In Spain, On Saturday, March 14, the Spanish Government activated a state of alert as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases soars in the country. The State of Alarm confers to the government exceptional powers to limit the free movement of people and vehicles, ration goods and services, among other powers. Residents are therefore to restrict all movement with the exception of those going to work, hospitals or health centers, financial institutions, and those shopping for groceries, pharmaceuticals, and basic necessities. Private vehicles will also be allowed to circulate on public roads to carry out the permitted activities or to refuel at gas stations or service stations. The Ministry of Interior, however, may decide to limit, ban, or partially ban traffic on highways. Public transportation services by rail, road, air, and sea will be reduced by up to 50 percent. The decree will also close schools, bars, restaurants, shops, and other public spaces. Specifics of the state of alert will continue to emerge through March 14. The decision comes after individual regions implemented their own restrictions. The Generalitat de Catalunya asked residents to stay indoors as of Friday, March 13, and asked Madrid to close borders, ports, airports, and railways in the region. TheBasque Country administration announced that bars, restaurants, museums, and places of worship would be closed starting Sunday, March 15, for 15 days. Residents are also obliged to keep a distance of one and a half meters (five feet) from one another. The Community of Madrid previously ordered the closure of all establishments and shops "except food and basic necessities," until Thursday, March 26. Authorities had also previously banned indoor gatherings of more than 1000 people in the Madrid,La Rioja, Vitoria, and Labastida regions. Schools in the worst affected regions of Madrid, the Basque Country, and La Rioja will be closed for two weeks as a precautionary measure starting from Wednesday, March 11.Currently, there are 6391 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 133 deaths and 193 recoveries.
In Kosovo, authorities have canceled all flights into the country from Monday, March 16, according to diplomatic sources while all departing flights are expected to be severely disrupted due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The decision follows after health officials confirmed Kosovo's first cases of COVID-19 on Friday, March 14. Two of the three infected individuals had recently traveled to Italy, while the third patient is one of their relatives. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term. On Wednesday, March 11, authorities suspended all schools and public gatherings until March 27. Public transport remains restricted, and border crossing points via land remain closed to non-Kosovo citizens. Non-essential businesses such as cafes, bars, restaurants, and shopping centers also remain close. Food stores and pharmacies are still operating.
In the UAE, on Saturday, March 14, the Emirati Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) announced that the country would suspend the issuance of visas to all foreigners (except for diplomatic passport holders), effective Tuesday, March 17, over concerns regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The move does not affect the ability of individuals to enter the UAE whose visas were issued prior to March 17. The UAE has confirmed over 85 cases of COVID-19.