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Masks Mandatory in Shops and More: HQ Announces Next Measures in Croatia

By 11 July 2020
Masks Mandatory in Shops and More: HQ Announces Next Measures in Croatia
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July 11, 2020 - Friday was the worst day in Croatia since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. 116 new cases were recorded, and new measures were announced.

Index.hr reported on Friday evening that a record 116 new coronavirus cases were reported over 24 hours. This is also the first time that the number of newly infected people reached triple digits in Croatia. Two people died.

There are currently 1,038 active cases in Croatia, according to a statement from the Headquarters. Among them, 104 patients are in hospital, of which four are on a ventilator.

Since February 25, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 3,532 people have been reported to be infected with the coronavirus, of whom 117 have died and 2,377 have recovered.

There are currently 4,608 people in self-isolation. To date, a total of 91,486 people have been tested, of which 1,722 in the last 24 hours.

Headquarters announces a new decision

In accordance with the current epidemiological situation, the National Headquarters passed a Decision on the necessary measures for the organization of gatherings attended by more than 100 participants during the pandemic.

Organizers who expect more than 100 people at the gathering are obliged to submit a notification to the County Center 112 about the gathering no later than 48 hours before the planned start. Organizers who have registered a gathering following the Public Gathering Act are not required to submit this notice.

Also, all organizers of gatherings with more than 100 participants are obliged to keep written records of participants, so that in the event that someone is infected with the virus, the spread of the disease can be prevented as effectively as possible.

Control over the implementation of the decision, as well as compliance with the recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, will be carried out by teams composed of civil protection inspectors and police officers.

HZJZ has published the details of the instructions and rules for large gatherings, and you can read them HERE.

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Update: On July 13th, the National Civil Protection Headquarters issued a clarification of their measure of mandatory mask use in Croatia, in which they listed the groups of people who are not obligated to wear masks. Those groups include:
- children under the age of two,
- children between the ages of two and before school-age, if they exhibit strong resistance towards wearing a mask,
- children should wear masks for a limited period of time, up to an hour or two,
- people with mental health issues, where their mental health problems cause strong resistance towards wearing a mask or inability to remove it on their own,
- people communicating with hearing-impaired persons, who need to lip-read to communicate, as well as hearing-impaired persons themselves
- people with breathing problems caused by existing chronic diseases or conditions,
- people in an altered state of consciousness, or while unconscious,
- everyone else who is unable to remove the mask from their face without someone else's help.

Bozinovic: We will certainly introduce stricter measures at the border

Chief of the National Headquarters Davor Bozinovic explained to Dnevnik Nova TV the latest measures anti-pandemic measures and commented on Friday's record high cases.

“I can’t rule out that there won’t be some approximate number tomorrow, maybe even higher,” he said.

"As for border crossings, we will certainly tighten measures, some will have to go into a two-week self-isolation or come with a test that shows they are not infected. This applies to third countries, BiH, Serbia ... Students studying will have to go through self-isolation," he said.

If you go to a wedding in Belgrade, you don't have to go into self-isolation because we are EU citizens, and Bozinovic says that these are the recommendations of the European Commission.

"The introduction of self-isolation for passengers from Serbia and BiH is the only rational measure," Bozinovic replied.

From the beginning of the week, mandatory masks in stores

Masks in stores will be mandatory from the beginning of next week, and Bozinovic says it will be an obligation. “It doesn’t have to be medical masks, but I repeat, autumn could be a more serious challenge, and then the measures could be a little tighter,” he said.

Guests in catering facilities will not have to wear masks, i.e., they will not be mandatory. They will be mandatory for staff.

“If a gap is maintained, the virus is powerless here, but where close contacts occur, it is a situation where the virus is spreading fast and in that sense, we have made recommendations today because they are our main hotspots,” he said.

Asked if the measures should have been tightened before, he replied: "This is a long struggle, someone says up to two years. Any measure that means closing an activity, the question is whether you will open in the winter, when the conditions are even more difficult. This is not at all easy," he noted, adding that they plan to return to daily National Press conferences.

Markotic: With large gatherings, people can endanger those around them

"This is something that is dangerous. Trends say that we must be as responsible as possible and start tightening measures," said the director of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases "Dr. Fran Mihaljevic" Alemka Markotic for Dnevnik, answering the question about how she received Friday's news that we, for the first time, exceeded the number of one hundred new patients in one day.

When asked which of the measures on the table will be introduced first, Markotic said that the gatherings of over 100 people would be accompanied by a series of stricter measures and instructions and there will be controls.

"The most important thing is for people to understand that we had an ideal situation that we can restore if they adhere to simple measures. Gathering large numbers of people can endanger those around them," she said.

She also spoke about extinguishing new hotspots that have mostly spread in recent days from large private gatherings.

"Our health service has worked well, it has brought many hotspots under control, but not only the civil protection system and the police can operate alone. Everyone else needs to work together. The virus is there, the disease is there, it can be very dangerous and cause large numbers. If it increases, it is to be expected that there will be serious illnesses among the younger ones as well, and stricter measures will have to be taken - reducing the number of people who can gather, stricter controls will be introduced, and wearing masks will be introduced in shopping malls. It is for Croatia and for the tourists who come; and there are practically no sick people among the tourists, who are obviously behaving extremely responsibly," said Markotic.

The director of the Civil Protection of the Republic of Croatia, Damir Trut, spoke for RTL about the new measures and their implementation.

When asked when the measures on mass gatherings will take effect and how the police and inspectors will check who is adhering to them, he said:

"The decision has been approved and will take effect on Monday, so everyone has time to prepare and report all gatherings they are obliged to. So from 100 people onwards. And that inspectors can make a plan to monitor the gatherings. What is prescribed will be monitored for such gatherings. That list is important if there is an infection so that it is easier to find contacts. Basically, everything that has always been prescribed and if we have adhered to it, this would not have happened."

He adds that masks could be mandatory indoors.

"That's right, we are talking about introducing masks in all enclosed spaces. As we have introduced in public transport and it has proved to be good. We must all be aware that we must control ourselves and be the ones who adhere to the measures. There is no control that can control 4.5 million people in Croatia. We need to be aware that this is a way to protect ourselves from infection, how to stay healthy and how to protect others. "

He says that Croats from BiH will not have to isolate themselves.

The coronavirus has been spreading rapidly across the country in recent days. Weddings proved to be significant hotspots. About 15 people became infected at one graduation celebration in Kutina. Today, it was reported that four members of the band who played there were also infected.

In Zadar, the hospital is practically closed.

In the area of ​​Zadar County, there are 14 newly infected people with coronavirus, and out of that number 12, a wedding was held in Zadar last weekend, while two people became infected somewhere else, the County Civil Protection Headquarters reported.

Among the new patients, the statement said, is a health worker from the Zadar General Hospital who became infected outside the hospital, and ten doctors and three nurses are in self-isolation.

As 057info reported, the anesthesiologist of the Zadar General Hospital, indirectly connected to the wedding, was infected.

"I can confirm that due to special epidemiological circumstances, only emergency operations and scheduled operations for malignant patients will be performed until further notice. All patients will be taken care of and there is no reason for concern," hospital director Zeljko Culina told 057info.

The Zadar Civil Protection Headquarters was informed about the situation in the Zadar hospital, and the director informed Minister Vili Beros about the situation. If necessary, doctors from other cities will be temporarily hired to perform surgical procedures in the Zadar hospital, reports 057info.

The total number of infected people in the Zadar area is now 36, and as many as 22 are related to last week's wedding.

In Zagreb, the source of the infection is unknown in 13 people

There are 35 new cases in the City of Zagreb, 22 are contacts of already infected people, and the source of the infection is still unknown for 13.

There are a lot of new cases in Osijek-Baranja

Out of a total of 153 samples that were tested for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours in the Osijek-Baranja County, as many as 20 were positive. Most (12) newly positive people are from Đakovo, seven from Višnjevac and one from Feričani. All contacts are already registered patients with coronavirus.

At the Clinical Hospital Center Osijek, two people are on a ventilator, and a total of 22 patients are being monitored.

To read more about news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

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