Wednesday, 31 March 2021

All Vaccines Allowed in Croatia? Latest Developments for Vaccinated Travelers

March 31, 2021 - A look at the vaccines allowed in Croatia and the latest developments for vaccinated travelers wanting to cross the Croatian border.

After Greece made a decision on vaccinated travelers, all travelers who have been vaccinated with two doses, regardless of whether it has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), will be able to cross the Croatian border tomorrow, Jutarnji List unofficially finds out.

Anyone with a vaccination certificate will be able to cross the border without presenting a negative PCR test, regardless of whether they have received AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, or, for example, Sputnik or the Chinese vaccine which are not approved for use in the EU.

However, Jutarnji writes that the decision will be subject to change if the European Union is set differently according to vaccines that are not approved in Europe. Also, the Decision on Borders, which will be presented today by the National Headquarters, will include the possibility of crossing the border with the presentation of a rapid antigen test, but only one that has been validated and approved by the EMA. Persons who have contracted the coronavirus within a maximum of six months, and if they have a negative PCR test, not older than 48 hours, will also cross the border without quarantine. Children under the age of seven can still cross the border without restrictions.

The news comes just a day or two after the head of the Croatian National Public Health Institute, Krunoslav Capak, told Croats that he did not advise them to go to Serbia for vaccinations, among other things, because vaccines not approved by the EMA are being used in Serbia. Still, it seems that in the Croatian case, the advantage that vaccines have for the economy, primarily tourism, has prevailed.

Before Croatia, the decision to release people vaccinated with Sputnik and Chinese vaccines across the borders was announced by our competitor Greece, which, as the media reported so far, agreed to accept the vaccination certificate with these two types of preparations with Serbia. Greece will generally begin to recognize certificates to all their holders, all in pledge to save the tourist season that left Greece empty-handed last year.

As Ivan Pukšar, a tourism consultant and owner of Coned turizam, explained to Jutarnji List, it is good for Croatia to go in the direction of facilitating border crossings and allowing people who have been vaccinated with both Chinese and Russian vaccines to enable as many tourists as possible.

This decision is important to us, among other things, because of the Hungarian market, which has already enabled its citizens to be vaccinated with Russian and Chinese vaccines, so it would be desirable for these tourists to spend the summer on the Adriatic without the need to go to quarantine or perform testing, said Pukšar, adding that he is not surprised by the great engagement of Greece in this regard, given that they work extremely actively on the promotion and image of their country.

"There are several reasons for this, and the first is certainly the fact that Greece is highly dependent on tourism, and it is also an air destination that, along with domestic guests and visitors from ships, cannot compensate for tourist traffic, so it is imperative to attract every possible guest. Third, Greece is dependent on British tourists who this year threaten not to travel before the end of July, which is why Greek tourism is in a much worse position than Croatian," Pukšar believes.

Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis and Serbian Minister Tatjana Matic reached an agreement on Monday, and it will take effect on May 14. Unfortunately, Jutarnji did not receive information from the Greek Ministry of Tourism of whether this decision will be applied to citizens of other countries. However, the unofficial information Jutarnji has about Croatia says that today, the public will be presented with new conditions for entering Croatia, which will make it as easy as possible for foreign visitors to visit our country.

Formally, there are no obstacles to such a decision that would prevent EU member states from making their own decisions on recognizing certificates for Chinese and Russian vaccines, as recently announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen when, presenting the Covid-passport project, she noted that EU members will have to cross the borders with a digital - green certificate, but that this decision can be extended to other vaccines. 

Neighboring Slovenia was the first country in the region to allow vaccinated people to cross the border in general. Still, this decision currently applies only to vaccines registered in the EU. The Slovenian border rules say that entry is possible for everyone who has been vaccinated with the second dose of Astra Zeneca 21 days before traveling, or seven days with Pfizer and 14 days with Moderna.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

17 New Ryanair Flights to Zadar this Summer, 37 International Lines Total!

March 31, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 17 new Ryanair flights to Zadar this summer have been announced, for a total of 37 international lines flying to the new Ryanair Zadar base! 

Croatian Aviation reports that Ryanair held two press conferences yesterday, both virtual, for Zagreb and Zadar airports. 

At the press conference, Europe's largest airline announced the reopening of its base at Zadar Airport. With two base aircraft, on as many as 78 weekly flights, it will connect Zadar with 37 destinations, of which as many as 17 are new, giving passengers the opportunity to choose from a number of European destinations from July 2021.

Ryanair's new destinations from Zadar Airport announced for this summer season are:


















In addition to the 17 new lines, Ryanair will operate from Zadar on 20 more previously introduced lines, bringing a total of 37 international destinations to Zadar!

Given the number of announced routes, Ryanair will open a base at Zadar Airport this summer and base 2 of its aircraft there. In total, on a weekly basis, the Irish carrier will have as many as 78 return flights to 15 European countries.

According to Croatian Aviation, there will also be 12 Ryanair flights to Zagreb from eight countries. Thus, the Croatian metropolis will be connected with Paris, Brussels, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Memmingen, Milan, Rome, Podgorica, Oslo, Gothenburg, and London.

Already this autumn, Ryanair will perform as many as 36 weekly flights from Zagreb Airport to the following destinations:

Brussels Charleroi, from June 2, 3 times a week,

Dortmund, from September 3, 2 times a week,

Frankfurt-Hahn, from September 3, 3 times a week,

Gothenburg, from September 3, 3 times a week,

Karlsruhe, from September 2, 2 times a week,

London, from September 1, daily,

Memmingen, from September 3, 2 times a week,

Milan, from July 1, 4 times a week,

Paris, from September 2, 2 times a week,

Podgorica, from September 4, 2 times a week,

Rome, from September 3, 3 times a week,

Torp Sandefjord, from September 1, 2 times a week.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Croatia Airlines Flights to Osijek and Brac Airport Canceled Until Mid-April

March 29, 2021 - The latest flight news as Croatia Airlines flights to Osijek and Brac have been canceled until mid-April. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the Croatian national airline has announced the introduction of seasonal PSO routes within Croatia at the beginning of the summer flight schedule. However, flights on three PSO lines have been canceled until mid-April.

Croatia Airlines has canceled flights between Osijek and Split, Osijek and Dubrovnik, and Zagreb and Brac until the second half of April. Considering that these are PSO routes, on which the Republic of Croatia compensates for the difference between the realized revenues and direct flight costs, it is not clear why the national airline canceled the already announced flights.

Croatia Airlines offered flights on Sundays on the Split - Osijek - Split route starting March 28, but the first two announced rotations were canceled. Currently, the first direct flight on this line is on offer for April 11, but the company may cancel that flight as well.

The Dubrovnik - Osijek - Dubrovnik line was supposed to start operating today (March 29), but that flight was canceled, and other flights on Mondays until April 19.

According to the PSO program, the seasonal Zagreb - Brac - Zagreb service should operate twice a week. Still, the company canceled flights on Tuesdays until May and scheduled flights on Saturdays until April 24 were also canceled, which obviously will not meet the minimum prescribed number of available seats on the line this year.

Passenger demand is very low during the pandemic. Still, given that these are routes on which the state bears the difference between revenues and costs, it is not clear why Croatia Airlines canceled these flights, especially around the Easter holidays, when a certain number of Croatian citizens will surely travel between distant regions.

The purpose of the PSO is to enable rapid connectivity between the outermost regions. A flight lasting less than an hour between Zagreb and Brač or Osijek and Dubrovnik can in no way have an alternative in road transport, which takes many times longer, and which a certain number of passengers will now be forced to do since there are no direct flights at the moment, or they will cancel the planned trip.

Passengers from Osijek have an alternative to travel to Dubrovnik and Split with Trade Air, which opened sales in the summer flight schedule a few days ago, so travel by plane from Osijek to Split is possible four times a week, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. In contrast, flights to Dubrovnik are available twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tickets can be purchased on the airline's website.

The PSO program will continue to apply until the end of this year's summer flight schedule according to the items from the contract in force from 2016 to 2020. The Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure said that the tender for the new contract period was not announced due to the outbreak of a global pandemic. When asked how the pandemic was justified when the tender was supposed to be announced a few months before the virus appeared in China, the competent Ministry did not answer.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

New Rules for Vaccinated People and COVID-19 Recoveries in Croatia

March 28, 2021 - The Croatian Institute of Public Health has changed the recommendations on priorities for COVID-19 testing and announces new rules for vaccinated people and COVID-19 recoveries in Croatia. 

N1 reports that the Croatian Institute of Public Health (CNIPH) has announced that the exemption from testing and quarantine is being extended for all those who have recovered from COVID-19 or have been vaccinated against it. According to the new recommendations, instead of the previous three months, it is unnecessary to go into quarantine or test for six months after recovering from COVID-19 or receiving the vaccination against it.

Also, the CNIPH states that the UK variant of the virus has been removed from the list of variants for which quarantine lasts 14 days and for which testing is mandatory upon completion of quarantine.

Other rules have not changed, and to reduce the spread of infection, all patients' close contacts are referred to health surveillance in quarantine/self-isolation. Close contacts that are part of a collective in which it is essential to assess the extent of infection or work with a vulnerable population are recommended to be tested by PCR test or rapid antigen test within five days of exposure.

Close contacts are subject to health surveillance in quarantine/self-isolation for ten days from the last close contact with an infected person, according to the CNIPH.

However, there are some exceptions. Based on the history or results of a screening test for new variants, if it is suspected that a patient is infected with a variant of the virus with a higher potential for spread, contact quarantine lasts 14 days from the last contact with an infected person. Close contacts of persons who are sequenced to be infected with a variant of concern should be tested on the last day of quarantine. Currently, this applies to the Brazilian and South African variants of the virus.

Detailed recommendations of the CNIPH on handling contacts of infected persons and termination of self-isolation/quarantine can be read HERE.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Austrian Flights to Split and Dubrovnik Further Delayed, Vienna-Zagreb Resumes Today

March 26, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Austrian flights to Split and Dubrovnik are further delayed, while Vienna-Zagreb will resume today for the first time in two months.  

Croatian Aviation reports that Austrian Airlines will operate its first flight on the Vienna-Zagreb-Vienna route today, Friday, March 26, after almost 2 months.

Namely, today at 13:55, after an almost 2-month break, an E195 Austrian Airlines aircraft will land at Zagreb Airport. The company will thus resume traffic on this line and continue to operate throughout the summer season. 

Four flights a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays) have been announced for the first part of April, and the company plans to increase the number of operations in the second half of April.

At the same time, the company canceled flights to Split and Dubrovnik, which were also scheduled to start operating in the next few days, solely due to low demand and insufficient bookings.

Although flights to Dubrovnik were announced as early as the end of March, the first currently available flight between Vienna and Dubrovnik can be booked from Friday, April 23, meaning the route delay has been extended by almost a month.

Flights on the Vienna-Split-Vienna route have also been delayed, although they have been announced since March 28. The new planned start of operations for this Austrian carrier is now scheduled for April 30!

Given the epidemiological situation and restrictions, it is really not surprising that airlines are making ad-hoc changes and canceling already announced flights, and many airlines in addition to Austrian are doing the same. It is clear that we will have to wait until the end of May or the beginning of June for the return of a larger number of carriers to Croatia.

Stay updated with us and Croatian Aviation.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Only 3 Eurowings Lines from Germany to Croatia in April Due to Low Demand, Restrictions

March 25, 2021 -The latest flight news to Croatia, as there will be only 3 Eurowings lines from Germany to Croatia in April. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the well-known German low-cost airline plans only three routes to Croatian airports in April.

Namely, in April, Eurowings will operate on three international routes from Germany to Croatia. Under normal circumstances, the company launched several international routes to Croatia at the end of March, but this did not happen last year or this year due to reduced demand and passenger restrictions.

However, Eurowings will resume traffic on one line to Croatia in April. This is the Stuttgart - Split - Stuttgart line, which will operate once a week from April 3, every Saturday.

The second Eurowings line to Split Airport is the one from Dusseldorf, which was supposed to operate all winter but was also temporarily suspended due to low demand. This line runs once a week, also on Saturdays.

Eurowings operates on two lines to Zagreb (Cologne and Stuttgart). However, the Stuttgart - Zagreb - Stuttgart line is currently suspended, and the airline does not plan to operate on it in April. Booking is open for flights from May.

The Cologne - Zagreb - Cologne line from April 5 to 11 will have four flights a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday). Until the end of April, three flights a week are available, without flights on Mondays.

Other Eurowings destinations in Croatia (Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Dubrovnik, and Osijek) have no announced flights in April. Eurowings currently does not have a line to Osijek on sale, and the company will likely not operate to Osijek this year.

The Stuttgart line was the only international route to Osijek Airport in the 2020 summer season. According to currently available data, if there are no positive changes, this airport could be without regular international routes in the summer of 2021. 

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Valamar Lifestyle Brand [PLACES] to Launch with Hotel on Hvar

March 25, 2021 - The brand new Valamar lifestyle brand [PLACES], aiming to target younger travelers, will launch with a hotel opening on Hvar later this spring. 

HRTurizam reports that lifestyle hotels have been a trend in the international hotel industry in recent years because they aim to create an authentic experience and push the boundaries of the traditional hotel concept. They are especially sought after among the younger target group of tourists, i.e., millennials.

Following new trends and signals from the market, Valamar has launched a new lifestyle brand called [PLACES] by Valamar.

The new hotel concept is based on getting to know the destination's true local Mediterranean lifestyle, focusing on authenticity. The brand is intended for guests seeking freedom of choice, modern design, and an authentic destination experience with full respect for nature and the environment.

One of the most significant features of this hotel is the [PLACESFLEXI] offer, which gives guests complete freedom to enjoy the restaurant offer in the rhythm that suits them best, according to Valamar. If for any reason they missed lunch or dinner - 25 euros of their daily credit can be used in a restaurant or hotel bar. What they don't spend that day, they can transfer to the next. Attention should also be drawn to the pool complex, which becomes the center of daily entertainment with live music by local bands and DJs, and the party continues after sunset.

With the introduction of the [PLACES] brand, Valamar continues to follow the latest trends in the hotel industry, said Davor Brenko, Valamar Riviera's vice president of sales and marketing, adding that this is a hotel concept intended primarily for millennials, young professionals, and those who recognize themselves in the specific lifestyle values that [PLACES] promotes.

The first Valamar hotel under the new brand will be HVAR [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar in Stari Grad on Hvar (ex hotel Lavanda), for a renovation of which a total of around HRK 53 million will be invested. According to current plans, it will open in mid-May. The hotel has 179 rooms which, in addition to high-quality workmanship and equipment, will also have the possibility of cashless payment with a bracelet and contactless check-in.

"For HVAR [PLACESHOTEL], the most important will be the markets of Great Britain, the United States, Germany, Austria, and of course, the Croatian market. Hvar is a destination that has successfully positioned itself in the market segments of younger, relaxed, and at the same time experientially and environmentally aware people. That is why we chose Hvar as a destination and an ideal place to launch our new brand, from which we have high expectations in the future. In the next period, we plan to open several more hotels under the [PLACES] brand," Brenko points out.

The visual identity of the [PLACES] brand by Valamar is signed by Studio Sonda from Vižinada near Poreč, and it is one of five Valamar product brands that operate under the umbrella identity All you can holiday (Valamar Collection, Valamar Hotels & Resorts, Sunny by Valamar, and Camping Adriatic by Valamar).

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Greater Responsibility for County Headquarters in 2021 Croatian Tourist Season Preparations

March 24, 2021 - The Croatian government and National Headquarters are placing more responsibility on the county headquarters for 2021 Croatian tourist season preparations and believe they must coordinate with the tourism sector.

HRTurizam reports that the Chief of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Davor Božinović, published a new instruction to the local Civil Protection Headquarters, specially made to prepare the tourist season. Božinović pointed out that all Civil Protection Headquarters are obliged to coordinate with the tourist boards operating in their area and, in cooperation with them, consider what measures and activities need to be taken to make their area epidemiologically safe for their citizens and tourists.

Božinović stressed that they want to ensure that everyone in the health and tourism system coordinates, considers the current situation, and either independently or through a proposal of measures to the national headquarters, tries to stop the spread of the virus from entering the new season. He believes it is not time to adopt horizontal measures, especially in those counties that have a favorable epidemiological situation.

"When we talk about the regional approach, I'm pretty sure it's justified. We have entered this phase of the epidemic with minimal numbers in some counties. We know how important tourism is to us. Countries will assess the situation in all our counties. Therefore they will make travel decisions in them. This is a job that the profession will do all summer, so we need the awareness of all institutions and citizens," said Božinović, adding that Croatia will implement some things regarding Covid passports before the EU. "Those who have either recovered or been vaccinated or have an EU-approved test will be able to enter Croatia," Božinović said at the news conference today.

"The headquarters are invited to propose measures because they know best where the focus is. It is also preparing for what will be an integral part of European policy related to the tourist season, and that is the regional approach," said Božinović, adding that last year they fought not to see Croatia as a whole.

Looking at the platform, Croatia is still divided into two regions, not by counties, which does not give an accurate picture. The platform serves as the main reference point for anyone traveling to the EU because it provides centralized and up-to-date information.

On the other hand, there is an initiative to divide Croatia into four regions instead of counties, as was done on the HUT Corona Region Tracker (North Coast - Istria and Kvarner), South Coast (Dalmatia), Central Croatia (Zagreb and surroundings), and Eastern Croatia.

However, without entering into the discussion of which model is better - by counties or four regions, the most important thing is that someone from Croatia reacts to the platform so that the country is not divided into only two regions. 

There are currently 28 test centers in the Republic of Croatia that perform RT-PCR tests for COVID-19. All processed samples are entered into the national platform at the Croatian Health Insurance Institute, available to all county public health institutes.

In some cities and counties in Croatia, an epidemiological measure of testing using rapid antigen tests is being implemented.

At the recently held 6th Split-Dalmatia County Family Accommodation Forum, it was pointed out that there will be eight testing points in the County.

Director of the Teaching Institute for Public Health of the Split-Dalmatia County Željka Karin appealed for respect and adherence to all epidemiological measures.

"Testing points will be on Brač, Hvar, Vis, Makarska, Imotski, Trogir, Sinj and Split. The Teaching Institute for Public Health's testing point is always open in Split; in a month, we will have to relocate the checkpoint that is now in the ferry port because of cruisers, and we are also talking about a testing point at Split Airport," said Karin. 

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

British Airways Flights to Zagreb Postponed Until End of June!

March 24, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia, as British Airways flights to Zagreb are postponed until the end of June. 

Croatian Aviation reports that British national airline has postponed the start of operations on the London - Zagreb - London route until the end of June.

Instead of March 28, as the airline announced earlier, British Airways plans to return to Zagreb only at the end of June.

The airline canceled all planned operations to and from Zagreb until June 21 due to low demand and passenger restrictions between the two countries.

On June 21, daily flights on this route have been announced, but it is clear that British Airways is likely to further reduce the number of weekly flights between the two cities. There is also the possibility that the start of operations will be delayed again, which British Airways has done several times since January when it last operated on this line.

Recall that British Airways last flew to Zagreb around Christmas. Operations were suspended when a new strain of coronavirus was detected in the UK and when Croatia banned flights from the UK and many other countries in Europe and the world.

Croatia Airlines operates on the line between London (Heathrow) and Zagreb, once a week, on Mondays.

The UK is set to introduce new coronavirus laws next week, which would slap a GBP 5,000 fine to anyone holidaying abroad while travel restrictions are still in place. British tourists are thus allowed to travel abroad only if they have a "reasonable excuse." The current penalty for not filling out a travel declaration form is GBP 200.

MPs will vote on the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 tomorrow, and if all goes to plan, the law will come into effect on Monday, March 29.

The new law would remain in place until June 30, 2021. Until now, the earliest international travel could have resumed was May 17. 

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Qatar Airways Flights to Zagreb Twice a Week from March 29!

March 23, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Qatar Airways flights to Zagreb will be operated twice a week from the end of this month. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Qatar Airways will introduce the second weekly flight on the Doha - Zagreb - Doha route on the first days of the airline's summer flight schedule.

Qatar Airways has been operating only once a week (every Friday) between Doha and Zagreb for months. From Monday, March 29, the airline will operate on this route twice a week, every Monday and Saturday, on A320 aircraft, the smallest in the fleet of this well-known airline.

Only 8 return flights were announced in April, 4 more than in previous months (January, February, and March). A total of 1,920 seats between the two mentioned cities are available in April.

Until a few days ago, the airline offered two flights a day between Zagreb and Doha from June, but that has also changed and they are currently only offering three flights a week (Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays), which is certainly far more realistic to be achieved in the season ahead. 

Two flights a week have also been announced in May, and there is a great possibility that the airline will further adjust its flight schedule to Zagreb for June, but we will know more soon.

With two flights a day to Zagreb, Qatar Airways offered great opportunities in terms of connections to Asia, Australia, and Oceania, which is certainly not possible with either one or two flights a week.

Recall, Qatar Airways made changes to its flight schedule for the rest of the winter and the start of the regular flight schedule back in January. 

This airline had announced an increase in the number of weekly flights to Zagreb during the Christmas and New Year holidays, launching the second weekly flight on this route. Due to weak demand, they were not realized, so they operated on the Zagreb line only once a week, every Friday.

Qatar Airways did not have the capacity to fill its smallest aircraft in the fleet (A320) to Zagreb, all due to the impact of the global pandemic and passenger restrictions between countries. 

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Page 7 of 52