Thursday, 12 August 2021

Coffee Bars in Croatia Could Collapse With Further Restrictions, Says NUU

August 12, 2021 - Yesterday a meeting was held in Opatija between associations linked to the tourism sector and government authorities. They spoke of the current situation of the catering industry, coffee bars in Croatia for example, and also of its precarious future if restrictions are imposed and financial support is not provided.

The National Association of Caterers (NUU) also participated in the meeting of the tourism sector with representatives of the Government of the Republic of Croatia held in Opatija, reports HrTurizam. The importance of this meeting is shown by the fact that 21% of all companies in Croatia operate in the tourism sector, of which 2/3 are caterers, and whose position was discussed by Jelena Tabak, President of the National Association of Caterers.

According to the press release of the NUU, the meeting in Opatija discussed the successful figures in the booking of foreign and domestic tourists and discussed the burden and damage suffered by the hospitality sector.

"The already fragile catering industry, faced with a high tax burden, illiquidity, and a chronic shortage of manpower, has been put at the forefront of the defense since the beginning of the pandemic by restrictive business measures", the statement said. For all catering companies, such as coffee bars in Croatia, which perform activities of preparation of drinks and beverages only, work indoors is still prohibited.

By working in controlled conditions, limited working hours and enclosed spaces, this part of the sector has once again shown its size and proved that it carries a pandemic on its back in addition to the health system. According to the caterers, further restrictions in the catering business will protect the rest of the tourism sector, which is the basic bread of Croatia, according to the caterers.


Jelena Tabak, President of the National Association of Caterers (NUU) (Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL)

Given that this attitude further leads to the collapse of coffee bars in Croatia, Jelena Tabak appealed to the Government and the Ministry of Tourism to stand behind this part of the sector as soon as possible and actively participate in its recovery and quality development, with the collegiality of all other colleagues in the sector, to which the caterers did so at a time when the number of paid visits to Croatia must not be jeopardized.

According to the presented results, for now, we have a very good chance to finish the season, fall and winter, but the damage is too great to repair in the foreseeable future without the implementation of tax relief and long-term reforms. The lack of reforms will encourage an already excessive outflow of the qualified catering staff who bring to their senses the quality of service and a successful tourist year.

We hope that more such meetings will be held shortly and that the trend initiated by Minister Nikolina Brnjac with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia will become the rule because only with an interactive approach and joint efforts of all tourism stakeholders and caterers associations it is possible to achieve tourism success.

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Friday, 26 February 2021

Index Finds Out New Rules for Cafes, Restaurants, and Sports in Croatia

February 26, 2021 - New rules for cafes, restaurants, and sports in Croatia will take effect from March 1. finds out the details. reports that on Monday, March 1, the measures will definitely be relaxed, and the much-anticipated opening of cafe and restaurant terraces will take place.

This is clear after Thursday's government session at which Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced the opening of terraces and concessions in sports.

"By all indications, the situation is better, but it still requires great caution. To remain responsible in protecting citizens from the coronavirus epidemic, after a series of consultations with several departments, the intention is that from March 1, the work of catering facilities, in addition to what has been relaxed so far, will be opened on terraces and open spaces," said Plenković and announced that training would be held indoors, with some exceptions when it comes to contact and collective sports.

Strict epidemiological rules will be prescribed for both terraces and concessions in sports, which the Headquarters will talk more about on Friday.

New rules for cafes and restaurants
As Index has learned, music will be banned on the terraces of cafes and restaurants. Sources close to Headquarters said that this was insisted on to prevent people from speaking louder by shouting over the music, which they believe increases the risk of spreading the infection. Terraces must be open, not closed with glass, plexiglass, or otherwise.

The distance between the tables should be as before, three meters. Different groups of guests will need to maintain a distance of at least a meter and a half to two. 

Guests will be able to go to the toilet inside the restaurant and cafe and must wear a mask. 

Opening hours, as before the closure of cafes and restaurants, will be until 10 pm.

Details of concessions in sports
As far as sports are concerned, team sports training such as basketball will be possible, but not competitions. In agreement with epidemiologists, the Headquarters decided on this option because the same group of people trains together, and there is not much interference.

The use of locker rooms and showers will be prohibited.

In sports where close contact is made, neither training nor competition is likely to be allowed.

Fairs, however, remain closed
The Headquarters discussed the reopening fairs for a long time, but it was decided that they would not open in the end.

When thinking about opening fairs, the Headquarters primarily considers Zagreb's Hrelić, where items are sold or exhibited. Still, they feared fairs in smaller places, including the consumption of food and drinks and even festivities, where compliance with measures would be difficult to control.

Božinović on concessions
Chief of the Headquarters and Interior Minister Davor Božinović spoke about the new measures valid from March 1.

"The Croatian Institute of Public Health will soon issue special recommendations on the conditions for easing measures. We can expect those classic measures, the distance between tables, especially if people come from different households. This will have to take into account the number of people who can be on the terraces. The terraces must be open," Božinović said.

"However, we have seen growth in recent days, and we must be careful. We cannot experience this as if the epidemic is coming to an end or is over. We are not at that stage yet. We urge everyone to be careful, especially those responsible for organizing work in their facilities. We know that in recent months they have called for opening under certain measures," he said, adding that the Headquarters has been seeking a balance between epidemiological measures and the preservation of the economy since day one.

Minister of Health Vili Beroš also spoke about the relaxation of measures on Thursday night.

"Local headquarters can adopt more restrictive measures, so we agree with Dubrovnik-Neretva County. We are in everyday communication, and their move is an indicator of responsibility. Today, the Prime Minister announced new measures; they will be presented tomorrow. There should be an epidemiological framework for many of our activities, and it will be the same as before - space between tables, guests, hygiene… Probably not everyone will open, depending on the location, size of the terrace. Still, we can now relax this measure," Beroš said for Dnevnik N1 and added that the circumstances are in favor of preventing the spread of the epidemic.

"After opening the terraces, if the situation worsens, we will have to take other steps," he concluded.

To read more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Bozinovic: If Numbers are Good, Opening Cafes in Croatia on 15th Will be Discussed

February 4, 2021 - Interior Minister and Civil Protection Chief Davor Bozinovic said on Wednesday that if the favorable epidemiological situation continues, opening cafes in Croatia on February 15 will be discussed.

"We will talk. We will see under what conditions," said Bozinovic for RTL when asked if catering facilities can be expected to open on February 15.

He argued that the Civil Protection Headquarters is "first" to open anything if the numbers of newly infected and hospitalized are good and that no time will be wasted around the decision "if such is the assessment."

Commenting on the criticism of the inconsistency of anti-epidemic measures, that at the same time, while cafes are not allowed to do so, coffee-to-go can be bought in bakeries, shops, and gas stations, Bozinovic reiterated that these facilities are not closed because they sell essential products and have previously sold coffee, so now they have not been banned from such a sale.

"The point here is not about selling coffee-to-go but about gathering. When you get to the gas station, you refuel, possibly take that coffee-to-go, put it in the car, and drive. And when you come to a cafe, you sit, hang out, and that is an epidemiological risk," said Bozinovic.

Bozinovic also said that there were no double standards in implementing anti-epidemic measures, claiming that the police arrested the owner of the gym who opened on Monday, despite the work ban, and that at Wednesday's protest, they were primarily concerned with public order and peace.

"At such gatherings, the police always take care, first and foremost, of public order and peace, and that is their basic task. Of course, when you have a few thousand people,  it’s not the same as some individual situation. In both cases, the police acted following the law," says Bozinovic.

Bozinovic stated that Croatia did not make a mistake when it relied on the joint procurement of vaccines with the European Union. Otherwise, we would be in a much more unfavorable situation. He also said that Europe is currently discussing procuring Russian and Chinese vaccines, which is, above all, a message to AstraZeneca.

"If Europe allows the Russians, and perhaps tomorrow the Chinese, to enter the European market, I think that is first and foremost a message to AstraZeneca," he said.

Bozinovic also commented on the election of Martina Dalic as the President of the Management Board of Podravka, emphasizing that she will be a great gain for the company and that her resignation as Deputy Prime Minister is now history.

To read more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page