In a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, an Order was issued that took effect on 21 March 2020, prohibiting public assembly in public places and indoors in the entire territory of Serbia – when more than five people are gathered together at the same time (Order on Prohibition of Assembly in the Republic of Serbia in Public Places and Indoor Locations “RS Official Gazette” No 39/2020, hereinafter Order).
Public assembly, within the meaning of the Public Assembly Act, means a gathering of more than 20 persons for the purpose of expressing, exercising and promoting views and goals of state, political, social, and ethnical nature, other freedoms and rights in a democratic society. The term assembly also applies to other forms of gatherings for the purpose of pursuing religious, cultural, humanitarian, sport, entertainment and other interests.
The place of assembly, within the meaning of the law, is any venue accessible individually to an unidentified number of persons, unconditionally or under the same conditions. Indoor location means space, facility or room enclosed or marked, in which the assembly is held, with designated points of entry and exit as the only possible ways in and out.
Bearing in mind the above provisions, the Order does not apply to the employees working at the business premises of the employer (such as a factory, hall), because they are not taking part in a public assembly. Coming to work, the employees are not expressing, exercising and promoting state, political, etc views and goals nor are they pursuing religious, cultural and other interests or purposes. This is further supported by the fact that employer’s premises, as a place of gathering of employees, are not a venue accessible individually to an unidentified number of persons, but only to precisely identified persons, i.e. employees.
For example, a factory is without a doubt an enclosed space, but the employees arriving there and carrying out work there, is not construed as a public assembly, therefore this Order cannot apply to the work of employees at the business premises of the employer.
TSG Team will keep you updated about this and other relevant topics during the state of emergency in Serbia declared in order to prevent the spread of corona virus.
As a result of lifting the state of emergency in the Republic of Serbia on 6 May 2020, this Order is no longer effective. Find out more here