Monday, 4 October 2021

Protest Against Vili Beroš and COVID Certificates in Zagreb This Morning

October 4, 2021 - Fifty protesters arrived this morning in front of KBC Zagreb to protest against Vili Beroš, Health Minister of Croatia, who came to the hospital at 7 am to mark the beginning of the application of mandatory EU digital covid certificates in health care.

In recent weeks, demonstrations against measures to combat the still current COVID-19 have increased in different parts of the country. In Krapinske-Toplice, for example, some parents gathered for several days outside a primary school to protest against the mandatory use of masks for children. It does not matter if the vaccination rate in Croatia is one of the lowest in Europe, it seems that the position of a large part of the citizenry is clear: no more restrictions.

On a larger scale, some massive protests have been taking place recently in Zagreb, mainly after the Minister of Health, Vili Beroš, announced that from now on health personnel in hospitals should present EU digital covid certificates in order to be able to work. The decision was not well received by a large section of the population, prompting both a large "protest for freedom" in Ban Jelačić Square, as well as a protest led by nurses and other health workers against the measure.

This morning, as Jutarnji List reports, around 50 protesters and opponents of the measure gathered in front of KBC Zagreb to protest against Vili Beroš and EU digital covid certificates. The Croatian Health Minister was in the middle of a press conference to mark the start of the measure. Among the protesters was a priest, Father Zdravko Knezević.

- ''Hangman, hangman!'', shouted the priest.

- ''Hitler's associates ended up on the gallows. Betrayal, betrayal! Judas' misfortunes!'', the priest continued and added that the pandemic was false.

He had a short conversation with Minister Beroš.

"You know everything well", he told Beroš.


A priest, Father Zdravko Knezević, was among the crowd who arrived to protest against Vili Beroš and confront the Health Minister. Photo: (Patrik Macek/PIXSELL)

The protesters, most of whom were citizens and a small number of KBC employees, did not allow Beroš to speak, chanting "shameful decisions", "betrayal" and "resignation", so the minister had to give a statement to the media at the hospital's Directorate.

"No beginning is easy. I allow the right to different opinions, however, in a situation where the virus has been around for a year and a half to deny its existence, numerous deaths and difficult situations are not justified. My task is to ensure the security of the health system and I will try to do so", said Beroš, referring to the protesters.

"As the Minister of Health, my task is to ensure the safety of all service users but also employees. Everyone has the same conditions, there is no discrimination. We do not force anyone to get vaccinated, but testing is what the profession considers the basic condition for safe work, and we do it for the sake of Croatian citizens and our patients'', he said.

As of Monday, every employee in the health care system and social care institutions in Croatia must have an EU digital covid certificate, as well as visitors and accompanying patients. All healthcare professionals who come to work from today must show a covid certificate, whether they have been vaccinated or have recovered from covid, while others must be tested twice a week.

Beroš reiterated that the measures are temporary and that they will change depending on the development of the epidemiological situation and vaccination. "It's not clear to me why someone doesn't want to be tested, why someone doesn't want to contribute to the safety of the health care system. What are their motives? I really can't understand them at the moment".


Despite the protest against Vili Beroš, most health workers arrived with their EU digital covid certificates in order to work at the hospital. (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL)

He said 10 tests revealed 10 asymptomatic positive patients in hospitals yesterday. "They would get into the system and be able to spread the virus, and we don't want that. Therefore, that also indicates that the measure is justified at this point."

He said that before making a decision on the introduction of mandatory covid certificates, legal experts on constitutional law were consulted and they believe that health protection is above all.

The director of KBC Zagreb, Ante Ćorušić, stated that the police were called to the protest against Vili Beroš and that most of this morning's protesters were not hospital employees.

Testing of health professionals who do not have a covid certificate at that hospital started yesterday and everything went well. To date, 690 employees have been tested and two have been positive. Vaccination within the KBC is relatively good, 81.5 percent of doctors and 56 percent of nurses have been vaccinated'', said Ćorušić.

"Most employees follow the procedure. The work process continues normally, the operating program goes on, the polyclinic works, the day hospital. Everything is as before", he said, adding that 12,000 people pass through the hospital every day.

As a reminder, as of Monday, every employee in the health care system and social care institutions in Croatia must have an EU digital covid certificate, as well as visitors and patient escorts.

All healthcare professionals who come to work from today must show a covid certificate, whether they have been vaccinated or have recovered from covid, while others must be tested twice a week.

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

Friday, 24 September 2021

Minister Confirms Possibility of Third Call for COVID-19 Allowance


ZAGREB, 24 Sept 2021 - Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrović on Friday confirmed the possibility of a third call for the payment of the COVID-19 allowance for pensioners who meet the requirements and have not received the allowance so far.

Aladrović said the government was considering this move while speaking to reporters after a conference organised by the Pensioners' Convention of Croatia (MUH).

According to MUH data, 140,000 pensioners have not received the COVID-19 allowance even though they are entitled to it.

Profession should decide about institute of "parental alienation"

In a comment on a case involving the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Centre, whose head Gordana Buljan Flander resigned on Thursday, Aladrović said that the City of Zagreb was the founder of the Centre and that its representatives made decisions on the Centre's Steering Board and, indirectly, on its head.

He would not comment on Buljan Flander's resignation, saying only that the interest of children comes first in the social welfare system.

Buljan Flander resigned following negative reactions to her demand for a court injunction to stop the H-alter website writing about her and the Centre.

The injunction by Zagreb Municipal Court judge Andrija Krivak came after the nonprofit website in the past few weeks ran a series of articles by reporter Jelena Jindra problematising the work of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Centre and its head.

Reporters inquired about the legal regulation of the institute of parental alienation, which has caused strong reactions in a part of the public which claims that children are being taken away from their mothers and given to abusive fathers to care for.

Aladrović said that this was not a matter of laws and regulations but of methodology.

A possible solution is for psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists to have a broad debate about the matter to determine if the institute is good, he said.

Whether a method is good should be determined by the profession, the minister added.

The social welfare system is very complex so occasional manipulation or insufficiently conscientious work cannot be ruled out, but the Ministry is trying to reduce such phenomena to the minimum, which is why it has stepped up controls, he said.

COVID-19 certificates

COVID-19 certificates will be introduced for employees in the social welfare system as of 1 October, and the minister said he did not see any rational reason for unvaccinated employees to refuse to get tested, with the cost being covered by the state.

"If there are employees who do not want to get vaccinated and refuse to get tested, employers will act in line with the Labour Act," he said, adding that such cases would not be tolerated, for the sake of responsibility towards other citizens.

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.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Everything Ready for Start of New School Year

ZAGREB, 3 Sept 2021 - Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Friday that everything was ready for the beginning of the new school year, that all children would be attending face-to-face classes and that clear epidemiological rules for schools had been made known.

Students who test positive for the virus will have to stay at home until they recover, while others will go to school normally, keeping a physical distance from each other and not having to wear face masks, the minister said ahead of the start of the new school year on 6 September.

As for school halls, school buses and other means of public transportation, students will have to wear protective masks.

Speaking of the vaccination of employees in the education system, Fuchs called on those who had not been vaccinated to do so.

As for the vaccination rate, he said that it was around 60% in high schools, around 72% at universities and close to 80% in research institutions.

He said that efforts would be made to keep the vaccination rate in the education sector above the vaccination rate in the general population.

That is the only way to keep schools open, he said.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 816 New Cases, 6 Deaths

ZAGREB, 3 Sept 2021 - In the last 24 hours, Croatia has conducted 9,658 coronavirus tests,  and 8.5%, or 816 of them, have turned out to be positive, and six COVID-19 patients have died, bringing the COVID-related death toll to 8,355, the national coronavirus crisis management team said on Friday.

Currently, there are 4,156 active cases of the infection in the country, and of them, 457 are receiving hospital treatment, including 57 patients on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia reported its first registered COVID-19 case, more than 2.57 million tests have been conducted, showing that 376,417 people have caught the virus. Of them, 363,906 have recovered to date, including 597 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

Since the start of its vaccine rollout, Croatia has administered nearly 3.3 million vaccines, and 42.75% of the population, or 51.34% of adult citizens, have been vaccinated.

To date, 1,624,041 citizens or 48.12% of the adult population have fully been immunised.

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.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Plenković Says Tourism Results Good

ZAGREB, 8 Aug, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković was attending the 306th Sinjska Alka tournament in Sinj on Sunday, saying it was "a beautiful event" for the area and Croatia because it was "our tradition, our heritage and everything that embodies Croatia's identity."

Speaking ahead of the lancing competition, he congratulated the people of Sinj and the Alka Knights Society on the 306th Sinjska Alka.

The tournament commemorates a victory over 60,000 Ottoman soldiers on 14 August 1715 by 700 Croatian defenders of Sinj, about 30 kilometres inland from the southern coastal city of Split.

The event features period-clad horsemen riding at full gallop and aiming their lances at an iron ring, called the alka, which is suspended from a rope above the race track.

It was inscribed on UNESCO's world intangible cultural heritage list in 2010.

Members of the press asked Plenković to comment on the COVID situation in Sinj, whose Mayor Miro Bulj asked that hospitality establishments be allowed to stay open longer for the tournament, a request rejected by the national COVID crisis management team due to COVID rules.

The prime minister said the rules were the same for all and that they were adopted for, not against, citizens and tourists.

He said he saw no problem, as more spectators would be allowed than last year, and that after 18 months it should be clear to everyone why bars were not allowed to stay open after midnight, not just in Sinj.

Plenković went on to say that the tourist season was above all expectations, and that the state and all other segments of society had done everything for it to be better both in terms of the COVID situation and efforts to promote Croatia.

He announced a tourism sector meeting in Opatija on Tuesday to be attended by six ministers aimed at reviewing what has been done in this year's tourism season which, according to current estimates, will be at 65-70% of the results achieved in the record year 2019.

"Considering our neighbours and the situation we were in, that is brilliant," Plenković said

He added that people should be more disciplined, wiser and more responsible to each other in order for the season to last as long as possible, so that Croatia's coastline was an orange COVID zone for at least two to three more weeks which, he added, would indicate strong economic recovery.

He said the growth announcements for the second quarter were "brilliant" and that if the season continued like this, they would be "very good" for Q3 as well. "That's what is most important at the moment to me as prime minister."

Asked to comment on the Hague war crimes tribunal's confirmation that Slobodan Milošević took part in a criminal enterprise against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Plenković said Croatians knew that very well and did not need proof.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE. 

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Croatia Registers 233 New Coronavirus Cases, One Death

ZAGREB, 7 Aug, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 233 coronavirus cases and one COVID-19 death have been registered in Croatia, the national crisis management team said on Saturday.

There are 1,201 active cases and 166 hospitalised patients, including 18 on ventilators, while 4,130 persons are self-isolating.

To date, 2,345,366 persons have been tested for the virus, including 7,832 in the past 24 hours.

Croatia has registered 364,832 coronavirus cases to date, including 8,271 deaths and 355,360 recovered patients, 170 of whom have recovered in the past 24 hours.

Croatia has vaccinated 40.9% of its total population, including 49.2% of adults, 44.89% of whom have completed vaccination.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Croatia Registers 191 New Coronavirus Cases

ZAGREB, 24 July, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 191 coronavirus cases have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Saturday.

The number of active cases is 1,013 and there are 121 hospitalised patients, including 15 on ventilators, while 3,194 persons are self-isolating.

To date, Croatia has registered 362,496 coronavirus cases and 8,245 deaths, while 353,238 persons have recovered from COVID, including 135 in the past 24 hours.

To date, 2,242,487 persons have been tested for the virus, including 6,118 in the past 24 hours.

To date, 2,997,335 vaccine doses have been administered, with 39.9% of the population vaccinated, including 47.9% of adults.

One dose has been administered to 1,617,306 persons, while 1,423,795 persons have been fully vaccinated - 1,380,029 who have received both doses and 43,766 who have received the one dose of the Janssen vaccine.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Croatia to Toughen COVID Restrictions Along Adriatic Coast as of Monday

ZAGREB, 23 July 2021 - Croatia is introducing tougher COVID-19 restrictions in five coastal counties as of Monday, the head of the national coronavirus response team, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, announced at a press conference on Friday. 

Any gatherings in one place of more than 50 people without a COVID vaccination certificate will be banned, while the maximum number of people with COVID certificates in one place will be 1,000, Božinović said.

"The entire Croatian Adriatic is currently dancing between the orange and red zones on the EDCD map. These measures are aimed at preventing the introduction of restrictions for travellers returning from Croatia, and this is also their wish," he said, adding that the new measures would be in place until 15 August.

Special restrictions have been introduced for wedding celebrations. If they involve up to 15 persons, they do not need to have a COVID certificate, while for those with more than 15 persons all participants will be required to have such certificates.

Fairs and other outdoor business events can be held only with the approval of local and regional coronavirus response teams. Organisers are required to seek permission for such events no later than seven days before the gathering or event takes place.

The national coronavirus response team has also changed the criteria for entering Croatia, extending the validity of COVID vaccination and recovery certificates. Under the new rules, people can enter the country if their certificates showing that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the disease are not older than 270 days. Previously, such certificates should not have been older than 210 days.

Travellers from Category 1 countries must have a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours and must self-isolate on entering the country, while visitors from Category 2 countries must show a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours or a negative antigen test not older than 48 hours, regardless of the vaccination or recovery status. The Category 2 countries include the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation and Cyprus.

Learn more about travelling to Croatia during the COVID-19 pandemic on our TC page.

Monday, 28 June 2021

Croatia Registers 14 New Coronavirus Cases, Two Deaths

ZAGREB, 28 June 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, 14 new cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed in Croatia, there have been two related deaths, and the number of active cases stands at 425, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Monday.

There are 195 COVID patients in hospital, including ten who are on ventilators.

Currently, 4,138 people are in self-isolation.

To date, Croatia has registered 359,666 cases of coronavirus infection, including 8,202 deaths and 351,039 recoveries, of which 101 in the last 24 hours.

A total of 2,138,094 have been tested for coronavirus so far, 2,236 of whom over the past 24 hours.

As at 27 June, 2,529,512 doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 1,478,516 people receiving at least one dose and 1,051,096 of them receiving both doses.

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.

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