Sunday, 11 April 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 1,617 New Cases, 39 Deaths

April 11, 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, 1,617 new cases of the coronavirus infection have been confirmed in Croatia, and there have been 39 related deaths, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Sunday.

The number of active cases in Croatia stands at 13,241, a decrease of 425 from Saturday.

There are 1,870 COVID patients in hospitals, 182 of whom are on ventilators.

There are currently 28,645 people in self-isolation.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia registered its first case of the infection, 292,516 people have contracted the novel coronavirus, 6,308 of them have died, and 272,967 have recovered, including 2,003 in the last 24 hours.

To date, 1,639,110 people have been tested, 9,307 of whom over the past 24 hours.

As of 10 April, 583,931 doses of vaccine have been used, and 473,522 people have been vaccinated. Of them, 361,385 people have received the first dose, and 110,409 have received both doses. For 1,728 people, there is no data on which dose they have received.

For more about Covid-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Coronavirus Tests for Foreign Tourists in Zagreb Enabled

April the 11th, 2021 - Coronavirus testing for foreign tourists in Zagreb has been enabled.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, all foreign tourists in Zagreb or other visitors who have spent at least one night in the Croatian capital will be able to be tested for the novel coronavirus on Saturdays and Sundays (with prior notice), and more detailed information about this service has been made available here.

On that same page, you can find out about the possibilities of testing foreign tourists in Zagreb in the wider Zagreb area in hotels, public and private institutions, with data on working hours, the types of COVID-19 tests and of course - test prices.

The Minister of Tourism and Sport of the Republic of Croatia, Nikolina Brnjac stated: ''In order to make our tourists' stay in Croatia as pleasant and safe as possible, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport has launched an initiative and cooperation with the tourist board system on the project of tourist safety in Croatia. As such, the Zagreb Tourist Board recognised this initiative and enabled coronavirus testing on weekends through its Visitor Centre. I want to emphasise that safety is the future of tourism, so this initiative is extremely important for the perception of Croatia as a safe destination. I see this as a big upgrade to the already launched activities related to the Safe Stay in Croatia project.''

"Given the demanding times we're living in, we decided to make it even easier for foreign tourists in Zagreb by introducing the necessary tests for coronavirus, and thus, once again send out a message about our city as a safe and responsible destination. Throughout the pandemic, we've paid special attention to safety because tourists are looking for high safety standards, quality and risk-free travel above all. As testing in Zagreb is more difficult to conduct on weekends, we want to provide this opportunity to Zagreb's visitors, so testing will take place on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and non-working days from 10:00 to 18:00,'' stated the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board, Martina Bienenfeld.

The director also gave special thanks to the Dr. Andrija Stampar Institute and the Ministry of Tourism and Sport of the Republic of Croatia for their support in regard to this project and for sending out a reassuring message to foreign tourists in Zagreb.

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

For all you need to know about the bustling Croatian capital in 2021, check out Total Croatia's dedicated Zagreb in a Page.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Germany Introduces New Epidemiological Measures for Arrivals from Croatia

April the 11th, 2021 - The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to deal heavy blows to stability and reliability when it comes to travel for whatever reason. Germany, which has been facing unprecedented issues and intermittent lockdowns, has now introduced new rules for arrivals from Croatia.

Croatia has experienced a true rollercoaster throughout the ongoing public health crisis. It went from being one of the countries to handle the spread of the novel virus, SARS-CoV-2 the best, being praised across Europe and globally, to having some of the worst numbers in relation to the population in just a matter of months.

From being on the ''green lists'' of many a country and seeing travel enabled back during a very brief period during the summer months of 2020, to being faced with a multitude of restrictions - Croatia, a country for which tourism is of huge importance, has had a fierce battle on its hands.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the initial German decision was announced by the Robert Koch Institute on its website on Friday last week.

The decision to consider the Republic of Croatia, along with the other three countries, a particularly "high incidence area" until further notice means that in the future, while Croatia remains with that status, all arrivals from Croatia, more specifically all those who enter Germany by land from the Republic of Croatia will have to have what is being described as a ''currently negative coronavirus test,'' according to a report from N1.

The exact wording used by the Robert Koch Institute to describe the situation in Armenia, Croatia, Turkey and Ukraine is: "Areas with a particularly high risk of infection due to a particularly high incidence of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus."

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

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Primorje-Gorski Kotar Lockdown Confirmed - What You Need to Know

- April the 11th, 2021 - The rumored Primorje-Gorski Kotar lockdown has now unfortunately been confirmed. Here are all the details, times and measures to be put into place.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Primorje-Gorski Kotar lockdown will begin this Monday. The Head of the National Civil Protection Directorate and Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic signed a decision on the introduction of the necessary epidemiological measures for Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, which actually translates as a lockdown for that county.

The numbers in that county have been high for days now, so the local headquarters decided to introduce a lockdown, and the National Headquarters confirmed that it will happen.

Strict measures are being introduced on Monday and will last until April the 26th.

Here are all of the measures set to be introduced in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County:

- A total ban on holding all public events and gatherings.

- A maximum of 8 people from a maximum of 2 different households can be present at private gatherings and ceremonies.

- A ban on all indoor sports training except for clubs competing in the 1st and 2nd rank of competitions in senior competitions and in the 1st rank of competitions in junior competitions at the national level in team sports.

- A ban on clubs competing in individual sports in senior competitions in team club competitions at the national level in the highest rank in the league system of competition and training and competitions of categorised athletes in individual sports, as well as national level athletes preparing for European and/or world competitions according to the list proposed by the Croatian Olympic Committee, the Croatian Paralympic Committee and the Croatian Association of the Deaf, approved by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport.

- The suspension of the work of gyms, fitness centres and sports and recreation centres indoors.

- The suspension of children's playrooms and indoor workshops.

- The suspension of professional artistic performances and programmes, cinema screenings and exhibitions in museums, galleries and other exhibition spaces.

-The suspension of work for shops selling clothes and footwear.

- The limitation of working hours in stores where work continues to be allowed from 06:00 to 19:00.

- Responsible persons in stores where work has not been suspended are obliged to ensure the implementation of supervision of compliance with prescribed epidemiological measures and recommendations such as mask wearing and the maintaining of social distancing.

- The suspension of the work of casinos, slot machine clubs and gambling facilities.

- The suspension of the work of catering and hospitality facilities and the provision of catering services on family farms (OPGs) (this refers to the provision of services on open terraces, or other open service areas).

- A ban on visits to users of homes for the elderly and infirm and to users of other institutions that provide accommodation within the scope of the social welfare system.

- The obligation to wear protective masks outdoors when it isn't possible to maintain a physical distance of two metres from others.

- The recommendation of intensified supervision of the introduced necessary epidemiological measures, and in particular measures related to public gatherings, public transport and the operation of shops/shopping centres and catering and hospitality facilities.

- The recommendation that locker rooms not be used in all sports facilities where competitions and trainings do continue to be allowed.

Exceptions during the Primorje-Gorski Kotar lockdown:

- Catering facilities are allowed to deliver, ie deliver food, beverages and sweets, which they can do in compliance with all anti-epidemic measures in one of the following ways:

- By personal collection in front of the entrance to the catering facility without the person entering it.

- By delivery from the catering facility with a delivery vehicle.

- By delivery from the catering facility on the basis of a business cooperation agreement concluded between the caterer and a third party (legal or natural person), which are registered and entered in the Register of food business entities.

- Those who have the so-called “drive in” mode at their disposal.

As an exception to the anti-epidemic rules, catering facilities from the group "Hotels", "Camps" and the type Pupil or Student dormitory or Akademis from the group "Other catering facilities for accommodation" are allowed to work or serve food/drinks indoors and outdoors only for guests who are using their accommodation services, such as students, reports Index.

As an exception to these anti-epidemic measures, visits to users of homes for the elderly and infirm and to users of other institutions that provide accommodation services within the scope of the social welfare system will be permitted:

- To visitors who present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test for a COVID-19 test not older than 48 hours.
- To visitors who can prove that they have recovered from COVID-19 and the test confirming that (antibody) was performed no longer than 180 days ago. The proof must also be older than 11 days from the date of arrival/presentation.

- To visitors who present a certificate of having recovered from COVID-19 (not older than 180 days) issued by a doctor.

- To visitors who present a vaccination certificate showing that 14 days have elapsed since they received their second dose of coronavirus vaccination or a single dose vaccination in the case of having received a single dose vaccine.

For more on coronavirus in Croatia, including border, quarantine and travel rules, as well the locations of testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark this page.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Croatia Confirms 2,535 New Coronavirus Cases, 34 Deaths

April 10, 2021 - In the last 24 hours, 2,535 new coronavirus cases and 34 COVID-19-related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 response team said on Saturday. 

The number of active cases currently stands at 13,666, an increase of 466 from Friday. Among them are 1,796 people who are receiving hospital treatment, including 180 who are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 290,899 people have been registered as having contracted the new virus, of whom 6,269 have died and 270,964 have recovered, including 2,035 in the last 24 hours. Currently, 29,718 people are in self-isolation.

A total of 1,629,803 people have been tested to date, including 10.140 in the last 24 hours. So far 565,785 vaccine doses have been used and 458,762 people have been vaccinated, of whom 350,053 have received one dose and 107,023 both doses. For 1,868 persons there is no data on how many doses they have received.

For more about Covid-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Nikolina Brnjac: State Will Cover Part of Testing Costs for Tourists in Croatia

April 10, 2021 - According to the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, the State will cover part of the testing costs for tourists in Croatia.

With a good epidemiological situation, we can expect a higher percentage than last year, said the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac for HTV's Dnevnik, answering what percentage we could achieve in the season compared to 2019.

On Friday, it was announced that 70,000 tourism workers would be vaccinated in mid-April. Brnjac told Dnevnik that a survey revealed that about 68,000 tourist workers would like to get vaccinated.

"Tourist employees are in direct contact. It is an epidemiological measure by which we can prevent further outbreaks," said Brnjac.

Germany also put Croatia on the list of high-risk areas. Will it affect tourists?

"First of all, we will look at the epidemiological situation. After that, of course, tourists will look at the vaccination coverage of tourism workers. The segment of the Safe Stay in Croatia project is also important to them, where we have developed all epidemiological standards, protocols, together with the CNIPH, which should be adhered to by all of us in the tourism sector," said Brnjac.

She stated that so far, about 12,000 facilities have received the Safe Stay in Croatia label. Three levels of control have been introduced - one will go from the Ministry, and the other will be professional associations. The third and most important is the guest themselves - the tourist will see how someone behaves and whether they adhere to all measures and protocols, said Brnjac.

"They will see through the QR code in the facility about the protocols are, the standards, whether everyone adheres to them and will be able to send a direct e-mail with their comments, which goes directly to the Ministry, If it is negative, that facility will not get that label," said Brnjac.

When asked about the price of antigen tests at mobile testing points for foreign guests returning to their countries, she could not give a concrete answer, but she said that the state would cover part of the cost.

"The state will cover part of the cost; it will participate in a rather large amount as far as the price of the antigen test is concerned," said Brnjac.

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

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

Friday, 9 April 2021

Croatia Logs 50 COVID-19 Deaths, 2,599 New Infections

ZAGREB, 9 April, 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 50 COVID-19-related fatalities and 2,599 new cases of coronavirus infection, after 8,994 samples were tested, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Friday.

The number of active cases in Croatia today stands at 13,200.

There are 1,768 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, 175 of whom are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia registered its first case of the infection, a total of 288,364 people have contracted coronavirus and 6,235 of them have died.

A total of 268,929 people have recovered, including 2,116 in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 26,425 people in self-isolation.

To date, 1,619,663 people have been tested, 8,994 of whom have been tested over the past 24 hours.

As of 8 April, 543,436 doses of vaccine have been used, and 440,890 people have been vaccinated. Of them, 336,693 people have received the first dose, and 102,546 have received both doses. For 1,651 people there is no data on which dose they have received.

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

Friday, 9 April 2021

Preparations Begin for Digital Green Certificates in Croatia

April 9, 2021 - A working group is being set up to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates in Croatia.

"Vaccination of employees in the tourism sector begins with the third phase of vaccination. I believe it will be very soon," said the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, adding that based on data received so far in the proposed surveys, the number of employees who would enter priority vaccination in the tourism sector is about 68,000, reports HRTurizam.

"Given the nature of the work as well as the significant number of contacts that tourism workers make, it is necessary to vaccinate before the start of the season," said Brnjac.

A working group is being set up to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates in line with EU-level talks.

At Thursday's 52nd Government session, the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) proposed a Decision to establish a working group to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

"We will soon start creating a digital system of certificates of vaccination, testing, and recovery to enable citizens of the Republic of Croatia and the EU free and epidemiologically safe cross-border mobility and residence in our country," said Davor Bozinovic, Minister of the Interior.

Namely, the European Commission coordinates a common European response to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. Following the development of the epidemiological situation and health and medical measures, it is necessary to develop other effective measures to combat COVID-19 and enable free movement in EU member states and third countries or green digital certificates, so-called 'covid passports'.

Therefore, they have recognized the need to ensure freedom of cross-border movement through establishing a system for issuing, verifying, and accepting vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate) that would be interoperable between the EU Member States and third countries.

To this end, on 17 March 2021, the European Commission presented a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a framework for issuing, verifying, and accepting cross-border interoperable vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate). 

Croatia has expressed readiness to establish a national system of digital green certificates and their cross-border interoperability through the EU accession plan that the European Commission plans to establish in April, May, and June 2021, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

To establish a technical solution and to develop a national system of digital green certificates, the Ministry of the Interior is tasked with concluding a contract with AKD d.o.o. (Agency for commercial activity production, service, and trade d.o.o.), since AKD was established to perform the tasks of creating personal ID cards, passports, visas, driver's licenses and other solutions in the field of identity and security.

The Decision instructs the Ministry of Health to provide the Working Group referred to in this Decision with all necessary professional support, especially in fulfilling the following tasks: representing Croatia in the operational working groups of the European Commission's eHealth Network, which coordinates implementing the pilot project of the technical solution for digital green certificates; ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, availability, and non-repudiation of machine-readable data on vaccinated, tested and sick persons automatically and in real-time, accessible from data sources owned by the Ministry of Health, which will be the basis for issuing cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

Recall that according to the new and expanded criteria for the entry of tourists into Croatia, tourists who have either been vaccinated, contracted COVID-19, or have a negative PCR or antigen test from the list of EU tests, can enter Croatia.

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

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

Friday, 9 April 2021

Paradoxical Croatian COVID-19 Vaccination Problems Continue

April the 9th, 2021 - The paradoxical situation with the Croatian COVID-19 vaccination process is continuing as a city five times smaller than the Croatian capital of Zagreb vaccinates twice the amount of people.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, following the general rehearsal held on Tuesday this week, to which 90 Zagreb residents of those invited (500 invitations were sent out) for vaccination responded, only 783 of the 1,500 invited ended up actually coming and being vaccinated on Wednesday. Significantly fewer people came than were actually invited, which poses a concerning issue.

"We aren't very happy with the response. In any case, it's better than it was the day before,'' stated the Andrija Stampar Institute's Tatjana Petricevic Vidovic.

Over in Rijeka, the same mass vaccination process took place using AstraZeneca, but the results there were much, much better. In a city six times smaller than Zagreb, twice as many people were vaccinated in one day than in Zagreb - 1,400. This news signals continuing issues surrounding the Croatian COVID-19 vaccination process which aren't likely to clear themselves up soon.

As of this week, everyone living in Zagreb should probably be making their way (upon invitation) to the Zagreb Fair (Zagrebacki Velesajam) for vaccination against the novel virus. There is no more vaccination with the first dose for outpatient clinics, but instead for those who applied through the vaccination portal and those who were on the lists of their family doctors who are also invited.

"It's done in the sense of the GP taking out his notebook again and calling his patients who haven't been vaccinated yet, asking them if they want to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca and if they do want to, he then he refers them them for vaccination at the Zagreb Fair," explained the president of the Croatian Family Medicine Coordination, Natasa Ban Toskic.

Thus, the aforementioned Zagreb-based paradox was created. Finally, in a long and somewhat embarrassing Croatian COVID-19 vaccination process, there are now many mass vaccination points and a slightly larger number of doses has finally arrived, but there have also been mass absences of citizens and problems with invitations being accepted.

"Are you thinking of just letting everyone come next week, and whoever wants to get vaccinated can come and receive it?" Health Minister Vili Beros was asked.

"Thank you for that question. Theoretically, perhaps in the way you suggested, we'd end up harming some older people who had previously applied to be vaccinated. However, of course, in the given circumstances, we'll do everything to make sure we use up every dose,'' Beros answered for RTL.

He added that this was not ruled out as an option as the Croatian COVID-19 vaccination process goes on. “We need to be flexible and do what's best for the healthcare system,” he concluded.

For more on coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, quarantine and border rules, as well as testing centre locations across the country, make sure to bookmark this page.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Croatian Travellers Consider Travel More Important Than Before Pandemic

April the 9th, 2021 - Croatian travellers, perhaps currently better to say ''would be Croatian travellers'' now consider the ability to travel and head off somewhere new more important than they did before the coronavirus pandemic struck and made the entire idea of travelling for leisure almost impossible.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, by intensifying the coronavirus vaccination procedure, people around the world are eager to travel once again, and nearly two-thirds of those surveyed by Booking.com found that travel is more important to them now than it was before the pandemic took the world by storm.

The digital platform conducted a survey back in January this year on 28,000 passengers from 28 countries, including 1,001 respondents from here in Croatia, which showed that after months on end of restricted movement, Croatian travellers and indeed others can now "see the light at the end of the tunnel" because of the advent of the vaccine.

Two-thirds of travellers are hoping to travel somewhere for leisure and tourism purposes at some point during 2021, and just as many have an even greater desire to travel than before the pandemic struck precisely because of last year’s unprecedented restrictions. More than half of passengers, more precisely 59 percent of them, said they would not travel abroad until they were vaccinated against the novel virus, and 55 percent said they would only travel to countries that have introduced their own vaccination programmes.

For tourism workers, the important and deeply concerning information is certainly that as many as 41 percent of respondents are still reluctant and even skeptical about whether the vaccine will really contribute to safer travel at all.

Six out of ten passengers believe that they will be able to travel somewhere to the beach by the summer of this year, only six percent intend to book an active vacation, and only five percent of them would choose a city break this year.

73 percent of the respondents would agree to travel with a mask on their face, and the vast majority, 64 percent, would support a travel ban for people without a mask, Booking.com pointed out.

For more, follow our travel section.

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