Sunday, 15 August 2021

Tested Positive on Holiday? A Look at Split COVID-19 Quarantine for Tourists

August 15, 2021 - What happens if you're a tourist that tests positive in Split? A look at Split COVID-19 quarantine through the eyes of Split-Dalmatia County quarantine coordinator Andrej Kovač. 

"What does the life of a quarantined tourist look like? Of course, you can't go anywhere but the room, but you get some unplanned extra rest. They are left groceries on a table in the hallway and receive a knock on the room door. We go out, take what they need and bring it back inside. For ten days."

Andrej Kovač, the coordinator of all Split-Dalmatia County quarantines, appointed by the County Headquarters, describes the life of foreigners who ended up in isolation in a Split hotel after testing positive for coronavirus. The first of two county addresses is reserved for tourists who test positive; the second is located in a small town a few kilometers away from Split, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

That the coordination between Split's Civil Protection HQ and the Red Cross works great was confirmed recently by a Split landlady, whose two guests tested positive just before returning home to Great Britain, which is why they ended up in quarantine in Split at the price of a bed and breakfast - 45 euros. It was not easy for them at first, nor for other tourists in the same conundrum, but they accepted the situation. What must be done, must be done, says Kovač.

"Of course, there is no beach, but they sunbathe on the balcony. They surf the internet, watch TV, read ... They are satisfied. We definitely want to make it easy for them, so we are at their service for everything they need. Many of them order meals through delivery services, which are delivered to reception, and we pick up the orders and carry them to their rooms. They pay with cards; everything is contactless. Do they have any requests? Um, they'd love to drink alcohol, but we can't let them. But that’s perfectly normal; people want to relax a little bit. When they come out, everyone is happy and content; they don’t create problems. They are decent people; they want to do it as soon as possible and go home," adds the coordinator. 

A young German tourist even told Kovač that he would definitely return regardless of this inconvenience because Split and Split-Dalmatia County are in his heart. He has been spending his summers in the area for years and does not want to give up his favorite holiday destination at any cost.

Another young fan of the Adriatic tested positive before returning home from vacation. Positive test results are often found at the airport, just an hour before the planned departure from Croatia. Among the infected foreigners, however, are those who have just arrived in the country.

"Our biggest problem is people who go home. The fact is that some tourists entered our country positive, even though they were vaccinated or previously infected, so they had European COVID passports and entered Croatia with them. It is also a fact that certain hotels, for the sake of their image and safety, test their guests upon arrival, and it happens that some of them come positive. That was the case with two Americans, for example. They entered the country not knowing they were positive, although they also had a negative test, which is valid for 48 hours. In the end, they ended up with us. And they are delighted with our service and coordination. They do what they have to do, and you can imagine how they feel. They planned a vacation, complied with everything that was needed, and in the end, they ended up in a ten-day quarantine and have additional costs," Andrej Kovač reveals. 

According to Split quarantine records, most infected tourists come from Great Britain, France, Portugal, and Spain.

"The French en masse, and there were a few Germans. And they all had COVID certificates with which they entered Croatia. Compared to last year, we did not expect this number of infected people, given the COVID certificates. Last year, we had 11 infected people in our quarantine all summer, and significantly more this year. Last year, everything was open; there were no COVID certificates or tests," notes Andrej Kovač.

He explains that an additional problem for the infected is the inability to use public transport.

"If they are infected, they must not enter planes, trains, buses, or ferries. Everyone who comes to us is tested at the airport before leaving the country, or those who, before traveling, believing that they are healthy, were tested the day before in a lab. Of course, there happen to be positives among them. When we receive a report of an infected tourist through the county Red Cross, we pick them up in a vehicle with a protective barrier between the driver and the passenger and take them to quarantine. When they complete a ten-day quarantine, which starts exactly at midnight from the day the infection is determined and ends on the tenth day at midnight, they receive a confirmation from the epidemiologist in English that they have done it and can leave the country," explains Andrej Kovač.

Until August 1, for example, Germany allowed its infected citizens to return by car to the country and continue quarantine on its soil. Since then, Germans must also remain in quarantine and have a negative test when they return to Germany.

From the end of June until today, about a hundred tourists have passed through quarantine in Split. In comparison to other cities, Makarska has only just received an auxiliary, small quarantine. Trogir, for example, does not have quarantine, as Split covers that area. Brač, and the island of Hvar, has a quarantine area in reserve through which about five foreign nationals have already passed.

The contact person in coordination for Hvar is Katarina Buratović, director of the Red Cross City Society, who, together with members of the Hvar crisis headquarters, takes care of infected people in the quarantine there.

"The islands had to be organized because we cannot transport the infected to Split by public transport. There is no quarantine in Šibenik-Knin County; there is something in Dubrovnik-Neretva County. In fact, the greatest news is that there are no infected Croatian people," Andrej Kovač pointed out.

Discerning landlords allow COVID-positive to stay.

"It seems to me that we have COVID tourism. Some private renters are very polite and considerate, so they allow guests COVID-positive guests to stay in their facility as their quarantined accommodation and they cancel reservations for the next guests. They are not rude and throw people out on the street. True, we hear everything, that some behave the opposite, but we do not have records of such," says Kovač.

However, it is their duty to educate such renters on how to disinfect apartments after the departure of infected guests. There were situations when apartment owners called him at midnight and tourist accommodation owners who wanted guests transferred to the county quarantine.

"The biggest problem is that the entire Šibenik-Knin County and some other parts of Dalmatia gravitate towards Split Airport, where most tourists are tested before leaving the country. And all confirmed infected passengers from the airport are counted in Split and Split-Dalmatia County, which turns out to be the most problematic," said Kovač, who adds that Split and the rest of the county, as a result, rises to the top of the infamous infections list in Croatia.

That Split Airport is quite lively is also evidenced by current air traffic data. Compared to the pandemic 2020, in June this year, the total passenger traffic at Croatian airports was higher by 285.4 percent. The most passenger traffic was realized by Split Airport, with 115,000 passengers, which is 360.1 percent more than in June 2020, when only 25,000 passengers were transported (in June 2019, 510,000 passengers were transported).

Split Airport is followed by Zagreb Airport with 100,000 passengers (in June 2020, 43,000 passengers were transported and in June 2019 333,000 passengers), and Dubrovnik Airport with 59,000 passengers (in June 2020, only 10,000 passengers were transported, and the year before 414,000 passengers ).

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.

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Sali on Dugi Otok Flips Epidemiological Situation from Terrible to Excellent

August the 14th, 2021 - Sali on beautiful Dugi otok has managed to create a dramatic turnaround in terms of their local epidemiological situation. The novel coronavirus just about made it inside every single house in Sali, but that dire situation has now been well and truly flipped on its head.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on two occasions over recent months, the town of Sali on Dugi otok has been an example of a situation in which the spread of the coronavirus infection has spiraled out of control. However, according to the latest data published by the Croatian Institute for Public Health, Sali is now at the very top in terms of vaccination, ending the virus' free reign.

Sali's current vaccination rate stands at 64.1 percent, and this is the official figure that has kept all eyes on Sali, a favorite destination for both Croatian and foreign sailors. Jacopo confirmed to HRT that he feels very safe in Sali, and Frederica confirmed that they were also vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. Knowing that they're in a country where a large number of people are vaccinated is very important to them, he added.

The tourist season for this location is a record in all respects, and the good epidemiological situation gives room for hope that it will last. Maja Kraljev from Sali works abroad and she is very pleased with the latest data - it is important to her that she can come to visit her parents there in peace.

Andjelko Raljevic Ciko, one of the more famous Sali residents, had no doubt in his mind whatsoever about whether or not he should get vaccinated. He suffers from chronic bronchitis and was first vaccinated on the recommendation of a doctor. He will do it a third time if he needs to, he says. There is almost no house in Sali where they didn't have coronavirus patients, which pushed most people to get vaccinated as soon as it became possible.

''It was rough and the virus hit us hard here. Fear crept in among the people. And we have to live, we have to work and protect our community. Both the elderly population and the children,'' said Marijana Orlic, a nurse.

The response of Sali's locals was also influenced by the availability of vaccines, thanks to the mobile team of the Zadar Institute of Public Health. This is a great message to send out about this beautiful little place and is by far the best invitation for visitors to come and spend time on Dugi otok.

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.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Croatian Covid Certificates in Autumn: Will Croatia Follow France?

August 12, 2021 - Will Croatian Covid certificates in autumn be the norm to avoid further lockdowns? A look at how things should look once summer ends and if Croatia's Covid certificates model will look like France. 

What will happen to Covid passports this autumn? And will they be introduced for all facilities? This topic was discussed between Index.hr and a source from the National Headquarters. Although some wrote that they would be introduced to enter shopping malls in the autumn, it likely will not happen.

It should also be noted that Covid passports are already used to enter many places such as clubs, sports competitions, weddings, and various cultural events.

They won't be needed for shopping malls.

"As far as shopping malls are concerned, no Covid certificates will be required to enter the shops. Therefore, people stay in stores for shorter periods and only need to wear masks. But there are some other facilities for which Covid certificates are planned to be used inside shopping malls. Facility owners, if they responsibly monitor the epidemiological status of their guests, which is really their second job because we have introduced an application in which confirmation is read and checked in a second, will only ensure that the epidemiological situation remains favorable. In that case, closures would be avoided, which is not the goal of anyone, not even the Headquarters. We want everyone to be open and for the epidemiological situation to be good," a source from the Headquarters told Index.

By facilities, we mean cafes, which still cannot work inside. In addition to them, Covid certificates are also considered for entering cinemas and theaters, as they have been needed for various cultural events for some time.

"Covid certificates should be used in the context of opening, not closing, for example, if nightclubs could not work, and now they can because they use Covid certificates, so now we need to see how much Covid certificates guarantee, so that those parts of the catering industry that were forbidden to work, such as the interiors of cafes, also work. So, the message is that Covid certificates are seen as a tool to enable opening, not closing. So, there are no more closures, we will not close, but we are thinking intensively about the wise use of Covid certificates," the source added.

In Europe, Covid certificates are intensively used for various facilities, for entrances to hotels, restaurants, bars, museums, theaters, and amusement parks.

In France, from July, visitors to museums, cinemas, and swimming pools must show a Covid certificate, which is already a condition for entering festivals with a large number of people and nightclubs and venues with a capacity of more than 50 people. From August, certificates are a condition for entering restaurants and bars and long train journeys and boarding. From October, this will also apply to children over the age of 12, not just adults.

Denmark has required CoronaPass for indoor restaurant areas and cultural spaces for some time. In Austria, you also need to present a Covid certificate to enter hotels.

In Italy, the decision to use Covid passes to visit stadiums, cinemas, museums, theaters and cinemas, exhibitions, swimming pools, gyms, and indoor parts of restaurants came into force on 6 August.

The United Kingdom, until recently a member of the European Union, plans to introduce Covid certificates for several places. According to The Guardian, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that by the end of September, when all doses of vaccine should be offered to all British adults, Covid passes or certificates will be introduced for nightclubs, concert halls, and similar venues with “higher risk,” due to the crowds gathered. That condition was not ruled out either for English pubs and entrance to trains and public transportation.

Greece has banned unvaccinated people from accessing indoor spaces in restaurants, bars, cafes, and cinemas.

In Portugal, over 60 high and very high-risk municipalities, including Lisbon and Porto, currently require proof of Covid vaccination or a negative test on Friday evenings after 7 pm and on weekends.

In Germany, guests must present a negative test result or proof of vaccination to be admitted to the closed parts of catering facilities.

The use of Covid certificates is being introduced across Europe to ensure that visitors to bars, restaurants, museums, indoor sports facilities, and other cultural or entertainment events and facilities are protected from infection, but also so that they would no longer be subject to measures such as the obligatory wearing of masks, social distancing or the maximum number of visitors.

As a source from the National Headquarters told Index, their goal is not to close economic facilities anymore, but for Covid certificates to serve to ensure the best possible epidemiological situation.

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.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Orange City of Zagreb on ECDC Corona Map, August 12, 2021

August 12, 2021 - An orange City of Zagreb can be found on the latest ECDC map released on Thursday, August 12, 2021. The capital is no longer green, thus moving to orange where Croatia's coast has been for the last few weeks. 

The European Center for Disease Control has updated its corona map, reports Index.hr. The Croatian coast is still in the orange zone, and the City of Zagreb has changed from green to orange.

The ECDC Epidemiological Map for Europe is published weekly based on the 14-day incidence and the proportion of positive tests in the total number tested.

The ECDC map is advisory, but some Member States rely on it when introducing epidemiological restrictions upon returning to the country.

Screenshot_2021-08-12_at_13.50.50.png

The situation in Europe is becoming more serious

Spain is marked totally in dark red. Parts of France have now turned red, and only one orange region remains. Italy is also changing colors, as are parts of Slovenia from green to orange.

Croatia's COVID-19 update

In the last 24 hours, 333 new cases were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 1552.

Among them are 192 patients on hospital treatment, of which 19 patients are on respirators. 3 people have died.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 366,049 people infected with the coronavirus have been recorded to date, of which 8,278 have died. A total of 356,219 people recovered, of which 176 in the last 24 hours. There are currently 4568 people in self-isolation.

Number of newly infected by counties according to Koronavirus.hr: City of Zagreb (92), Split-Dalmatia (69), Zagreb (34), Šibenik-Knin (33), Zadar (28), Dubrovnik-Neretva (12), Primorje-Gorski Kotar 11), Istarska (10), Ličko-senjska (7), Osječko-baranjska (7), Brodsko-posavska (6), Bjelovarsko-bilogorska (5), Varaždinska (5), Međimurska (4), Koprivničko-križevačka 3), Sisak-Moslavina (3), Karlovac (2), Krapina-Zagorje (1), Vukovar-Srijem (1), Požega-Slavonia (0) and Virovitica-Podravina (0).

You can see all of Croatia's COVID-19 data at koronovirus.hr

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.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 333 New Cases, 3 Deaths, 176 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 12 August, 2021 - In the last 24 hours, of 8,187 tests performed for coronavirus, 333 have come back positive (4%), and three more persons infected with the virus have died, the Croatian national COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Thursday.

Currently, there are 1,552 active cases of the infection and of them, 192 are hospitalised patients, including 19 placed on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020 when Croatia registered its first case of the infection with the novel virus, 2.38 million people have been tested. Of them, 366,049 have contracted the virus, of whom 8,278 have died while 356,219 have recovered, including 176 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

During the vaccine rollout, as many as 3,148,900 doses have been administered.

To date, 1,671,367 people have been given at least one shot. A total of 1.534 million have been fully vaccinated, 1,477,533 have been given two doses plus 57,212 who have received a single dose Jannsen, and thus 45.52% of adult Croats have completed their vaccination.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Božinović: COVID Cases Rising, But Situation Better than in Other Countries

ZAGREB, 12 August,2021 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Wednesday coronavirus cases in Croatia were rising but that the situation was better than in other countries.

Speaking to the press, he said that was to be expected given the large number of tourists and that it was key that people complied with COVID rules.

Božinović, who heads the national COVID-19 crisis management team, said everything should be done to encourage people to get vaccinated and that the only way out of this crisis was by relying on science.

He would not speculate whether the use of COVID certificates would be expanded, saying that would depend on how the COVID situation developed, but added that they were "already being used smartly."

Božinović would not comment on the Serbian leadership's claims that Croatia was reporting fewer coronavirus cases for the sake of tourism, calling them blanket assessments.

He said every local COVID crisis management team had designated premises for tourists who might be positive. "We are certainly one of the states transparently communicating with citizens and abroad."

That, he said, also applies to claims that tourists are returning home infected. This year there is more testing and those infected are accommodated on premises envisaged for that, he added.

There is an EU early warning mechanism which shows that about 100 people have returned home positive, Božinović said. "We don't know if someone becomes positive during the incubation period."

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Many Shocked by Croatian Sign Asking People to Enter Premises WITHOUT Mask

August the 12th, 2021 - One Croatian sign has shocked many and a picture of it is doing the rounds on Facebook. The sign reads ''Please enter without a mask, with the exception of those in poor health''.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen our collective attitudes towards many things change. No longer is it ''phone, keys, wallet'' before heading out of the house, as a mask now has to be included on that list as well. 

Planes, stores, and in the vast majority of enclosed spaces have all been demanding the use of surgical masks for months now, and having one wrapped around your neck or stuffed in a pocket (even if that poor disposable mask is months and months old) has become very much the norm. One Croatian sign asking people to please enter the premises without a mask unless they're in some way unwell has surprised many.

Some European countries with excellent vaccination rates such as the United Kingdom now no longer demand people wear masks in enclosed spaces as a rule. You're free not to, but they still ask that if you can - you should. That is currently not the case for Croatia, nor is it likely to be for a while yet.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, while some agree with what has been written on this particular Croatian sign which is actively asking people not to wear masks, others condemn such an approach to the possible spread of the novel coronavirus, which has put almost the entire world on hold for the last two years now.

The Republic of Croatia is not the only one to have such signs and instructions appearing on privately owned shops, bars and the like. Several similar cases can be found all over the world.

According to a report from Slobodna Dalmacija, an extreme example of this can be found at Basilico’s restaurant in Los Angeles, which posted an inscription on its display that says that a person must show that they have not been vaccinated in order to enter and consume their food.

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.

Monday, 9 August 2021

Croatia Registers 44 New Coronavirus Cases, One Death

ZAGREB, 9 Aug 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 44 new coronavirus cases and one COVID-19- related death have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said Monday.

There are 190 hospitalized patients, including 22 on ventilators.

The death toll currently stands at 8,273.

There are 1,102 active cases while 4,487 persons are self-isolating.

To date, 2,356,266 persons have been tested for the virus, including 3,909 in the past 24 hours.

Also, 41% of the population has been vaccinated, including 49.3% of adults, 45.03% of whom have completed vaccination.

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.

Monday, 9 August 2021

Public Health Institute Releases Croatian Vaccination Coverage Map

August the 9th, 2021 - The Croatian Institute of Public Health has released an interactive Croatian vaccination coverage map which highlights precisely where the vaccination rollout is going well, and where it isn't. The map shows which counties and cities are progressing more than others.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes,  when looking at the situation with Croatian vaccination coverage by counties, most residents were vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine against the novel coronavirus in the City of Zagreb, where the current vaccination rate stands at 38.87 percent. Receiving two doses is counted as being fully vaccinated.

Dalmatia has a lower vaccination rate, with Split-Dalmatia County and Sibenik-Knin County having lower vaccination coverage.

These calculations were made on the basis of the latest available data from the eVac database (taken from the 2nd of August, 2021), which is set up according to the place of residence of a person from the OIB system (submitted by HZZO on the 21st of June, 2021), and the CBS estimate of the total population from back at the end of 2019.

The interactive map which showcases the level of Croatian vaccination coverage will be updated regularly with a note of the update date included on it.

Vaccination was visualised at three so-called NUTS levels (the whole of the Republic of Croatia, four regions and at then at the county level), as well as at the municipal level. The preview opens via the Firefox or Chrome browsers.

In the upper right corner there is a menu for selecting the level of Croatian vaccination coverage you want to view, in the left there is search bar for particular municipalities, and by hovering your mouse over a particular region/county/municipality, additional information can be obtained.

Click HERE to access and view the interactive map.

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.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Croatia Registers 213 New Coronavirus Cases, One Death

ZAGREB, 8 Aug, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 213 coronavirus cases and one COVID death have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Sunday.

There are 1,231 active cases and 175 hospitalised patients, including 18 on ventilators, while 4,100 persons are self-isolating.

To date, 2,352,357 persons have been tested for the virus, including 6,991 in the past 24 hours.

Also, 41% of the population has been vaccinated, including 49.2% of adults, 44.99% of whom have completed vaccination.

For more on COVID-19, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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