In just few hours after the border was opened this morning, more than 3.000 passengers crossed through the Tabanovce border crossing with Serbia, which is expected to be the main gauge for movement to and through Macedonia. It is the main entry point for transit tourists who are expected to head south to Greece.

Nearly 2.000 of the passengers were entering Macedonia, which as of today allows entry without a mandatory coronavirus test or quarantine. Of them, 1.300 were Macedonian citizens. Meanwhile, 1.233 people left the country until 10h – most of them (over 900) Macedonian citizens.

The Government’s decision to open the border despite record high infection and mortality rates was widely criticized. A major scandal erupted after Arben Ziberi, the now dismissed head of the Public health institute, said that he influenced the decision to open the border so that more ethnic Albanian diaspora members can return to the country and vote for his DUI party. Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce from the SDSM party, which also hopes that returning Albanian voters will boost its result at the coming elections, dismissed Ziberi but left the order to open the border stand.