Much of Macedonia is under a new weekend lockdown starting today. Four densely populated cities that have a major outbreak of coronavirus – Skopje, Tetovo, Kumanovo and Ohrid – are entirely locked down from Thursday evening, until Monday morning.

In the rest of the country, citizens will be allowed outside until 16h. This has prompted an evacuation of the capital, with tens of thousands of families leaving the city for their family or weekend homes in the countryside, or the tourism centers such as Ohrid and Mavrovo. Macedonians were already fed up with the coronavirus restrictions that were supposed to be lifted two weeks ago, only to have the policy reversed as the coronavirus statistics took a dramatic turn to the worse.

Only essential workers are allowed outside during the curfew, with passes issued by the Public Administration Ministry. Dog owners are also allowed short walks outside with their pets.