COVID-19: Croatian Government Presents Plan to Loosen Measures

By 23 April 2020

April 23, 2020 - The Croatian Government presented a three-phase plan to loosen coronavirus measures in Croatia. reports that at 13:15 on Thursday, the Croatian Government session began.

In his opening statement, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic mentioned this morning's earthquake in Zagreb. He says the government is working on a law to help anyone who has suffered from the earthquake. He also recalled yesterday's commemoration in Jasenovac.

"We have once again condemned these crimes,” he said.

He then spoke about the coronavirus. He recalled that it had been almost two months since it was first found in Croatia.

"Today it has spread to the whole world, half the population is living in reduced movement. The number of infected people has jumped from 80,000 to over two and a half million," Plenkovic said.

"2800 people died in the US yesterday, more than in the World Trade Center attack. By the end of next week, the death toll of Americans could exceed the death toll in the Vietnam War," Plenkovic said.

"Europe is the worst hit," he added, saying that 60 percent of all deaths are in Europe.

"In our country, the epidemiological situation is under control. Despite minor fluctuations, the trend has been declining for the past two weeks," he said. He says at no point was the number of new cases over 100.

"The coefficient that measures how much one person infects others has fallen below one. Today, it is below 0.8 and was 2.5. Therefore, we can gradually launch a range of social and economic activities. But that does not mean that we can immediately return to our old ways,” he said.

"This virus requires the vigilance of all of us," he added.

Plenkovic presented loosening measures in three phases:

"What we are going to present today must come with strict measures.

Phase 1 begins on Monday, April 27: [The ability to] work will be provided to all entities engaged in trade activities except those operating within shopping centers.

We will make work possible for anyone engaging in service activities, except for those who have close contact with people.

Public city and suburban lines will be introduced. Libraries and museums will open. The training of athletes in the highest rank of competitions is allowed. Only priority groups of students will have the ability to take the state graduation exam.

Phase 2, May 4: The health system will be fully operational except for exceptions decided by epidemiologists. The private healthcare system will operate.

Work will be provided to the businesses of related industries where close contact is established. These are beauticians, hairdressers, pedicurists...

Phase 3, May 11: Meetings of up to ten people will be allowed, shopping centers will be open, preschools will be open, classes from grades 1-4 will be provided and children with disabilities who have a teaching assistant will be able to undergo their education.

Laboratory training will be allowed. Inter-county lines will be introduced. Catering facilities will open exclusively on terraces. Catering facilities in accommodation units will be provided for accommodation users," he said.

"The state graduation will be June 8-29," Plenkovic added.


PHASE 1 - April 27, 2020

- Ability to work for all business entities engaged in trade, except those operating within shopping centers

- Continuation of work to all business entities engaged in service activities, except those in which close contact with customers is observed, respecting physical distance measures (for example, carpenter, tailor, locksmith, travel agencies, photo studio)

- Introduction of public city and suburban transport lines and express lines for islands not connected by ferry

- Libraries, museums, galleries, antiques and bookstores to open

- Facilitating training of athletes I and II. categories in individual sports and senior sports teams competing in the highest level of competition

- Facilitating the state professional exam for priority groups of students

PHASE 2 - May 4, 2020

- Enabling the full operation of the public health system, with the exception of exceptions in line with the Ministry of Health measures

- Enabling the full operation of the private health system, with due regard for specific epidemiological measures

- Ability to work for all business entities engaged in service activities in which close contact with clients is observed, with respect to specific epidemiological measures (for example, hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, pedicurists)

PHASE 3 - May 11, 2020

- Gatherings of up to 10 people in one place allowed, while respecting physical distance measures

- Facilitating the operation of shopping malls while respecting specific epidemiological measures

- Facilitating the work of preschools and elementary classes from grades 1-4 and special classes and working with children with disabilities who have a teaching assistant

- Laboratory, artistic and clinical exercises and practical work allowed in small groups in higher education

- Introduction of inter-county and domestic air services

- Allowing catering facilities to work exclusively in outdoor areas and terraces

- Allowing catering facilities to work in accommodation facilities only for users of accommodation services

- Operation of national and nature parks allowed

- Expanding opportunities for issuing e-passes

Mass from May 2

"We have decided to allow religious gatherings from May 2," he said.

"Religious gatherings will be allowed from May 2, for which precise recommendations and instructions from epidemiologists will be made," Plenkovic said.

"In the end, I want to say that we have shown that our priority is protecting life and health. It is also our job to make the economy work. We've made it possible to retain jobs. From next week on, many will reactivate their businesses," he said.

About opening borders

"I believe we will learn to live with this virus. We will find solutions with our partners in Europe. So we'll be in a position to move towards opening the borders as well. We'll find solutions in the coming weeks that will be mutually agreed upon and which will be safe," he said.

About tourism

Plenkovic also spoke about the tourist season:

"This morning and throughout this week, I interviewed colleagues whose citizens love Croatia. All colleagues would like us to find a model in the coming weeks on how to allow borders to open and allow people to come," Plenkovic said. He talked to Kurz, Janša, and Orban. He added that Angela Merkel also supports this.

"It's a government obligation," he said.

"If two countries are in a similar epidemiological situation, if they're fighting equally well, we will find a solution so you can travel. So that Slovenians can go to Croatia and Croats can go to Slovenia. Others have the same desires. We will look for a solution and then the season can be worked out. Clearly, it can't be a record season like the last three," Plenkovic said.

About e-passes

"The reasons why they can be issued will be expanded. They will remain in function, but the scope will be increased with the epidemiological picture. As far as trade is concerned, HZJZ will make recommendations."

He explained that if someone from Krapina goes to the sea, they will get a pass. So, he said, they will remain, but they will be easier to issue.

"We're not running. We are loosening the measures as much as we can with the utmost caution," he said.

The measures were unanimously adopted.

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