Last updated May 14, 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 2020 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 May 13th, the number of active cases is currently 259.5 per 100,000 people. By comparison, Utah is at 240.0 active cases per 100k and the USA as a whole is around 1,935.7 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, we 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).

There are areas of the country which are seeing tighter restrictions. In these areas, daycares, gyms, and shopping centers are closed. Members of different households cannot meet indoors. In some cases, residents are not allowed to leave their local area unless for work or school, or for medical purposes.  

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 10:00 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. When volunteers are in-country, we’ll be working with them about what vacation options are available.

Okay, now what?  Should I still apply for Montenegro?

If you’re thinking “that’s all really good to know, but what does that mean for me?” we have some good news to share: time is still totally on your side.

We’ve seen policies change without notice that have made the difference between us thinking we’ll need to wait longer and helping us determine that a semester in that location is something we’re pretty optimistic about. Sometimes that has happened in the span of just a couple of weeks or even in a single day. We’re thinking a lot can change for the Fall 2021 semester.

So we say start your application now so that you’re ready when the time comes. We are going to need volunteers who are ready to go right when things change for the better, which is why we think it’s a good idea to have your application in (even if things potentially look uncertain right now). Time really is on your side.

We’re also here for all of your questions. We’d love to talk about deferring to a later semester if things still need more time or finding a country right now that’ll be a good fit for you. You can bet that once things open up, you’ll be the first to know!