Current corona restrictions
With the declaration of a state of emergency and a far-reaching lockdown in mid-March, far-reaching restrictions in everyday life in Serbia are associated.
Entry and exit to / from Serbia are not possible because the borders – except for goods traffic – are closed and so are the international airports – except for deliveries of aid. Foreign citizens with residence status can enter, but then have to go into a 14-day quarantine (28 days for foreigners from so-called high-risk countries). Far-reaching exit restrictions apply within Serbia. For people over 65 there is an almost complete curfew, for everyone else at night. Local and national public transport has been discontinued. Visiting parks and public places is prohibited, as is the formation of groups of more than two people.
German citizens can find out about current developments at the Federal Foreign Office.
Repeal of almost all measures
With the rapid decline in the number of infections, almost all restrictions were lifted at the beginning of May. The extensive curfews have been lifted completely since May 4th and the state of emergency since May 6th. The borders have been reopened for passenger traffic, and a current corona test has not been required since May 22, which means that entry and transit is again possible without restrictions. At the border, travelers receive a bilingual information sheet about the pandemic measures to be observed. All shops, hotels and restaurants are open again, events with up to 1,000 people are allowed again. Local and long-distance traffic has been rolling again since May 8th, Belgrade Airport has started up again, however, the number of flights to and from Germany remains well below the pre-crisis level. While the distance rule still applies, there is no mask requirement.
Due to the renewed increase in the number of cases since the end of June, the measures tightened again to contain the pandemic, even if the original plan to reinstate curfews was abandoned. The exceptional situation was declared in Belgrade and several other cities and municipalities. Large events are now banned again, in all of Serbia a maximum of ten people are allowed to gather outdoors or in closed rooms. A distance of 1.5 meters must be kept. In public transport, in shops, shopping centers, cafes, restaurants and night clubs, etc., there is an obligation to wear mouth and nose protection and to maintain social distance. Mouth and nose protection must also be worn when staying outdoors if it is not possible to keep the minimum distance.
Entry and residence
The entry and exit to and from Serbia in the direction of Western Europe is usually carried out by air, via Belgrade Airport and by land – either via one of the motorways or motorway-like road connections that the country with Croatia and Hungary in the north or Connect to the west, or alternatively by train. There are also bus connections to Western Europe. There is no visa requirement for German citizens and since 2010 entry with an identity card has also been possible. This gives you a right of residence for 3 months. For longer stays or to take up gainful employment, it is necessary to apply for an entry visa at one of the Serbian diplomatic missions before departure. Foreigners must report their whereabouts to the police within 24 hours,
More detailed and up-to-date information on entry, customs and security information can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office and on the website of the consular representations of the Republic of Serbia in Germany.
Travel and traffic
Traveling through Serbia by public transport is possible by both train and bus. The rail network and trains are largely out of date. The construction of an express railway line is planned. The bus network is much better and more convenient. Local / regional buses go to practically every village in Serbia. Long-distance buses, which are more comfortable and usually faster than the train, are particularly suitable for cross-regional trips.
Serbia has a well-developed road network. A motorway runs through the country from the Croatian border via Belgrade in the south to almost the Serbian-Macedonian border. Further motorway expansions, for example from Belgrade via Novi Sad to the Hungarian border in the north, are planned or already under construction. There are also motorway-like roads. The use of these two types of road is subject to a toll. Payment can be made by credit card or in cash (dinars and – with a considerable surcharge – also in euros). Tolls are compulsory in Serbia on the following roads: E-75 Belgrad-Novi Sad, E-70 Novi Sad-Feketić-Subotica, E75 Belgrade-Niš, E75 Niš-Leskovac and E70 Belgrad-Šid.
Driving through Serbia at night requires the utmost attention, as there is an increased risk due to the poor quality of the road surface as well as street and vehicle lighting.
For foreign drivers in Serbia it is strongly recommended to strictly follow the road traffic rules to keep and in particular to observe the speed limits and overtaking bans. The applicable maximum speeds are 80 km / h on country roads and 120 km / h on motorways. The alcohol limit in is 0.3. Offenses against traffic regulations are punishable by severe penalties up to several years imprisonment, depending on the severity of the culpable behavior. In the event of an accident in Serbia, the police must be called and they will draw up a damage report that is essential for insurance purposes and, if necessary, customs procedures when leaving the country. German drivers can drive in Serbia with a national German driver’s license in the three existing versions (gray passport, pink ID card or driver’s license in card format). It is not necessary to have an international driver’s license. The green insurance card is required for German vehicles; The country information “SRB” must be entered on the map on this.
As a result of the flood of the century in May 2014, 3,500 kilometers of roads and 30 percent of the rail network were damaged. However, motorways and international rail connections are not affected. Travelers who want to travel outside of these connections by car or train in Serbia should therefore inform themselves about the state of the transport connections from the local authorities before starting their journey.
In Serbia, the air route is only suitable for domestic travel to a limited extent. The country currently has only two functioning airports – Belgrade’s capital Nikola Tesla, which is 18 km from the city, and Constantine the Great in the southern Serbian city of Niš. There is only one national airline in Serbia, Air Serbia, which since 2013 has owned 49 percent of Etihad Airways from the United Arab Emirates. There are flight connections to and from Germany with Belgrade Airport; In addition, several low-cost airlines fly to Niš Airport from several German cities.
Traveling by ship, especially on the Danube, is primarily suitable for tourist purposes. The most important starting point for shipping is the port of Belgrade.
There are numerous routes and destinations for tourist trips through Serbia. Most interesting for city travelers are the capital Belgrade and the capital of the Vojvodina province, Novi Sad. Vojvodina itself invites you to visit as a cultural landscape that is similar in many ways to neighboring Hungary. Tourist attractions include Serbia’s well-known national park Đerdap and the Iron Gate reservoir on the border with Romania. Serbia’s river landscapes are one of the country’s most important tourist attractions; in addition to the Danube landscape, the Drina river valleys beckon on the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina to visit. The Kopaonik and Zlatibor mountains are best for hiking and skiing in Serbia. The most important ecclesiastical buildings of the Serbian Orthodox Church are in Kosovo, which is now independent.