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COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
North Macedonia - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in North Macedonia.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
Preventative measures and restrictions are in place.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing
- Avoid crowded areas
- You must wear a face covering on public transport, in closed public spaces and where physical distancing is not possible
- You must respect the number of people authorized to travel in a private car: 3, including the driver
If you violate the restrictions, you could be fined for endangering public health.
COVID-19 response - Government of North Macedonia
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs, especially in Skopje’s main downtown pedestrian zone, shopping malls and the Skopje Alexander the Great Airport. Foreigners have been the target of muggings.
Occasional acts of inter-ethnic violence can occur.
- Remain vigilant at all times.
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
- Be particularly careful around groups of street children, who sometimes gather around their victim to ask for money as one of them pickpockets them.
Exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to the western border zone due to heightened criminal activity in the area.
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
More about overseas fraud
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. There is a potential for other violent incidents.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Demonstrations take place frequently. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country.
Secondary roads are poorly maintained and lack adequate lighting. In mountainous areas, most roads lack guard rails and are little more than dirt tracks above deep gorges. Ice and snow make driving hazardous in winter.
Drivers don’t respect traffic laws and don’t follow safe-driving practices. Farm equipment and stray animals pose additional risks. Exercise caution when travelling by road, especially after dark.
Dial 196 for roadside assistance.
Public transportation is not reliable and may not meet Canadian safety standards.
Taxis are widely available and are a reliable mode of transportation. To avoid being overcharged, obtain a price estimate in advance and ensure that the taxi driver is using the meter.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
On certain holidays or following major elections or soccer matches, there is a tradition of discharging firearms into the air (celebratory fire), often after dark, and to coincide with fireworks displays. Avoid any event where people are engaging in celebratory fire as there have been incidents of injuries and even death caused by stray bullets.
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
In an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory. While some countries have started to ease some of these measures, most remain in place.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.
These could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- exit bans
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
- border closures
- airport closures
- flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
- suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Monitor the media for the latest information
- Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Foreign diplomatic offices in Canada – Global Affairs Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the North Macedonian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from North Macedonia.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
If you want to stay longer than 90 days but did not apply for a visa prior to arriving in North Macedonia, you must leave the country and apply for the appropriate visa at a North Macedonian embassy or consulate. The North Macedonian Border Police strictly enforce entry and exit requirements. If you stay beyond the permitted number of days, you could be severely fined or barred from returning to North Macedonia.
You must register with the local police within 24 hours of arrival in North Macedonia. Registration will normally be arranged by your hotel. If you are not staying in a hotel, registration must be organized by your host. Failure to register can result in fines and difficulties when departing.
Canadians who also hold North Macedonian citizenship and have been outside of North Macedonia for longer than 3 months should contact the Embassy of the Republic of North Macedonia prior to travelling to enquire about specific regulations, which may affect re-entry to North Macedonia.
Foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada
Canadians of Macedonian ancestry
The Greek border officials are in the process of fully implementing the Prespes Agreement, recognizing Macedonia (MKD) as country code. This change should eliminate difficulties encountered by Canadians of Macedonian ancestry when travelling to or through Greece with a Canadian passport indicating Macedonia (MKD) as birthplace. However, issues may still arise during the implementation period. Report any related difficulty to the Embassy of Canada to Greece in Athens.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - April 19, 2020
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Southern Europe, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Medical services and facilities
Good health care is limited in availability .Most medical facilities are poorly equipped, and specialized treatment may not be available. Immediate cash payment is usually required for medical services.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Don’t photograph border crossings, government buildings and military installations without prior approval; ask permission from local authorities before taking photographs of these locations.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe.
You must carry photo identification and present it to local authorities upon request. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated.
While not illegal, homosexuality is not socially tolerated in North Macedonia.
General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in North Macedonia.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of North Macedonia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
You should carry an international driving permit.
Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts at all times. All vehicles must use side lights/dipped headlights during the day.
Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05 percent; however, it is 0.00 for new and professional drivers. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines or jail.
The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited.
Police routinely stop vehicles for inspection.
In the event of an accident, you must call the police and not move the vehicle until the police have allowed you to do so.
More about the International Driving Permit
To avoid difficulties upon departure, travellers carrying foreign currency, expensive jewellery or electronic equipment should make a customs declaration upon arrival in North Macedonia.
Strict regulations are in place on items of a specific value or deemed to be of cultural or historical significance. If you purchased any works of art or antiques, confirm with the Cultural Heritage Protection Office if you may leave North Macedonia with these items before attempting to leave as a permit may be required.
You must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000, or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets.
The currency of North Macedonia is the Macedonian denar (MKD).
The economy is mostly cash-based.
Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels and shops, except in some small grocery stores. Foreign currency can be exchanged at all major banks and at numerous exchange facilities.
Natural disasters and climate
North Macedonia is located in an active seismic zone, although serious earthquakes are rare.
Bush and forest fires
Bush and forest fires are common during the summer months. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke. In case of a major fire, stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments. Always follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel. Monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation.
Between November and February, Skopje and surrounding areas can be affected by thick fog, which can affect air travel. Keep abreast of the latest delays caused by inclement weather.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 192
- medical assistance: 194
- firefighters: 193
Belgrade - Embassy of Canada
Skopje - Consulate of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Belgrade and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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