Monday, 13 September 2021

Beros: Hospital Staff Can Only Go to Work in October with Covid Passes

September the 13th, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beros has recently revealed that hospital staff, including doctors, nurses and non medical employees will only be able to physically enter their places of work as of the 1st of October with covid passes, which are given to those who return negative test results, are fully vaccinated, or have proof of having contracted and overcome the disease.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, doctors, nurses, but also non-medical staff working in healthcare institutions across Croatia will only be able to come to work from October the 1st onwards with their digital covid passes. They will get the green light based on one of three conditions, which are vaccination, overcoming the disease, or a negative covid test.

Minister of Health Vili Beros told Jutarnji list that they have been discussing the introduction of covid passes into such scenarios for weeks now, and an official decision will be made on the matter next week.

The introduction itself should take place in early October. Such an organisation, however, takes time.

''We have to hold meetings with hospital management, and ultimately, employees will have some time to decide on the best option, vaccination,'' explained Vili Beros, adding that the procurement of tests for employees is currently underway.

In the first phase, testing for employees will be free, and it is planned that after a month and a half or two, testing will be conducted at the employees' own expense. Although the majority believes that the testing should have been charged to the employees immediately, because medical staff are naturally expected to be vaccinated, Vili Beros decided it was best to make sure there was some reasonable period of time for adjustment.

After the announcement of the introduction of covid passes in the Croatian healthcare system, according to unofficial information, the next in line is social care, and the Minister of Labour Josip Aladrovic has already begun preparing for that. However, whether or not the employees in care homes will also only be able go to work from the beginning of October or a little later on with covid passes, depends on the organisation of that which is yet to come.

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

Friday, 10 September 2021

COVID Certificates to Be Mandatory in Hospitals, Says Minister

ZAGREB, 10 Sept 2021 - All medical workers will soon have to have COVID certificates or be tested once a week, Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Friday, adding that as of Monday the public would be informed differently about the COVID situation in Croatia.

The epidemiological situation is such that we must introduce COVID certificates in the health system, he said at the weekly press briefing of the national COVID-19 crisis management team.

Patients and sick people will not have to have COVID certificates so that access to healthcare is not restricted.

"We wish to reduce the possibility of infection in a health institution. We must ensure healthcare for everyone, and only half the adult population have been vaccinated," Beroš said.

The COVID certificate requirement is being considered for other sectors too, notably social care, but the decision will be made by experts, he added.

Medical workers without a certificate will have to be tested once a week, at first free of charge and later at their expense.

Beroš said that as of next week reporting on the COVID situation in Croatia would focus on the percentage of vaccinated and unvaccinated hospitalised patients.

He said Croatia was "totally unnecessarily" on the red COVID list as of yesterday. "The way out is in increasing the number of those vaccinated."

He said that Denmark, for example thanks to its high vaccination rate, was lifting all restrictions today.

Croatian Institute of Public Health director Krunoslav Capak said infections had been rising considerably week on week since late August. He added that incidence was lowest in Istria County and highest in Split-Dalmatia County.

Capak also said that census takers would not have to have COVID certificates but would have to comply with COVID rules when the population census begins later this month.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

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 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.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Are Mandatory Covid Certificates in Croatia the Way Forward?

July 13, 2021 - Are mandatory Covid certificates in Croatia the way forward? A look at what could be introduced from mid-September. 

France has introduced strict restrictions for those without Covid certificates. This was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron, which resulted in 900,000 people applying for vaccinations, twice as many as the last record set on July 11, reports

Macron said vaccination will not be mandatory for the general public for now but stressed that the restrictions would affect those who have not been vaccinated.

As for Croatia, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković eliminated the possibility of compulsory vaccination yesterday. "There is no theoretical chance that vaccination will be mandatory," Plenković said.

Since it is becoming increasingly clear that the fourth wave of coronavirus is already spreading in parts of Europe and that vaccination has been slowed down in Croatia for some time, Plenković's resolute removal of compulsory vaccination as an option could mean that in Croatia, almost as in France, some kind of restriction will be introduced for those without Covid certificates. This, the government and the headquarters expect, would achieve two goals. On the one hand, a new wave of the coronavirus could be controlled much better, and on the other hand, restrictions would encourage many to be vaccinated.

Although real restrictions are expected in the autumn, strict measures affecting the unvaccinated have already begun.

As of yesterday, new rules for gatherings apply in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, according to which more than 20 people cannot gather without a Covid certificate.

"These are measures that at first glance show that the approach is proactive; we cannot wait with folded arms for an unwanted scenario to happen to us. We have experience of how unwanted events occur, the Delta Variant is present, and we have a certain problem, we want to be proactive and prevent the spread of the virus in the population, especially in events known as super-spreaders, and these are all forms of the gathering of people," said Vladimir Mićović, director of the Teaching Institute for Public Health of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. He added that the measure was adopted for a period of 14 days with the possibility of extension.

By introducing these restrictions, several public events in Rijeka and the surrounding area were canceled yesterday.

It should also be reminded that last week in Zadar County, concerts and similar outdoor events were banned, where it is not checked whether visitors have a Covid certificate.

Even more serious restrictions for those without Covid certificates are announced for the fall.

Tomorrow is a new round of government talks with unions and employers on a new support scheme for the economy that will be paid only to those employees with a Covid certificate, but also on the possibility of introducing a Covid certificate as an obligation for all public sector activities and employees in contact with a larger number of people. As the Minister of Health Vili Beroš confirmed ten days ago, these are drivers in public transport, teachers, professors, educators, health workers, people who work at the counters or are otherwise in daily contact with a larger number of people.

A similar Covid certification regime is being considered for healthcare facilities. As he said, serious consideration is being given to introducing testing on entering the hospital, but also that healthcare professionals work as long as the Covid confirmation lasts, i.e., that they are tested every 48 hours if they have not been vaccinated or have not had coronavirus in the last six months.

But the plan of the government and the Headquarters is much broader.

Covid certificates should become a means of entry to almost all events and shopping malls, which is a very realistic option for autumn. Such an obligation should be introduced through the Headquarters decision, i.e., it is not necessary to change any law. If necessary, the places for which a Covid certificate is required would be further expanded.

Since the shopping centers would be entered only with Covid certificates, everyone inside would be without masks. Shopping centers will, most figuratively speaking, look like in 2019, that is, before the epidemic. In addition to not wearing masks, there will be no restrictions on the number of people in the shops, restaurants in the centers will work as before, and playrooms will work as before the pandemic. Wardens will control Covid certificates at the entrances to the shopping centers. The Headquarters is convinced that the owners of these centers will be much more profitable than the measures because people will stay longer in the centers, go to cafes, restaurants, and children's playrooms.

"Those who have not been vaccinated will also be able to enter but will have to be tested as prescribed for Covid certificates. We have two goals: one is to extend the season as much as possible, and the other is to enter the fall with a new regime based on Covid certificates. Depending on how the epidemiological situation develops, it is possible to apply Covid certificates even more widely, i.e., to make them an obligation in even more places," said Index's source close to the Headquarters about ten days ago.

One of these places could be office buildings, and Covid certificates could be checked at the entrance to the building. All places where masks are now mandatory are potential places where a Covid certificate obligation could be introduced. This applies to various institutions, public and private, and in the broadest case, to all stores.

The new regime could be introduced as early as the second half of September.

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.

Page 4 of 4