Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 14 January 2020, 12:06 NZDT
  • Still current at: 28 January 2020

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Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to North Mitrovica and the northern municipalities of Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan due to politically-motivated violence and civil unrest.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Kosovo due to the potential for civil unrest.

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Civil unrest/political tension
The security situation in Kosovo is currently calm but remains tense. In the past, violent incidents involving grenades, vehicle expolosions and unrest have occurred in several towns in northern Kosovo, including the northern part of the city of Mitrovica. There have also been a number of recent protests in central Pristina, some of which have turned violent.

New Zealanders in Kosovo are advised to maintain a high degree of personal security awareness at all times. We recommend you avoid all demonstrations, protests and rallies as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.

New Zealanders are also advised to monitor local developments closely. Information on the security situation can be found on the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) website or the NATO led Kosovo Force (KFOR) website . KFOR radio (96.6FM) also broadcasts security information.

Kosovo/Serbia border
The security situation along the Kosovo-Serbia border remains unpredictable. There have been security incidents in the past at the northern Kosovo border crossings, specifically Gates 1 and 31 in Jarinje and Brnjak. If travelling to Serbia you should find alternative routes.

Petty crime, including theft and bag-snatching is common, particularly at airports and on public transport. Foreigners or tourists, who are often assumed to carry cash, may be targeted in crowded areas. Exercise security awareness and guard your personal belongings carefully. Avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as electronic devices, cameras and jewellery.

Terrorist attacks continue to occur globally and attacks in Kosovo cannot be ruled out. Attacks could be in indiscriminate and target areas visited by foreigners such as places of worship, sporting venues or transport hubs.

New Zealanders in Kosovo are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercising vigilance in public places.

While clearance of unexploded landmines and munitions has proven effective in most parts of Kosovo, some mines and explosives remain along the borders with Albania, Serbia, in the Dulje Pass area in central Kosovo and in some rural areas. New Zealanders are advised to avoid all off-road travel and stay on clearly marked paths.

General travel advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Kosovo should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

Authorities may ask for proof of your identity, so carry a colour photocopy of your passport and visa for Kosovo at all times.

New Zealanders in Kosovo are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

See our regional advice for Europe

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