Thursday, 4 November 2021

Zagreb Schools To Go Back to Face-to-Face Classes As Of 8 November

ZAGREB, 4 Nov 2021 - As of Monday, November 8, primary and secondary schools in Zagreb will go back to face-to-face classes, the city's education office said on Thursday. 

In case the epidemiological situation in a school worsens, the city office will, in cooperation with the "Andrija Štampar" Teaching Institute for Public Health, consider switching to online classes.

The city office for education said this decision was made in line with a conclusion of the city's COVID-19 response team of November 4.

This week, after All Saints' Day, schools have been holding online classes.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Croatia Reports 319 New Coronavirus Cases, 11 Deaths

ZAGREB, 18 Oct 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 319 coronavirus cases and 11 related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Monday.

There are 9,299 active cases, including 945 hospitalized patients, 119 of whom are on ventilators, while 18,660 persons are self-isolating.

Croatia has registered 428,233 coronavirus cases to date, including 8,907 deaths and 410,027 recoveries. 1,293 people have recovered in the past 24 hours.

To date, 2,974,167 persons have been tested for the virus, including 2,815 in the past 24 hours, and 46.09% of the population has been vaccinated against COVID, including 55.25% of adults, of whom 51.93% have been fully vaccinated.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Croatia Logs 1,517 New COVID-19 Cases, 10 Deaths

ZAGREB, 1 Oct 2021 - Croatia has registered 1,517 new coronavirus cases and 10 COVID-19-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Friday.

The number of active cases now stands at 8,990, and 738 infected persons are receiving hospital treatment, including 99 who are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Croatia, 406,307 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 8,650 have died and 388,667 have recovered, including 1,392 in the last 24 hours. 23,044 people are currently self-isolating.

To date, 2,833,156 people have been tested for the virus, including 10,126 in the last 24 hours.

A total of 3,436,799 doses of vaccines have been administered, with 44.92 percent of the total population, or 53.89 percent of adults, having been vaccinated. 1,822,966 people have received at least one dose and 1,709,647 have been fully vaccinated, which makes up 50.62 percent of the adult population.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 798 New Cases, 11 Deaths

ZAGREB, 2 Sept 2021 - In the last 24 hours, Croatia has performed 9,989 coronavirus tests, and 8% of them, that is 798, have turned out to be positive, and 11 COVID patients have died, bringing the COVID-related death toll to 8,349, the national coronavirus crisis management team stated on Thursday.

Currently, there are 3,943 active cases of infection in the country, and of them, 450 are receiving hospital treatment, including 53 patients placed on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020 when Croatia reported its first registered COVID case, more than 2.56 million tests have been conducted, showing that 375,601 people have caught the virus. Of them, 363,309 have recovered to date.

Since the start of its vaccine rollout, Croatia has administered nearly 3.3 million vaccines, and 42.64% of the population, or 51.22 of the adult citizens, have been vaccinated.

To date, 1,619, 592  citizens,  that is 47.99% of the adult population, have fully been immunized.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centers across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Friday, 30 July 2021

COVID-19 Restrictions to Remain in Force until 15 August

ZAGREB, 30 July 2021 - The national COVID-19 response team said on Friday that COVID-19 measures regarding the compulsory wearing of face masks, shop work as well as public transport and organised gatherings, would be extended until 15 August.

Children under the age of 12 will not be required to have COVID-19 certificates when attending gatherings with their parents.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović told a press conference that four anti-epidemic measures were being extended.

The latest decisions refer to the compulsory wearing of face masks, special organisation of work in stores and shopping malls, organisation of public transport, epidemiological measures restricting gatherings and other measures designed to prevent the spread of the contagion.

As for frequent questions as to whether children must have an EU digital COVID-19 certificate when attending gatherings at which such certificates are mandatory, the response team said that children under 12, who attend gatherings in the company of their parents or guardians, are not required to possess the certificate.

Božinović underscored that these restrictions apply to all of Croatia, however, he emphasised that separate, more stringent restrictions, adopted on 23 July, were already in force in Dubrovnik-Neretva, Split-Dalmatia, Šibenik-Knin, Zadar, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria counties as well as the towns of Novalja, Senj and Karlobag in Lika-Senj County.

The latest COVID-19 measures are to remain in force until 15 August.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.


Saturday, 17 July 2021

Additional Precautions on the Table for Vaccinated Russian and British Tourists in Croatia?

July 17, 2021 - Will there be additional precautions for vaccinated Russian and British tourists in Croatia? Discussions have already taken place. 

After Croatia was upgraded to the UK green list of countries late Wednesday night and announced that the first British tourists would arrive in the Adriatic on July 19, the tourism sector was flooded with concerns.

The United Kingdom is one of the countries with the highest growth in the number of newly reported cases of the Delta Variant, and tourism workers justifiably feared that it could close the season. Thus, the National Headquarters is considering introducing some additional restrictions for the arrival of British tourists.

As Jutarnji List unofficially learned, the possibility of introducing mandatory antigen testing for all vaccinated British tourists is being discussed, while those who have not been vaccinated before crossing the border must be tested anyway, but it is not yet known whether and when this decision will be made.

Arguments for introducing a rapid antigen test are to preserve the season and open borders despite the spread of the Delta Variant that has already ruined the season in some Mediterranean countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, and Greece.

Namely, the Headquarters believes that 100 kuna for a rapid antigen test would not be a more significant financial burden for our guests, but on the other hand, it would still increase security and reduce the number of imported cases.

"It is to be expected that at a time when the virus is spreading in many countries, someone who will develop the virus will cross the border, but by introducing additional measures, we want to reduce this to a minimum," said a source close to the Headquarters.

Apart from the Brits, the same is being considered for visitors from Russia.

This year, Croatia has recorded extremely high interest of Russian tourists for holidays on the Adriatic, mainly as a result of the fact that in April this year, we restarted tourist visas for Russian citizens, and the CNTB confirms that the Russian Federation has received a large number of first applications since April.

This is already reflected in tourist traffic: in the first 14 days of July, Russians in Croatia recorded an increase in the number of arrivals of 348 percent and overnight stays of 404 percent. The data are similar at the annual level.

"That the demand for Croatia as a tourist destination is expressed on the Russian market is confirmed by Aeroflot Airlines, the Russian national airline which connects Moscow with Pula, Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split with daily flights from the beginning of June to the end of September this year. Among the flights are S7 from Moscow to Pula, Split, and Zadar and Nordwind to Zagreb, Pula, and Dubrovnik," confirmed CNTB.

Given that it is the arrival of tourists from outside the EU, i.e., from third countries, Russian citizens who are not vaccinated will have to be tested before arrival. Still, the introduction of mandatory antigen tests for vaccinated Russians would also establish additional security measures, especially given that the number of newly reported cases is continuously growing in Russia. The country also has a minimal share of vaccinated adult citizens. Only 13.1 percent of the total population is vaccinated with both doses.

Jutarnji also learned from the Headquarters that the introduction of testing for vaccinated visitors would be adapted to the epidemiological situation in our key markets, which means that the list of countries that will require such a condition may be further expanded.

Such an attitude is welcomed in the tourism sector as well.

"Given the situation and what is happening in Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, and Greece, additional precautions are needed, and it is up to epidemiologists to decide what those measures will be. But, instructed by last year's experience when we closed the season on August 15, I can only say - better to prevent than to treat," says the director of the Croatian Tourism Association, Veljko Ostojić.

Recall, the tourism sector yesterday appealed to lobby for a change in the criteria by which countries are declared epidemiologically unsafe, that is, instead of the number of newly infected, deaths and hospitalizations are preferred, given the fact that almost half of the European adult population has been vaccinated with both doses. However, this will likely not happen for the time being.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including vaccination points and testing sites, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Friday, 18 June 2021

Croatia to Relax Restrictions for People with EU Digital COVID Certificates

ZAGREB, 18 June 2021 - New epidemiologicial measures will enter into force in Croatia on 1 July, under which events involving people with digital EU certificates will not be subject to restrictions on the number of people gathered, the head of the national coronavirus crisis management team, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, announced at a press conference on Friday.

People who have been vaccinated, who have recovered or who have a negative test for COVID-19 will be allowed to participate in events without having to comply with special epidemiological measures or with the scope of restrictions reduced, Božinović said.

The new measures mostly concern gatherings of persons possessing EU digital COVID certificates. Events involving such people will not be subject to restrictions on the number of people attending or the duration of the event.

Božinović said that in other cases where people's COVID status will not be checked, the restriction of 100 persons per event and the duration of events until midnight remain in force.

Cafes with outdoor terraces will be allowed to serve only seated customers, to deter crowding and uncontrolled gatherings.

EU digital COVID certificates will not be required at events involving up to 30 persons, but participants will have to observe epidemiological measures. On the other hand, participants in events attended by more than 30 people, such as wedding parties, will have to have COVID certificates.

Božinović said that only people with EU digital COVID certificates would be allowed to attend sporting events.

Follow  the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Current Croatian Measures Expire on Thursday at Midnight, What's Next?

April the 15th, 2021 - The current Croatian measures are set to expire, but what is coming next? Whether or not there will be any significant relaxation depends on the epidemiological picture across the country at any given time. More power has now been given to local headquarters, so there could be some differences in approach.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, back on March the 31st this year, the National Civil Protection Headquarters issued three decisions which, with some minor changes, extended the current Croatian measures in the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Indoor sports are prohibited, except for those played by top athletes, and the operation of children's playrooms and workshops for children was also prohibited. All other measures remained the same as they were before. Tomorrow, the National Civil Protection Headquarters must make some new decisions, ie extend or change the current Croatian measures that are in force.

No significant changes at the national level are expected

As Index has since found out, there should be no significant changes compared to the current Croatian measures we have at the national level.

At the moment, the headquarters isn't planning to close the terraces of cafes/restaurants or to put the keys back in the locks of gyms, nor does it plan any other significant tightening up of anti-epidemic measures throughout Croatia. There should be no changes in the decision on crossing the Croatian border either. It's worth nothing that two weeks ago, the decision Croatia implemented is what the European Union will soon adopt - crossing the border (in this case entering Croatia) will be permitted with proof of having two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, of proving that you've had coronavirus over the past six months (with a doctor's certificate) or with a negative PCR or antigen test result which is recognised in the EU.

The measures are set to remain primarily adopted at the local level

The final decision, however, hasn't yet been made as a session of the Scientific Council is expected on Wednesday, starting at 09:30. It is certain however that the strategy of the National Civil Protection Headquarters remains that the measures are to be primarily adopted at the local level.

“The local approach has proven to be effective and justified. We have a good example of the Dubrovnik area where stricter measures were in force and they've now begun to open up. It wouldn't make much sense to impose any new restrictions on them. The meeting of the Scientific Council is set for tomorrow, where we'll hear what the scientists have to say,'' said Index's interlocutor who is close to the National Civil Protection Headquarters.

Warnings about the potential tightening up of measures still remains

"Stricter measures at the national level are possible if we end up with dramatic figures. Then, the healthcare system should be taken into account,'' he added.

Unofficially, it can be heard from the headquarters that it is constantly encouraging smaller local headquarters to actively engage in proposing and implementing measures in their respective areas.

"Counties need to lower their incidence, they can certainly do it more efficiently than we could do at the national level. We understand that the elections are coming soon, but the matter is much broader. This is actually the beginning of a fight that will last all summer, so that we have a season, and it's a fight for the lowest possible incidence. This is something that other countries will follow, first of all Germany,'' emphasised Index's source.

Stricter measures were introduced this week in five Croatian counties

This week, new measures were adopted for Zagreb, Osijek-Baranja, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria counties. The strictest measures were introduced by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, where a partial lockdown has been in force since Monday. In the coming days, the headquarters expects proposals for stricter measures from more counties.

Zagreb is proposing the easing of current Croatian measures?

It is interesting to note that the City of Zagreb, in which the numbers are also growing significantly, didn't propose any stricter measures after the fiasco with outdoor masks, although the neighbouring Zagreb County did.

The Zagreb City Headquarters, which is now headed by acting mayor Jelena Pavicic Vukicevic (who in the meantime ended up in self-isolation after contracting the disease), asked the National Headquarters to lift the ban on holding outdoor fairs as of Monday, Index has learned.

In its letter, the Zagreb Headquarters states that open-air fairs are a tradition of the City of Zagreb and that they consider it justified to allow them to work in compliance with the epidemiological measures implemented for markets. As an argument, they also stated that markets and shopping centres are open. It has since been unofficially learned from the National Staff that they don't intend to approve the proposal.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including border, travel and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Božinović: Difficult to Expect COVID Measures to be Relaxed as of 15 March

ZAGREB, 8 March, 2021 - The head of the national COVID response team, Davor Božinović, said on Monday that it is difficult to expect any further relaxation of measures after 15 March considering that numbers of new coronavirus cases are on the increase.

"At the end of the week we should decide on whether to extend the current measures as they expire on 15 March. It is still too early to say anything definite but considering the increase in numbers, it is difficult to expect any further relaxation of measures as of 15 March. We need to focus on maintaining the current measures so we don't have to go back," said Božinović.

Capak: 16% increase in new infections on the week

There were 94 new cases of coronavirus registered on Monday while 19 people died. The share of positive cases of the 2,178 tests conducted was 4.3%. That share was 8.6% in the past 7 days and 8.1% in the past 14 days. There are 805 hospitalised COVID patients, 74 of whom are on ventilators.

We have 16% more people infected on the week, the head of the Croatian Institute for Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, warned.

Croatia is currently in sixth place with regard to the incidence rate in the EU and 18th with regard to fatalities.

Capak said that an analysis of an immunology study conducted by the Zagreb Infectious Diseases Hospital could result in a new policy in the fight against coronavirus.

Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 and has been given their first vaccine dose need not receive a second dose, he said.

Capak advised that the situation with the supply of vaccines has stabilised over the past two weeks and that another 62,400 doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine is expected in two shipments this week.

Johnson&Johnson's vaccine should be registered by the end of March and the first shipment of 900,000 doses should arrive mid-April.

As far as crossing the border based on a certificate of vaccination is concerned, not one country has introduced that measure as yet.

"There are bilateral talks between countries and we have some bilateral talks too to mutually recognise vaccination certificates," said Capak. 

The look of the certificate, which is used only for medical purposes, has been defined for now while its use for crossing borders is being discussed at the EU level.

Beroš: Massive check points for vaccination test run

Health Minister Vili Beroš said that so far 54,008 people have registered online to be vaccinated and there have also been 4,271 calls in that regard.

"We are witnessing that massive check points for vaccination are a test run for what is to follow in the second and third phases, when more vaccines are expected," said Beroš.

We must not allow this mild increase in new cases to become a trend, he said. "Vaccination is encouraging but it must not be the cause of premature relaxation."

Friday, 26 February 2021

Cafe Terraces to Work from 6 am to 10 pm, No Music, Says COVID Response Team

ZAGREB, 26 February, 2021 - As of 1 March, cafe bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen their terraces and can work from 6 am to 10 pm but without any music, and indoor sports training will be allowed provided that strict health protocol are observed, the national COVID response team said on Friday.

The team's head Davor Božinović told a press conference that the new decision means patrons can be served on terraces from 6 am to 10 pm but only on open terraces and barriers on terraces need to be removed to allow the air to circulate.

The distance between tables needs to be at least 3 metres which will enable guests to sit at a distance between each other of at least 1.5 metres.

Music will not be allowed so guests do not have to speak loudly above the music and spread aerosol which increases the chance of infection.

Entry into premises is only allowed to visit the bathroom and patrons are obliged then to wear masks.

Indoor sports training will be allowed but without contact between athletes, and gyms have to be ventilated regularly and at least 20 square metres per person must be ensured.

Masks are mandatory on entering and exiting gyms and a record must be kept of attendance.

Dressing rooms and showers are not to be used but if necessary then only two people at a time.

Other rules previously introduced for shopping centres, transport and border crossings remain in force.

The head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ),  Krunoslav Capak said that there was talk of allowing open-air fairs to be held and that will be one of the next decisions to come.

Health Minister Vili Beroš  underscores that the epidemiological situation is uncertain and citizens' behaviour must not relax if measures have been. He called on citizens to get vaccinated.

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