Thursday, 7 April 2022

Croatia To Abolish Practically All Coronavirus Restrictive Measures On Saturday

ZAGREB, 7 April 2022 - Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team stated on Thursday that COVID protocols would be abolished on Saturday and only the protective mask mandate remains in place in medical institutions and nursing homes.

Practically all the current restrictions imposed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic will be lifted at midnight Friday, said the team's head, Interior Minister Davor Božinović.

Wearing protective masks in public spaces will depend on individuals and sanctions will no longer be imposed for failure to wear masks, Božinović said, explaining that they are still obligatory in hospitals and care homes.

Entering Croatia

EU citizens can enter Croatia without any requirements, while those arriving from other countries are required to produce COVID certificates upon entering Croatia.



For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Protective Masks No Longer Mandatory In Classrooms

ZAGREB, 24 Feb 2022 - Education Minister Radovan Fuchs on Thursday said that students and teachers would no longer be required to wear masks during lessons as of Monday and that restrictions related to excursions and outdoor lessons would be relaxed.

"As we announced, as of next week masks will no longer be required during classes," Minister Fuchs told reporters after the cabinet meeting, adding that the decision was coordinated with the Croatian Public Health Institute and epidemiologists.

Masks will still be required in public transport and hallways in schools.

Wearing protective masks will no longer be mandatory for teachers, many of whom are vaccinated and who are also tested for coronavirus.

This decision comes after implementing self-testing of students, the minister underscored. In the first week of self-testing, almost 2,000 asymptomatic positive cases were identified and now there is barely some twenty-odd.

Self-testing of students will continue but there won't be any self-isolation, he said.

Instructions will be published today or tomorrow, said Fuchs, adding that measures regarding excursions and outdoor lessons will be relaxed.

He added that children can continue to wear masks if their parents wish them to and also it is recommended that children with underlying conditions should continue to wear masks.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated sectionand select your preferred language if it isn't English

Sunday, 13 February 2022

Science and Education Minister Says Cancellation of Mask Mandate in Schools to be Considered

ZAGREB, 13 Feb 2022 - Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Saturday that the cancellation of the mask mandate in schools would be considered in the coming month if the self-testing of school children and the related cancellation of self-isolation proved effective.

According to the latest recommendations by the public health institute (HZJZ) for children and parents, students who self-test no longer need to self-isolate in case of contact with a person positive for COVID-19.

"If this proves effective and good, we will also consider that option in the coming month and discuss it with the HZJZ," Fuchs said in an interview with Nova TV when asked about an end to the face mask mandate in schools.

The minister also believes that the self-testing of students is not a belated measure, even though the number of new infections has been on the decline.

"We are not late (with self-testing). It has nothing to do with whether figures are falling or not. Right now we have a huge number of students in self-isolation and that could continue as long as there is a single positive case in a class. This measure was introduced exactly because of that," the minister said, confirming that the number of new infections was falling and that the trend was evident among students.

"... we have opted for this measure so that classes could be held face-to-face until the end of the school year," the minister said.

Asked if he had concerns about a response by antivaxxers to self-testing and possible protests outside schools, Fuchs said that he hoped there would not be any, that principals had been given instructions, that there could be no unannounced protests or demonstrations outside schools and that if they were held, police would be called in.

As for parents who do not want to test their children, the minister repeated that they would fill in a form withholding consent for that procedure and submit it to their child's teacher and the child would not have to undergo testing at home. However, if the child gets into contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19, they will have to self-isolate, he said.

Asked if he knew the number of children who would not self-test at home, Fuchs said that according to available information, the number was one or two students per class.

Asked if all children, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, should get tested if they get into contact with a positive person, the minister answered in the positive.

The minister also noted that the process of self-testing would not be controlled and that it was based on trust.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Friday, 17 December 2021

Božinović: It Would Be Safer for All To Celebrate New Year Outdoors

ZAGREB, 17 Dec 2021 - It would be safer for everyone to attend outdoor New Year celebrations and for the faithful to follow Mass on TV, the head of the national COVID-19 response team, Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović, said on Friday, warning that the new, Omicron variant was much more infectious than the Delta variant.

"The Delta variant spreads much faster than the previous variants while Omicron spreads much faster than Delta. We have a mix of those two variants and we must bear that in mind," said Božinović.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to the coastal city of Zadar, he said that the number of new infections was growing in all four Dalmatian counties, calling on citizens to spend as much time as possible outdoors.

"We are entering the winter, people will tend to spend more time indoors and it is tremendously important that everyone takes care of themselves and not underestimate the situation," he said.

No relaxation of restrictions considering situation in Europe

Božinović noted that the latest epidemiological rules were introduced because of the situation in Europe and that there could be no relaxation of the rules.

"If the figures do not grow and if their mild decline is maintained, we will talk. It would be irresponsible of me to say anything else now because nobody knows what will happen in the next few days. It is a fact that we have a certain number of cases of infection with the Omicron variant and it is realistic to expect more rather than fewer cases. We should wait and see if the large figures in Europe result in more hospitalisations," he said.

For more news, follow TCN's dedicated news page.

Friday, 10 December 2021

Božinović on COVID Measures for New Year's Eve

ZAGREB, 10 Dec 2021 - Asked about working hours for hotels and the hospitality sector on New Year's Eve, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Friday that the decision on closing at midnight was still in force, however, he did not entirely rule out the possibility of that decision being amended.

"Decisions that are in force refer to working hours until midnight. It's only the 10th of December today... the response team is considering all the possibilities and we won't wait until the eleventh hour but at the moment I would not like to say anything that might be interpreted as a decision or stance," Božinović said after a cabinet meeting.

"You know the rules of the game - if the current decline in the number of infections continues, I do not see any reason why, with some possible recommendations, something could not be allowed for that evening," he added.

Božinović added that one could not forecast how much the Omicron variant, which spreads quickly, would spread.

"A lot is still unknown. Everyone is following the situation in South Africa (...)  the experts there are analysing that variant and we all depend on those results, from governments to vaccine producers," he said.

For the latest news, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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.

Page 1 of 4