Serbia closes parts of border with Bosnia, Croatia

Serbia closes parts of border with Bosnia, Croatia

Serbia closes parts of border with Bosnia, Croatia Izvor: Jure Makovec/AFP, (ilustracija)

Serbia closed a number of border crossings with Croatia and with Bosnia and Herzegovina, border authorities from both countries confirmed on Thursday morning.

The move is believed to be related to Serbia's efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, although Belgrade officials have not yet issued any announcements at the time of writing.

Local police spokesman in Croatia's Osijek-Baranja County, Zoran Kon, confirmed to N1 television that Serbian border police moved to close three border crossings with Croatia as of 7 am on Thursday - the Batina-Bezdan and Apatin river crossings on the Danube, as well as the Erdut-Bogojevo railway bridge. 

Croatia and Serbia share 14 border crossings. All others reportedly remain open, including the major road crossing at Bajakovo-Batrovci on European route E70.

In Bosnia, border police confirmed that on the Serbian side six border crossings have been closed (Badovinci-Popovi, Jamena-Donje Crnjelevo, Mokronozi, Carevo Polje, Zvornik, Skelani-Bajina Basta) and the Brasina train station in Serbia.

Although border police in both countries confirmed closures, the news came as a surprise because Belgrade officials had not earlier announced any plans to step up border controls to contain the coronavirus epidemic.

As of Thursday morning, Croatia and Serbia each had 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, while Bosnia reported five. All three countries had introduced travel restrictions for incoming travellers arriving from worst-hit areas of the world and imposed bans on large public events.

Bosnia also shut down schools throughout most of the country, as did Slovenia on Thursday after the number of confirmed cases rose to 57.

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