State Department: Albania - Consular Information Sheet, June 12, 1997
Albania - Consular Information Sheet
Warning: The Department of State recommends that American
citizens continue to avoid unnecessary travel to Albania. While the
Government of Albania has some control over the situation in Tirana, there
continues to be random sporadic shooting especially at night, there have
been several bombings, tensions are heightened in the run-up to the
elections scheduled for June 29, and the potential for renewed disorder
remains. The security situation in other areas is much more unstable.
June 12, 1997
The Government of Albania has declared a state of emergency and
continues to impose a curfew from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. The
U.S. Embassy strongly recommends that American citizens in Albania abide by
the government-imposed curfew, avoid crowds, and exercise caution at all
times. Depending on the conditions prevailing in a particular locality,
American citizens should remain in their homes and avoid travel.
Country Description: Albania continues to undergo
profound social, political, and economic change. Facilities for tourism
are not well developed and many of the goods and services taken for granted
in other European countries are not yet available. Hotel accommodations
are limited outside of Tirana.
Entry Requirements: A passport is required but a visa
is not necessary for a tourist stay of up to 30 days. An extension up to
180 days may be granted by applying at the local police station. After 180
days, the Ministry of Interior accepts extension requests. Please contact
the Embassy of the Republic of Albania at 1150 18th Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20005, Tel: (202) 223-4942, for additional visa
Medical Facilities: Medical facilities are limited and
medicine is in short supply. Within recent years there have been outbreaks
of polio, cholera, and dysentery. Doctors and hospitals generally expect
immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not
always valid outside the United States. The Medicare/Medicaid program does
not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.
Travelers have found that supplemental medical insurance with specific
overseas coverage is useful. Further information on health matters can be
obtained from the Centers for Disease Control's international traveler's
hotline at (404) 332-4559 or Internet: http://www.cdc.gov.
Crime Information: Albania has a high rate of violent
crime. Street crime is fairly common and occurs particularly at night.
Crime is generally directed at targets of opportunity, not at Americans in
particular. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be
reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. The Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" is
available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. It provides useful information on
guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad.
Currency Regulations: Credit cards and traveler's
checks are not accepted in Albania except at the major new hotels in
Tirana. Personal checks are not accepted anywhere.
Road Safety/Travel Conditions: Major roads are
passable, but often in poor repair. Buses travel regularly between most
major destinations, but may be unreliable and uncomfortable. Travelers
have reported attacks by bands of thieves in all parts of the country.
There are no commercial domestic flights and few rail connections.
Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws
of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use
and dealing of illegal drugs are severe, and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and fines.
Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens
visiting or remaining in Albania are strongly recommended to register at
the U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on travel and security
within Albania. The U.S. Embassy in Tirana is located at Rruga E Elbasanit
103, Tel: (355)(42) 32875, Fax: (355)(42) 32222.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated March 21, 1996,
to update the Travel Warning, entry requirements, medical, road
safety, crime and the Internet.