Tourism agency chambers are threatening protests if the Government goes ahead and introduces coronavirus tests for visiting and departing tourists.

Macedonia went through the summer season without border checks and this decision greatly contributed to the current wave of cases, especially in the western cities like Tetovo and Gostivar – many local Albanians live in Western Europe and have come for the summer, many of them organizing massive wedding parties. The remittances received during this period are an important source of hard currency for the country and the Government kept the border open during the summer – and now the entire country is paying the price with a large new wave of coronavirus cases and deaths.

We will suffer enormous losses if foreign guests are required to take PCR tests to enter the country. That will collapse the tourism sector. We are private companies that are fighting to stay alive, and this decision will push our clients who have upcoming trips to demand their money back. Many of the agencies will have to close down, a number of tourism agencies said in a joint press statement.

They call on the Government to first introduce random tests, that will show how necessary is it to require negative tests from unvaccinated visitors, and also to deploy mobile teams that would perform rapid tests at the border crossings.