the room regularly.
- Use separate bedding, towels and cutlery.
- Secure a separate room and use the bathroom separately.
- If you need to go to a healthcare facility, contact your doctor or a competent epidemiologist beforehand.