Montenegro

Last updated April 16, 2021

Today’s Status, Looking Towards Fall 2021 — Blue

This country hosted a couple of ILP semesters in 2020 and 2021, however, due to recent changes we’ll need to wait on a few things.

Check below to get more details on some key aspects that we’re watching (it’s stuff you’re going to want to know). Also, this info is changing often, so check back frequently. 

Getting There

In early January 2021, Montenegro eliminated the need for a negative Covid-19 test result for incoming travelers. However, starting March 11, all travelers entering the country must present proof of vaccination or a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival. There have also been discussions about border policies changing in the coming months.

ILP volunteers don’t need visas for Montenegro, and the former 90-day limit has been temporarily removed. 

We get to vacations later, but traveling out of the country may be a little tricky depending on the quarantine and border policies of the countries you may want to vacation to. We’re carefully watching which countries have restrictions for US passport holders, versus countries in Europe who are more concerned with where you have been traveling recently.

Montenegro’s two airports (Podgorica and Tivat) have been open since June 1st for international flights.

Daily Life

Early on in the pandemic, the virus did not impact Montenegro very hard. However, as tourism reopened over the summer, there was an increase in cases. Initially it appeared that they would be in check with restrictions taking place, but currently the numbers are still on the rise. 

As of April 16th, the number of active cases is currently 555.5 per 100,000 people. By comparison, Utah is at 271.6 active cases per 100k and the USA as a whole is around 2,090.9 per 100,000.

Because of the current lockdowns, most schools have had to cancel in-person teaching as well as online teaching opportunities. We expect that will be changing soon, however, will be watching the situation as it impacts future semesters.

Beaches, stores, and tourist sites are all generally open which means you can soak up the best of what this coastal city has to offer.

Out & About

Wearing protective masks outdoors and indoors is mandatory throughout Montenegro, except on beaches and in national parks (if physical distancing regulations are followed).

In Budva, there’s a restriction that doesn’t allow visits to residential buildings unless you live there. Private gatherings are also restricted (birthdays, weddings, etc) to those people living in the household. Lingering outside (at parks, on the beaches, etc) is restricted to four adults. Only seated passengers on public transportation are allowed.  In other regions, there is no dine-in, only takeaway for restaurants. In March, shopping centers, gyms, and public catering facilities were closed.

There is currently a curfew in place from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM, daily. Grocery stores and other businesses are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Things are looking good for bus routes and taxis to some of our favorite places in Montenegro. Think about spending weekends and vacation time exploring dozens of beaches, taking mountain hikes to glacial lakes, and photographing ancient monasteries hiding in the cliffside.

Out of country travel is extremely limited now and may not be possible to many places. In a nutshell, in order for you to travel out of the country, that country has to let you in and Montenegro has to let you back. A lot of popular destinations in Europe aren’t allowing US travelers but potentially, volunteers may be able to check out places in south eastern Europe, spots like Serbia, Slovakia, and North Macedonia. That list could shrink or expand, but that’s what things are like now.

Can I still apply for Montenegro?

Absolutely! We currently have volunteers abroad for a Spring 2021 semester, so if you’re considering volunteering Fall 2021, we’d recommend getting a jump on your application ASAP (reminder, we don’t have a summer semester for this location). Or if you’re considering traveling in Spring 2022, now is a great time to start your application for that semester as well. 

We are so excited for volunteers to be back in Montenegro! 

What is traveling and living in Montenegro like right now? 

For Montenegro, things have slowly been opening back up both for domestic and international tourism. We’re seeing similar precautions you’re taking at home (like wearing a mask and social distancing). Just like there is a risk to go out in Utah right now, there will be risks to traveling anywhere, including Montenegro.