New Croatian Coronavirus Rules to Begin as of February 1st, 2022

By 30 January 2022
New Croatian Coronavirus Rules to Begin as of February 1st, 2022
Lauren Simmonds

January the 30th, 2022 - New Croatian coronavirus rules are set to come into force as of the 1st of February as things are altered to reflect what we know about the Omicron variant.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after the meeting of the National Civil Protection Directorate with the representatives of the Dr. Andrija Stampar Public Health Institute, statements were given by Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic and the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak on the new Croatian coronavirus rules.

“As of the 1st of February, we'll extend the decisions which are currently in force. The change that will happen as of that day concerns the regulation of border crossings. From February the 1st, covid certificates will be issued for those vaccinated with two doses for a period of 270 days, with nothing changing for those who need to take PCR tests - they are valid for 72 hours after testing. As far as rapid antigen tests are concerned, it will be possible to cross the Croatian border if it hasn't been more than 24 hours since the test was taken, and when it comes to recovery from the virus, covid certificates will be provided for a period of 180 days since recovery. As of February the 1st, Croatia, in cooperation with the Croatian Institute of Public Health, will issue EU digital covid certificates with these validity deadlines,'' explained Davor Bozinovic.

“There is also the national component of covid certification to think about, this refers to the need for the certificates to enter healthcare facilities, social welfare facilities, as well as state and public services. We aren't going to change anything there. Everyone who has previously been issued with certificates, when it comes to both recovering from the illness and vaccination against it, will be able to use until the date until which they were issued, which is a period of 365 days. We've asked for the recognition of rapid antigen test results for the EU digital covid-certificate, but this hasn't yet been decided at the EU level as we wanted it to be. However, an increasing number of countries are joining our initiative and we expect that decision to be made.

The second part of our meeting on new Croatian coronavirus rules was dedicated to the possibility of shortening the self-isolation period given the speed of spread of the new Omicron variant. The healthcare system, public activities, and other necessary functions are being burdened, but more about that will be explained to you by Krunoslav Capak,'' said Davor Bozinovic, adding that all decisions on new Croatian coronavirus rules will be officially announced on Monday.

Krunoslav Capak then said: ''Omicron causes a milder clinical picture, especially in vaccinated people, but it has also learned to bypass the system and it spreads more quickly than others variants. It's important to reduce isolation and quarantine periods, as its incubation period lasts slightly shorter than those of previous variants, the disease itself is shorter and the person is less contagious. That's why we're considering shortening the quarantine period. An ECDC document was released yesterday recommending that this possibility be considered.

This will be regulated by Croatian Institute of Public Health recommendations which will be adopted soon, but we're considering reducing the quarantine period for all those who are vaccinated down to seven days, as well as shortening the isolation period for patients with only mild or moderate clinical pictures down to five days, provided that they don't show any symptoms for 24 hours following their exit from self-isolation and as long as they return a negative result on a rapid antigen test. For other people, the rule remains the same as it was before.

"As for the booster vaccine, things still haven't yet been properly defined. We provide 365 day covid certificates to people after they receive their third dose because there's still no scientific evidence to suggest how long this booster remains effective. Entry into Croatia, but also into other EU member states using EU digital covid certificates will be possible only on the basis of these new rules, which will be made valid from the 1st of February. We aren't just changing the part for their use within Croatia. If you travel to or from Croatia, then these new rules apply to you,'' added Bozinovic.

Asked whether complete abolition of covid certificates is being considered at all, Bozinovic said: "Their main purpose of them is to slow down the spread of the disease. It is almost impossible to stop this variant from spreading, but with these Croatian covid rules, wearing masks, which we're now emphasising, we can slow it down, and that is the most important thing. The abolition of covid certificates in the EU is not something on the table,'' he said.

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