Albania Travel Restrictions: Travelling Albania in 2021
Last Updated on July 2, 2021 by Anita Hendrieka
*I will be avoiding certain words in this post because otherwise this post can get suppressed. I will use words like panini for the big P-word and ‘V’ for the thing that gets put in the arm.
I have been asked a fair few times about what Albania is like to travel to during the panini. What are the Albania travel restrictions? Is it safe? Should we still travel to Albania in 2021, or should we wait until next year?
I’ve been putting off this post for a while because there is a huge lack of information, not just in Albania but worldwide so I never want to say something and then it is not true. So please bear in mind as I am posting this on April 16th, that this is from the information I currently have available to me. I cannot predict the future, although I wish I could because that would be pretty f**king awesome.
Disclaimer: Before I get into asking these questions, I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL, I can only talk about my perspective on the subject and tell you what it’s like from my point of view. I have lived in Saranda, Albania for over 3 years and I have lived here during the panini and seen things from a local perspective. My partner is Albanian, so I feel like I have a great insight into 2 perspectives – an expat and a local.
I have gathered together the questions I have been asked during the last few months and I’m going to try to answer them as best as I can below!
**I am going to update this post as much as possible to make sure if things change, that this post reflects that.
What are the Albania travel restrictions?
There are little to no restrictions in place for Albania. There is a curfew in place which is from 22:00 – 6:00 every day. Masks are to be worn in public areas, if you are not seen with a mask, you can be fined.
I live in Saranda, where I would say less than 40% of people are wearing masks, including law enforcement. However, just because you see locals not wearing them does not mean you have to follow them too. If you are coming from a foreign country into Albania, you should follow the rules in place, be respectful and protect the locals and yourself by wearing a mask.
All shops, restaurants and bars are open as normal but close at 22:00 as per the curfew rules.
Transport within Albania is back to normal but as per the rules, masks should be worn on public transport.
There are no Albania travel restrictions in regard to arriving in Albania.
What do I need to prepare for my trip?
A mask, respectful attitude and money to contribute to the local economy! Things have been tough for people here, a lot of the country relies on money from tourism and there has been little to no help from the government.
Tip well, eat at restaurants, support the local economy. If you do not want to go out and eat at the restaurants and bars, order takeaway and go to the local park or beach and enjoy it there.
How is the ‘V’ rollout in Albania
‘V’’s are underway in Albania and many of the older generations have received their first one. There is currently no plan for expats unfortunately at this time but I will update this post if there’s an update on that.
‘V’ passports in Albania
The prime minister has stated “No v passport will be required for tourists” as of the end of March. Albania does have upcoming elections so if this changes, I will be sure to update this.
Do I have to wear a mask in Albania?
Yes, you do have to wear a mask in public places (supermarkets, outside, inside etc). If you are caught without one, you could face a fine of up to 3000 lek.
What is a good news source to find updates about cases?
I always go to Exit for updated information. They have an English portal which I find helpful, to the point and gives you great updates on the situation.
Should I still plan to travel to Albania in 2021
Yes! As I said earlier, the locals need your tourist dollars. It’s been tough for Albania and it’s time to get back on that plane and visit Albania. The great thing is that Albania has been open nearly this entire time unlike many of its neighbours and other European countries.
Is it ethical to travel to Albania right now?
Now, this is a tough question and it’s been on my mind for the last year. At first, no, I do not think it was ethical to travel during a panini, of course not. If you want to stop the spread, stay at home. This is coming from a privileged point of view and I acknowledge that. Travel is a privilege, there’s no if’s or but’s.
However, I have seen what it’s like from a country that doesn’t get a paycheck from their government or support with food and water when they have nothing.
It’s easy to say no you should not travel if you are from a rich country that gives you benefits and makes sure that you don’t go hungry. So before anyone judges anyone for travelling, ask yourself if you were in the shoes of a person who lives in a country that relies on tourism, and you haven’t seen a tourist or a dollar from them for over a year, how would your perspective change? The truth is that tourism is one of the biggest industries and many countries rely on it.
My advice? Travel, but do it safely. Get the ‘V’ if you are able, wear a mask in public, distance yourself from others etc.
When will the ferries from Corfu to Saranda open?
They are now open again, currently, Saranda to Corfu is working however Greece are still yet to announce when ferries will be allowed to go via Corfu – Saranda. Check out Finikas Lines for updated times.
Moving to Albania in 2021
There has been an incredible influx of tourists moving to Albania permanently, especially in Saranda. This is mostly because there have been such strict rules across the world and Albania has little to none. If you are moving to Albania, make sure you read my post on living in Albania here.
I hope this was helpful and gave you an insight into what the Albania travel restrictions is like right now. I’m excited about the summer and so is everyone else here. I have to say that I am happy I was in Albania during this time because it has been super easy with few restrictions. Albania welcomes you and I hope you get to visit soon!
If you have any further questions please leave them below as I will be sure to add them to this post. Unfortunately, I cannot investigate what restrictions are in place for your own country, I can only speak on coming to Albania.
Other articles you will love:
- 24 Places to Visit in Albania
- Albania Travel Guide for First Timers: Everything You Need!
- 11 lessons I learned from living in Albania