Sunday, 8 August 2021

Epidemiologist Bernard Kaic Discusses Covid Passes, Cafe Work Rules

August the 8th, 2021 - Croatian epidemiologist Bernard Kaic recently spoke about the situation surrounding covid passes, sometimes called ''covid passports'' in Croatia, as well as why cafes and bars are still having their work limited despite the good epidemiological picture and the continued vaccine rollout.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, when asked whether or not Croatia will remain ''orange'' on the ECDC coronavirus map until the end of the summer if we continue to behave like this, epidemiologist Bernard Kaic said:

"I don't know. Time will tell. We can see that the number of new cases is growing a bit, so if we continue to behave in the same way, the coast will probably not remain orange until the end of the summer. However, the measures should be adhered to a little more strictly.''

He also explained why the measures against one of the hardest hit sectors, the hospitality and catering industry, are still not being relaxed:

"If they're working outdoors and it's not crowded, it doesn't matter if it's 12:30 or past one in the morning, the only problem is if working after midnight would involve working indoors in a big, crowded, poorly ventilated area where everyone is very close to everyone else, in such situations, it's almost certain that someone there will be carrying the virus.''

He believes that covid certificates work well in Croatia.

“Both before the covid passes were introduced and before the vaccination rollout began, things could have been maintained with the use of masks, maintaining social distance, the disinfection of surfaces and hands, and the isolation of infected individuals. Even without these covid certificates, one could have lived with those epidemiological measures, but they don't provide total and absolute safety,'' explained epidemiologist Bernard Kaic for RTL, before adding:

''The biggest issue with these covid passes are those issued on the basis of someone having received a negative test in the last 48 or 72 hours because that can be a false negative. A person can be negative at the time of taking the test, and positive the next day if they became infected a few days ago. If there are many people obtaining these passes because they've just returned a negative test then there's an issue as these are people who haven’t been vaccinated and who haven't contracted the disease and then recovered from it. If there are a large number of such cases, someone among them will be infected, even if they had a negative test result two or three days ago.

If a large number of people have covid passes based on having returned a negative test, then that's a pretty good ground for the spread of the infection," epidemiologist Bernard Kaic pointed out.

As for the plan for autumn and the new school year, of course, there are no firm guidelines yet, nor can there be as the situation is fluid.

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

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Croatian Vaccine Problems Persist as Jab Doesn't Automatically Equal Covid Pass

July the 13th, 2021 - Croatian vaccine problems are of course continuing. This time, thankfully, those who are NOT insured in Croatia (through HZZO) will be able to get their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on the 14th and 16th of this month. But, there's always a but...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, people who turn up at the “Dr. Andrija Stampar'' School of Medicine (Zagreb) will be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on July the 14th and 16th, from 16:00 to 19:00, without needing an invitation or booking in advance, and on Wednesday, July the 14th, after vaccination, they will be able to enjoy a free concert by Tango Appassionato if they so wish.

Those who need to receive their second dose can also come for vaccination in this way, and, perhaps more importantly, those who are for whatever reason not insured by HZZO can also come to receive their first or second dose. 

The above marks a turnaround from the previous attitude of only those who are insured by HZZO being able to get the vaccine. There are many reasons a Croatian citizen or legal resident might not be covered by HZZO due to the obstacles and issues many people face when trying to straighten out their health insurance, and it's refreshing to see that the powers that be who are providing the vaccine during a global pandemic understand that this should absolutely not be a prerequisite to receive it.

Those who are in limbo in regard to HZZO will now be freed from that one Croatian vaccine problem, but might face another in the form of, you guessed it, paperwork.

"Everyone who came for their second dose has how had their second dose. We're also vaccinating those who don't have Croatian health insurance (HZZO) now, but they cannot get a covid certificate at this moment in time. At the moment, those certificates can only be obtained by HZZO insured persons, but I believe that the regulations will do their job. Those who are vaccinated will be entered in the records, but they just cannot get a confirmation yet,'' said Dr. Mirjana Kujundzic Tiljak.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Third-Country Nationals Entering Croatia No Longer Need Special Reason, Latest on Covid Passports

June 30, 2021 - Croatian Government members held a Cabinet session on Wednesday, after which Interior Minister Davor Božinović stated to the media about third-country nationals entering Croatia and the latest on digital Covid certificates.

New rules for the citizens of Serbia and BiH as well

"Everyone who has these certificates will be able to come and enter the Republic of Croatia without any restrictions," Božinović revealed. "All those who do not have a certificate will have to present a negative test not older than 48 hours, a certificate showing they recovered from COVID-19, or that they have been vaccinated. The news is that people from third countries no longer need to present a special reason for coming to Croatia," Božinović said, as reported by

This means that from now on, citizens of Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina need to have one of three certificates to enter Croatia - one for vaccination, recovery, or a negative test.

Covid certificates as tickets to events

Božinović also spoke about the use of Covid certificates to enter events.

"As for the use of digital Covid certificates at the national level, their use will apply to clubs, concerts, events, and other manifestations that would gather more than 100 people," the minister said.

Covid certificates will also be issued at testing sites

"We have an additional novelty, and that is that all testing sites in Croatia, in addition to performing testing, will be able to issue digital Covid certificates. They will be published by HZZO and all its branches on the e-Citizens website. When you come to test, within those 15 minutes, you have to wait; you can get the Covid certificate. This will also be possible for foreign citizens. Anyone can obtain a digital Covid certificate," said Božinović.

Božinović says that local civil protection headquarters will control traditional gatherings.

“Whoever organizes these events should have an interest in maintaining the tradition, but, on the other hand, not allowing any of these manifestations to become the focus of the coronavirus,” he said.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

Friday, 11 June 2021

Will Entrance to Croatian Events be Permitted Only With "Covid Passes"?

June the 11th, 2021 - The controversial issue of Croatian ''covid passports'' is being talked about more and more lately. As decisions surrounding their implementation begin, could attending Croatian events only with the presentation of a valid vaccination document become a reality? The topic is already being discussed surrounding football match spectators.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the European Parliament voted on the introduction of digital covid-certificates yesterday, which will be in official use throughout the European Union from the 1st of July, 2021. Croatia has already introduced this certificate in its own national system, and in one single week, despite many issues, more than 100 thousand people successfully had theirs approved for use.

In addition to making the process far easier when crossing EU borders as the pandemic continues, the plan is for this certificate to serve as proof of having overcome COVID-19, having been vaccinated or having a negative PCR test for other purposes, such as entering Croatian events such as concerts.

As the Croatian events sector is finally beginning to feel some optimism after a long time, and it seems that covid-check verification will be integrated into the ticket sales process.

"Yesterday we did an analysis and we saw that in the last month the number of tickets sold is three times higher compared to the same period last year. This shows some serious optimism,'' said Berislav Marszalek, the owner of the platform for the mediation in ticket sales for RTL Danas/Today.

There will soon be more optimism because the ''old way'' of attending Croatian events such as performances and concerts is closer than ever to returning. In that sense, without needing to adhere to epidemiological measures, people will be able to attend as they did before the pandemic, as long as they have proof of their recovery from the disease, proof of vaccination or proof of having a negative PCR test result. A person's digital covid certificate will be scanned along with their ticket.

“The goal is to integrate the tickets, meaning checking those tickets with checking those covid passes so that the process is quick, easy and in all done one place. We don't want to slow down the process further at the entrance,'' explained Marszalek.

This is a proposal from the Croatian events industry that has been sent to the Croatian Institute of Public Health through the Ministry of Culture. The first rehearsal concert without measures has already been arranged, but the options for its realisation are still on the table.

"There were, in accordance with the conversations we had with the community, some proposals for a concert at Jarun, or one at the Zagreb Arena. Exactly where and what the first concert will look like is hard to say now. What does it depend on? This primarily depends on our talks with the CNIPH on when we'll be ready to register these covid passes,'' said Kresimir Partl, State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Media.

A decision by the end of the week?

“The National Civil Protection Directorate is currently considering passing these national rules for the use of digital covid certification and I guess we'll have some sort of national solution for that by the end of the week and then we'll be able to discuss where and how the concerts would be organised. I hope that we'll know something more about it on Friday,'' said the director of the CNIPH, Krunoslav Capak.

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 centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

45,000 EU Digital Covid Certificates Issued in Croatia So Far

June 3, 2021 - There have been 45,000 EU digital COVID certificates issued in Croatia so far. 

All Croatian citizens who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, have a negative test, or have recovered from COVID-19 in less than six months can get their digital covid-certificates now, reports Dalmacija Danas

Citizens can get certificates in printed or electronic form, proving that they have received one of the vaccines registered in the European Union, through the portal e-Citizens or in one of the branches of the Croatian Health Insurance Institute throughout Croatia, except at five HZZO locations - and in Zagreb where certificates are not issued: Margaretska, Mihanovićeva, Kruge, Ivekovićeva, and Branimirova.

Croatia is the first EU member state to establish a system for issuing EU digital covid certificates. Together with Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Poland, it has linked up with the EU's accession to verify the authenticity of certificates.

More than 45,000 covid certificates were issued in Croatia yesterday, of which 90 percent are with vaccinations. Of these, only 4,000 certificates were requested and issued in paper form.

“All citizens who have been vaccinated according to the vaccination program adopted by the Croatian Institute of Public Health must be registered in the central register of vaccinated persons, which is the basis for issuing a digital COVID vaccination certificate. If it turns out that one of the vaccinated citizens is not in the register, we ask them to contact the doctor or health institution where the vaccination was performed with a card and a certificate of vaccination to make a subsequent enrollment of citizens in the list of vaccinated persons," said the Ministry of Health.

Namely, the largest number of citizens who have received the vaccine so far are registered in the central register of vaccinated persons and can easily obtain their COVID certificates in a very short time. However, for various reasons, part of the citizens remained unregistered or registered with incomplete or incorrect data, making it impossible to issue certificates promptly.

As of yesterday, citizens also have the opportunity to check for themselves on the Health Portal whether their vaccination data have been recorded correctly. The fastest way to eliminate these problems is to direct citizens to doctors and institutions where the vaccination was performed. Only the doctor who performed the vaccination is authorized to enter data on the vaccinated person or another doctor of the health institution.

Also, some citizens ask for additional information to obtain a COVID-certificate of recovery, so it should be emphasized that it is issued to a person who has suffered from COVID-19 on the 11th day from the date of the first positive PCR test recorded in the system. Such confirmation shall be valid for 180 days from the date of the first positive PCR test recorded in the system. A certificate of illness is not issued based on a rapid antigen test, as established by the proposal for regulating the EU digital covid-certificates.

Under the Decision of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia amending the Decision on temporary prohibition and restriction of border crossings of the Republic of Croatia from 1 June 2021, entry into the Republic of Croatia is also possible for persons unable to exercise digital covid confirmation in the following cases:

- by presenting a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 and receiving a single dose of vaccine within six months of the onset of COVID-19, and vaccination carried out less than 180 days ago,

- by presenting a positive rapid antigen test (listed on the Joint List of EU Member States) confirming that the person has recovered from SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, with the test performed 180 days ago and older than 11 days from the date of arrival at the border crossing or upon presentation of a medical certificate issued by a doctor, determination of self-isolation upon arrival in the Republic of Croatia and for a period of 10 days or until receiving the results of a negative test.

At the European Union level, there are continuous discussions on digital covid-certification, and adjustments are possible in the digital covid-certificate at the EU level, depending on current scientific knowledge and consensus of the profession. Also, like Croatia, each member state can bring additional conditions for entry into its territory that are not covered by the digital covid-certificate, which are then confirmed by presenting appropriate medical documentation when crossing the border.

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.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

EU Digital COVID Certificates in Croatia are LIVE! Here's How to Get One

June 1, 2021 - EU digital COVID certificates in Croatia are LIVE! Here's a look at what you need to do to get one. 

As of today, the EU digital covid certificates in Croatia are live, or what you may know better as the Covid passport. The Croatian government set up a national certification system on Monday, which began operating on Tuesday,  report Jutarnji List

"The Croatian national system for issuing the EU digital COVID certificate is ready for operation on June 1 and the integration procedure with the European gateway has been carried out, which ensured their cross-border interoperability," they announced in a statement yesterday.

A website has also been launched where citizens can get all the necessary information. But the process of issuing a Covid certificate is actually quite simple; you can request it through the e-Citizens system (eGrađani) or at HZZO branches. Regardless of the version, the certificate will contain a QR code with basic information and a digital stamp to ensure the authenticity of the certificate.

How to access the certification system?

You can access the system for issuing EU digital COVID certificates via the website via the link REQUEST A CERTIFICATE at the top of the website (see header photo). You can also access the system directly via the e-Citizens (eGrađani) page by selecting the HEALTH area from the service catalog. In this area, select the EU Digital COVID Certificate e-Service and follow the application steps.

What documents do you need to download the certificate from the e-Citizens (eGrađani) portal?

Apart from level 2 credentials - significant security levels or level 3 credentials - high-security credentials, it is not necessary to provide additional data and documentation to access the e-Citizens (eGrađani) portal. The system retrieves user data from the databases of the Ministry of Health and the confirmation is generated by clicking on the option "Request confirmation".

You can save the confirmation that you download via the portal to your computer, print it out, or send it by e-mail to your e-mail address.

How to apply through e-Citizens (eGrađani)?

In case you decide to get the certificate through the eCitizens system, you must first submit a request by entering your OIB and e-mail address to which the COVID certificate will be delivered in PDF format.

After that, a request will be created for you, and in the e-Citizens system, you can check what its status is, i.e., whether it is still being processed or is ready.

Once you meet the criteria for issuing a certificate, the info will arrive at your e-mail address. 

Can the certificate be used via mobile phone?

You can save the certificate in the form of a PDF file and present it to the person responsible for reading the QR code and other important data. The EU digital COVID certificate contains a QR code with a digital signature for protection against forgery, which is based on the ICAO PKI specifications. When checking the certificate, the QR code is scanned and the digital signature is checked.

How will this help you freely move?

In addition to facilitating the movement of citizens when crossing the border crossings of the Republic of Croatia and border crossings of EU member states with which bilateral agreements will be concluded, this certificate can be used for other purposes in accordance with decisions that could be made in the foreseeable future.

The Government notes that the certificate will be used in accordance with data protection regulations and exclusively for downloading and processing the data contained in the certificate.

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 centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Croatia and 12 Other EU Countries Agree on Green Tourist Passport

ZAGREB, 12 April, 2021 - Croatia and 12 other EU countries have agreed on criteria for a so-called green passport which is expected to facilitate the movement of tourists during the current time of pandemic, it was said in Vienna on Monday.

It is our goal to soon enable the use of a possibly single green passport at the EU level, Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger told the Austrian news agency APA.

The minister noted that this was a matter of survival for European tourism.

Croatia, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain in late March agreed on seven criteria for issuing a green passport, which is expected to become a reality by early June at the latest.

The green passport contains a QR code with information on whether its holder has been vaccinated, tested or has recovered from coronavirus. It enables simple and practical application in the EU, from check-ins at airports to visits to village pubs, Köstinger said.

She stressed that one definitely wants to prevent this type of document from being treated as a way to make someone get vaccinated.

Sensitive medical information on the holder of the green passport would stay in the country of origin and would not be stored centrally at EU level.

Another goal is harmonising the application of the green passport with third countries.

The list of criteria for green passports has been submitted for control to the European Commission, which is expected to decide on their application in the coming days.

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


Thursday, 4 March 2021

Veljko Ostojic: If COVID Passport Is Precondition for Traveling, It Is Discrimination

March 4, 2021 – Veljko Ostojic, director of the Croatian Tourism Association, was a guest on the Dobro Jutro, Hrvatska show, where he discussed COVID passports and vaccinations of tourist workers.

"First, we need to define what a COVID passport is. In my opinion, if it is a precondition for crossing the border, then it is discrimination. If it is a document that will allow those who have been vaccinated to cross the border faster and easier – I'm for it," Ostojic told HRT's Dobro Jutro, Hrvatska show.

Although it is not yet fully defined, the COVID passport should be given to those who have been vaccinated, those who have recovered, and those tested by PCR just before the trip, said Ostojic.

Asked whether entering Croatia will be similar to last year's, given that the vaccination will not be as expected, Ostojic said he hoped so. However, the priority goal for Croatia should be to "get green" as soon as possible. In that way, we could say that we are managing the epidemiological situation and that we are a safe country.

"Common European criteria for crossing the border should be defined, the epidemiological situation in our most important emitting markets should be monitored, from Germany, Austria onwards," says the Croatian Tourism Association director. He adds that it is still too early to talk about this topic because we still have a month, a month and a half.

Regarding the vaccination of tourist workers as a condition for the safe destination status, about which a promotional campaign was also launched, Veljko Ostojic says that tourist workers' vaccination will never be 100 percent. The Croatian Tourism Association conducted a survey with the Association of Hoteliers and the Croatian Camping Association. About 70 percent of employees expressed interest in vaccinations a month ago, Ostojic said.

There will likely be an organized vaccination of tourism workers after the first and second priority groups are vaccinated. We hope that it will be during April so that we can readily and vaccinated enter the primary tourist season, concluded Ostojić.

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Monday, 22 February 2021

Is Croatia Planning Covid Passport Introduction for Better Tourist Season?

February the 22nd, 2021 - Is Croatia planning Covid passport introduction in order to facilitate a less stressful summer tourist season for this year? The move would see the country have a more stable situation and a desperately needed boost from its strongest economic branch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, Croatia is working on bilateral agreements to facilitate the crossing of its borders for those vaccinated against the novel coronavirus without the need to present a negative PCR test, in order to facilitate easier traffic during the tourist season, Davor Bozinovic, head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters confirmed on Friday.

"This is a sensitive matter because in Europe, they believe that there should be no discrimination on this basis. And we're going to have to see what we do and set ourselves up practically. We've already spoken with the Ministry of Tourism. On the one hand, it is still too early to decide concretely or run before we can walk. These talks will see the situation looked at more deeply and we'll see how we can facilitate a better tourist season this summer than the one we had last year,'' Bozinovic assured.

As has since been learned unofficially, a meeting of the European Commission (EC) on the topic of Covid passports will be held tomorrow, in order to define as soon as possible how people will be able to travel within the borders of the European Union and beyond for leisure during the summer months.

When it comes to Croatia planning Covid passport introductions, the country has held off even talking much about the matter and has instead been sitting back and waiting for a joint EU solution before delving into what some consider to be a controversial topic. This is the opposite move of some other EU member states that have already signed agreements with their emitting markets.

Nearby Greece, which was the first to raise the issue of Covid passports at the European Union level just a month or so ago, has so far signed an agreement with Israel, as well as Cyprus, and is now announcing an agreement with the United Kingdom, as the Northern European island nation brings enormous amounts of traffic to Greece each and every year.

The key issue that Covid passports hope and want to address is the issue of costs, which will be high for all those who will usually need to be tested before and after taking their trips without one unless such requirements are dropped.

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