Kosovo, Albania and part of Serbia postpone school openings due to coronavirus

Photo: AP Girls walk in a deserted school yard in Kosovo's capital Pristina, 31 August 2021.

Kosovo on Tuesday postponed the beginning of the school year for students up through high school by two weeks following a surge of coronavirus infections due to the delta variant, and new precautions were taken in other Western Balkan countries like Albania and Serbia, news wires reported. Perparim Kryeziu, the spokesman for the Kosovo government, told the Associated Press that “we have put up some new restrictive measures,” which include postponing classes until Sept. 13, imposing a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. nightly curfew, having restaurants and bars only operate outside and mandatory mask-wearing both indoors and outside.

The preventative moves have been welcomed by teachers and parents who fear that the delta variant has created a more dangerous situation for students and families.

Kosovo saw more than 2,000 new infections a day in August, 10 times what it was less than a month ago. That is posing a rising danger, for less than 20% of its 1.8 million people are vaccinated.

In neighboring Albania, school was postponed until Sept. 27. The Tirana government is urging people to get their vaccine shots, warning that otherwise it may make vaccines compulsory for health workers, teachers, professors and students. About one-third of Albania’s 2.8 million people have been vaccinated.

In Serbia, teachers protested Tuesday outside the parliament building in Belgrade demanding fewer students in classes and better salaries. Schools in Serbia start as normal on Wednesday, except in southwestern Serbia, where some classes will be online due to the high numbers of new coronavirus infections.

Some 50% of the population has been vaccinated in Serbia, a country of 7 million, and authorities have started administering a third booster dose to people who had received jabs at least six months ago.


More on this subject: Coronavirus

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