Saturday, 10 April 2021

Nikolina Brnjac: State Will Cover Part of Testing Costs for Tourists in Croatia

April 10, 2021 - According to the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, the State will cover part of the testing costs for tourists in Croatia.

With a good epidemiological situation, we can expect a higher percentage than last year, said the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac for HTV's Dnevnik, answering what percentage we could achieve in the season compared to 2019.

On Friday, it was announced that 70,000 tourism workers would be vaccinated in mid-April. Brnjac told Dnevnik that a survey revealed that about 68,000 tourist workers would like to get vaccinated.

"Tourist employees are in direct contact. It is an epidemiological measure by which we can prevent further outbreaks," said Brnjac.

Germany also put Croatia on the list of high-risk areas. Will it affect tourists?

"First of all, we will look at the epidemiological situation. After that, of course, tourists will look at the vaccination coverage of tourism workers. The segment of the Safe Stay in Croatia project is also important to them, where we have developed all epidemiological standards, protocols, together with the CNIPH, which should be adhered to by all of us in the tourism sector," said Brnjac.

She stated that so far, about 12,000 facilities have received the Safe Stay in Croatia label. Three levels of control have been introduced - one will go from the Ministry, and the other will be professional associations. The third and most important is the guest themselves - the tourist will see how someone behaves and whether they adhere to all measures and protocols, said Brnjac.

"They will see through the QR code in the facility about the protocols are, the standards, whether everyone adheres to them and will be able to send a direct e-mail with their comments, which goes directly to the Ministry, If it is negative, that facility will not get that label," said Brnjac.

When asked about the price of antigen tests at mobile testing points for foreign guests returning to their countries, she could not give a concrete answer, but she said that the state would cover part of the cost.

"The state will cover part of the cost; it will participate in a rather large amount as far as the price of the antigen test is concerned," said Brnjac.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 9 April 2021

More Air France Flights to Dubrovnik this Summer, Second Daily Flight to Zagreb Dropped

April 9, 2021 - The latest flight news for Croatia as Air France flights to Dubrovnik increase this summer, while the Paris-Zagreb route will not see the addition of a second daily flight. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Air France has revised its summer flight schedule for this year, with changes on the routes to Croatian airports. The French national carrier maintains a year-round line between Paris and Zagreb, and in the summer, it also operates to Split and Dubrovnik.

No second daily flight to Zagreb

Back in January 2020, the company announced that it would introduce a second daily flight between Zagreb and Paris. Of course, this did not happen after the pandemic outbreak, but the company resumed traffic on this line in June last year.

Since March this year, Dutch KLM operates twice a day on the line between Amsterdam and Zagreb, and since KLM and Air France are in the same group, it was to be expected that Air France will withdraw its second daily flight, which has now happened.

Namely, until just a few days ago, Air France offered a second daily flight on the route to Zagreb Airport from June this year, but they are no longer available for booking. Instead of two, Air France will have one daily flight on the Paris - Zagreb - Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport) route, while two daily flights will be operated by the aforementioned partner company KLM on the route to Amsterdam.

The Croatian national airline - Croatia Airlines - also operates on the routes from Amsterdam and Paris from Zagreb. There are currently no carriers other than those mentioned on these lines.

Return to Split and increase in traffic to Dubrovnik

On the last day of May, Air France will resume traffic on the Paris - Split - Paris route. The company will operate daily on this route only from July 1, although initially, daily flights were available from May 31. Air France will offer on average between 2 and 4 flights a week to Split Airport until July. 

From the same date (May 31), the company plans to renew the Paris - Dubrovnik - Paris line as well. It will initially operate with two flights a week, gradually increasing the number of weekly operations. From the beginning of July, daily flights have been announced on this route, while Air France will operate as many as 11 times a week between Paris and Dubrovnik Airport from the middle of the same month.

Of course, these flights will primarily depend on the epidemiological situation in both countries. Still, the positive news is that Air France will resume traffic to Split and Dubrovnik, with the intention of increasing the number of operations to Dubrovnik Airport.

Air France currently plans to use E190 aircraft and aircraft from the A320 family, with A318 aircraft announced for Dubrovnik, a rarity in the European sky, considering that only 80 of them have been sold in total.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Preparations Begin for Digital Green Certificates in Croatia

April 9, 2021 - A working group is being set up to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates in Croatia.

"Vaccination of employees in the tourism sector begins with the third phase of vaccination. I believe it will be very soon," said the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, adding that based on data received so far in the proposed surveys, the number of employees who would enter priority vaccination in the tourism sector is about 68,000, reports HRTurizam.

"Given the nature of the work as well as the significant number of contacts that tourism workers make, it is necessary to vaccinate before the start of the season," said Brnjac.

A working group is being set up to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates in line with EU-level talks.

At Thursday's 52nd Government session, the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) proposed a Decision to establish a working group to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

"We will soon start creating a digital system of certificates of vaccination, testing, and recovery to enable citizens of the Republic of Croatia and the EU free and epidemiologically safe cross-border mobility and residence in our country," said Davor Bozinovic, Minister of the Interior.

Namely, the European Commission coordinates a common European response to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. Following the development of the epidemiological situation and health and medical measures, it is necessary to develop other effective measures to combat COVID-19 and enable free movement in EU member states and third countries or green digital certificates, so-called 'covid passports'.

Therefore, they have recognized the need to ensure freedom of cross-border movement through establishing a system for issuing, verifying, and accepting vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate) that would be interoperable between the EU Member States and third countries.

To this end, on 17 March 2021, the European Commission presented a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a framework for issuing, verifying, and accepting cross-border interoperable vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate). 

Croatia has expressed readiness to establish a national system of digital green certificates and their cross-border interoperability through the EU accession plan that the European Commission plans to establish in April, May, and June 2021, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

To establish a technical solution and to develop a national system of digital green certificates, the Ministry of the Interior is tasked with concluding a contract with AKD d.o.o. (Agency for commercial activity production, service, and trade d.o.o.), since AKD was established to perform the tasks of creating personal ID cards, passports, visas, driver's licenses and other solutions in the field of identity and security.

The Decision instructs the Ministry of Health to provide the Working Group referred to in this Decision with all necessary professional support, especially in fulfilling the following tasks: representing Croatia in the operational working groups of the European Commission's eHealth Network, which coordinates implementing the pilot project of the technical solution for digital green certificates; ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, availability, and non-repudiation of machine-readable data on vaccinated, tested and sick persons automatically and in real-time, accessible from data sources owned by the Ministry of Health, which will be the basis for issuing cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

Recall that according to the new and expanded criteria for the entry of tourists into Croatia, tourists who have either been vaccinated, contracted COVID-19, or have a negative PCR or antigen test from the list of EU tests, can enter Croatia.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Transavia Flights to Split Resume Mid-April!

April 8, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Transavia flights to Split resume in mid-April! 

Croatian Aviation reports that well-known low-cost airline Transavia plans to resume traffic to Split Airport from mid-April.

The Dutch low-cost airline, a subsidiary of KLM and Air France, will renew only one route to Croatia in April.

Although the company normally operates on as many as 10 international routes to as many as five Croatian airports (Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik), the company will resume traffic on only one route in the middle of this month.

Namely, the Paris - Split - Paris (Orly Airport) will operate from April 16 with two flights a week, every Friday and Sunday.

All other lines to Croatia have been postponed for the middle, and most even for the end of May:

  • Rotterdam - Split,
  • Nantes - Dubrovnik,
  • Pariz - Dubrovnik,
  • Rotterdam - Dubrovnik,
  • Eindhoven - Rijeka,
  • Pariz - Zadar,
  • Rotterdam - Zadar,
  • Pariz - Pula,
  • Rotterdam - Pula

Transavia plans to operate on all of these lines in the high season but reduced compared to the number of operations the company had in 2019 before the global pandemic.

Paris and Split will be connected by a direct line again from mid-April. There have been no direct flights between the two cities since the end of October last year, i.e., the end of the summer flight schedule. Orly Airport is a little less than 20 kilometers from the center of Paris. The journey on this route usually takes a little less than 60 minutes.

In addition to Transavia, there should be other airlines between Paris and Split in the peak of the summer season; Air France, Croatia Airlines, and EasyJet.

Split Airport, along with Zagreb, is the only airport in Croatia to which several foreign carriers are returning in April. The traffic is still modest, but according to the announcements, that should change as early as May. According to the mentioned announcements, Split Airport should have a significantly higher number of aircraft operations on regular routes this season than in the summer of 2020, when Split, along with Zagreb, had a significant number of passengers in the crisis, pandemic year.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Norwegian Air Flights to Croatia: 14 Routes Planned for Summer 2021!

April 7, 2021 - The latest flight news as travelers can choose from 14 Norwegian Air flights to Croatia this summer! 

Croatian Aviation reports that Norwegian low-cost airline Norwegian Air plans to operate 14 routes to three Croatian airports this summer.

Norwegian plans to resume traffic to three Croatian airports from June this year; Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik. Before the outbreak of the global pandemic, the airline operated to Zadar, Rijeka, and Zagreb.

The airline had a minimal number of international lines to Croatia in the summer season of 2020. It is common knowledge that this low-cost carrier was in financial trouble even before the outbreak of the global pandemic. In January, there was news that this carrier would cancel all long-haul lines and focus on those within Europe.

In addition to being a pioneer in low-cost, long-haul lines, Norwegian had an extremely high-quality product, and passengers were delighted with the ratio of paid and received. One of the great marketing moves was the introduction of free internet on all Norwegian lines, but the rapid expansion led almost to its very collapse.

However, Norwegian is trying to consolidate and plans to operate to three Croatian airports, Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik, in this year's summer flight schedule. There has been no line to Rijeka or Zagreb for a long time.

Although in 2019 the number of routes to Croatian airports was significantly higher, given the current global situation, reduced passenger demand, and the state of this airline, 14 planned routes to Croatia for the summer of this year sounds more than good. Of course, given the movement of the global pandemic, there is a possibility that Norwegian will further reduce its flight schedule.

However, they have confirmed that they plan to operate on the routes below:

Oslo - Pula from June 2, 2 times a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays,

Bergen - Split from June 19, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Copenhagen - Split from June 1, 2 times a week, daily from June 28,

Helsinki - Split on June 2, 3 times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays,

Oslo - Split from June 1, 3 times a week, daily from June 25,

Stavanger - Split from June 22, 2 times a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Stockholm - Split from June 2, 2 times a week, 5 times a week from June 21,

Trondheim - Split from June 19, once a week, on Saturdays,

Bergen - Dubrovnik from June 19, once a week, on Saturdays,

Copenhagen - Dubrovnik from June 26, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Helsinki - Dubrovnik from June 1, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Oslo - Dubrovnik from June 1, 2 times a week, daily from June 25,

Stavanger - Dubrovnik from June 19, once a week, on Saturdays,

Stockholm - Dubrovnik from June 12, 3 times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

Given the problems that Norwegian has found itself in the past few years, it is quite difficult to expect that they will really operate on all of these lines. In the summer of 2020, Norwegian had only three routes to Croatia, two to Split, and one to Dubrovnik. With the current epidemiological situation in Europe, we can hardly expect a sharp increase in passenger demand in June. There are less than two months left until its first flight to Croatia.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Croatia Airlines Flights from Zagreb: 10 International Seasonal Lines Dropped

April 6, 2021 - The latest flight news for Croatia as there could be 10 fewer international Croatia Airlines flights from Zagreb this summer. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the Croatian national airline will no longer sell 10 international routes on which the company operated from Zagreb in the summer of 2019, before the outbreak of the global pandemic.

These are international routes from Zagreb Airport that the airline has gradually introduced since the summer of 2016 and on which it operated seasonally in the summer flight schedule. Most of the lines were in operation from April to October, but certain lines started operations earlier, in March, and continued until December.

The airline will likely not resume traffic on as many as 10 international routes from Zagreb Airport in the upcoming summer flight schedule:

Barcelona,

Bucharest,

Lisbon,

Mostar,

Milan,

Prague,

Oslo,

Stockholm,

Helsinki,

St. Petersburg.

Vueling and TAP Portugal should operate on the routes from Barcelona and Lisbon, Ryanair will operate to Milan, and Zagreb Airport will not have direct flights to other destinations (Bucharest, Mostar, Prague, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg).

Only flights from Zagreb to Dublin and Athens are on sale (with a stop in Dubrovnik). Still, the question is whether Croatia Airlines will withdraw the route to Dublin in the coming weeks, which the airline briefly introduced around the Easter holidays.

In the summer flight schedule, the Croatian national airline will continue to operate to several European destinations from Zagreb, mainly to major European hubs (such as Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, London, etc.). Still, the question arises as to why the airline did not choose to operate on certain routes on which there is no competition, at least with a minimum of two flights a week in the peak season.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Condor Flights to Split, Aerflot Flights to Pula and Dubrovnik Announced for Summer!

April 2, 2021 - The latest flight news in Croatia with the announcement of Condor flights to Split and Aeroflot flights to Pula and Dubrovnik this summer!

Croatian Aviation reports that German leisure airline, Condor Airlines, will operate only to Split Airport this summer.

Before the pandemic, Condor Airlines operated to four Croatian airports: Rijeka, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik. In the summer of 2020, Condor operated only to Split, and although there were flights to Zadar in the announcements for only a month, this will no longer happen.

Condor previously announced the Zurich - Split line for this summer season, but tickets have been withdrawn from sale.

This year, the company will not fly to Rijeka, Zadar, and Dubrovnik

In the summer season, from mid-May, Condor will launch three routes to Split Airport:

Munich - Split will be in traffic once a week, on Saturdays,

Dusseldorf - Split will be in traffic three times a week, on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays,

Frankfurt - Split line will be open three times a week, on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Previously, Condor offered tickets on the line from Frankfurt to Zadar, and in 2019 it operated on the line from Frankfurt to Rijeka. However, low demand has forced this carrier to reduce the flight schedule to Croatia, and Condor Airlines will only fly to Split.

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports that the Russian national airline Aeroflot will introduce a line to Pula in June this year and renew the line between Moscow and Dubrovnik!

The Moscow - Pula - Moscow line will run from June 1 to September 30, every day! The airline will perform 122 return flights between Pula and Moscow this summer with B737-800 aircraft with a capacity of 158 seats in the Aeroflot fleet. Almost 40,000 seats will be available in both directions!

The Moscow - Dubrovnik - Moscow line will operate in the same period as the line to Pula, with the same type of aircraft, so almost 40 thousand additional seats will be available here.

The company has withdrawn the Moscow-Split-Moscow line from sale, and it is not yet clear whether it will operate on this line in the upcoming summer season. In the summer of 2020, this Russian airline did not operate in Croatia. 

The number of weekly flights to Zagreb has been reduced. Aeroflot currently operates once a week between Moscow and Zagreb. And from May 1, a second weekly flight is available (Thursdays and Saturdays).

From June 7, the line between Moscow and Zagreb will operate three times a week (Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays), which will continue throughout the summer (July, August, and September). This is a significantly smaller number of weekly operations, given that Aeroflot announced daily flights in the peak of the summer season until a few days ago. Still, the reduction is logical given that the company will operate directly to Dubrovnik and Pula. On the route to Zagreb, Aeroflot will use A320 aircraft.

The company was in Zagreb only once in 2020, on a charter flight from Moscow with a B777-300ER aircraft, transporting medical equipment from Shanghai.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 2 April 2021

What's Next for Croatian Start-up Carrier Pragusa.One? Network, Fleet, and Plans Revealed

April 2, 2021 - "Tailored travel products and an airline for the globetrotters!" New Croatian start-up carrier Pragusa.One revealed its plans for launching premium economy long-haul flights from Dubrovnik to North America, Africa, and Asia.

Will there be flights from Dubrovnik to New York, Beijing, and more international destinations in the near future? According to Pragusa.One there will be, as the new Croatian start-up is looking to serve the United States, China, Japan, and more from bases in Dubrovnik and Prague.

You may recall us announcing the news at the beginning of March, and now, Ex Yu Aviation has even more details on the Pragusa.One network, fleet, and plans 

“We are going to start as a travel agency but in the next three years, we will make the transition towards becoming an airline, since AOC [Air Operator’s Certificate] certification will take some time. In Croatia, we are going to apply for an AOC which will take ten to twelve months. Until then, we will operate with our partner on a full charter basis. We expect to sign an agreement with them in the next couple of days. We will convert the wet-lease into a dry-lease by 2024. We expect to launch our booking and reservation system by the end of April, but the start of operations will depend on travel restrictions," said the Pragusa.One CEO, Krešimir Budinski.

Namely, Pragusa.One will sell seven and fourteen-day tour packages to Dubrovnik and Prague, while offering point-to-point flights through a wet-lease arrangement with a partner.

“We have hired a former CEO from one big airline. We will be releasing more information on that soon. We will initially start operations with wet-leased A330s and A350s. We are in advanced talks with Airbus to get brand new A350s in a single class all premium economy configuration by 2024. The A330s will be used for medium-haul destinations and the A350s will be utilized for long-haul flights. We decided to launch an all premium economy airline because there is a team of aviation and travel professionals behind Pragusa.One who have studied how airlines used this configuration in the past. We saw an opportunity, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic hit, to offer point-to-point flights for premium passengers, which is why the A350s will have an all-economy layout”, Budinski said.

Fights from New York and Los Angeles to Dubrovnik could be the first to launch. 

“New York and LA to Croatia may be launched first. There is big demand from South Africa and China too. We also have partners in China supporting this project, among which are tour operators and the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority. At this point, fifteen people, mostly aviation and travel professionals, have been working on this project since last summer. It is backed by private investors from the aviation industry. Our investors have over twenty years of experience in aviation investments. We also conducted market research and saw a small niche of travelers who are keen to pay more to get premium service, which is what we are aiming to offer. We will provide seven and fourteen-day trips to Prague and Dubrovnik, which will be our main source of revenue, but we will also sell long-haul flights which will be available in major GDS systems," Budinski concluded.

You can follow Pragusa.One HERE.

To see more flights to Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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

Flying to Dubrovnik or want to learn more about the Adriatic Pearl? CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Two More WizzAir Flights to Split Added this Summer!

April 1, 2021 - The latest flight news for Croatia as two more WizzAir flights to Split have been added this summer!

While all eyes have been on Ryanair for the last two days, WizzAir has meanwhile launched two more routes to Split Airport.

Namely, Croatian Aviation reports that the Hungarian airline WizzAir has launched two new routes to Split in the upcoming summer flight schedule. In the last month alone, this well-known airline has announced the introduction of as many as 6 new routes to Split Airport this summer!

In addition to the previously announced new lines from Split to Oslo, Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Krakow, the airline will introduce two more new lines from Poland from mid-June. These are lines from Lublin and Poznan that will run to Split twice a week.

Although WizzAir will not base the aircraft in Split as Ryanair will in Zagreb and Zadar, the number of weekly operations and routes is large, and it is obvious that this Hungarian airline has decided to develop its network from this Croatian city. Split is currently the only WizzAir destination in the Republic of Croatia.

From June 13, WizzAir will operate on the Lublin - Split - Lublin line twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, until mid-September.

From June 11, the Poznan - Split - Poznan line will be introduced, which will also be in traffic twice a week, every Monday and Friday, until the end of September.

Currently, WizzAir offers 10 international routes to Split (of which as many as 6 new ones), and by the beginning of the season, they will announce more new routes to Split Airport. 

According to available information, three new lines have not been announced yet. WizzAir will soon release tickets on the lines from Vienna, Budapest, and London (Gatwick) in the coming weeks, which will give the airline as many as 13 international lines to Split during the peak summer season!

Considering that WizzAir connected Split with only four international destinations in the summer of 2020, this is a huge increase in capacity and lines.

The arrival of Ryanair in Zagreb can certainly be called the news of the year in terms of aviation in Croatia, and this category includes their summer base in Zadar. WizzAir is slowly but surely adding new destinations from Split and practically building its fortress in one Croatian airport. The number of international routes on which it will operate from Split Airport this year is really impressive.

If WizzAir's existing plan for this summer is realized, the Hungarian airline will offer almost 100,000 seats from Split in the upcoming season. Split will, in a way, become the WizzAir 'base', and Zagreb and Zadar the base of Ryanair.

To see more flights to Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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

If you're flying to Split Aiport, CLICK HERE, and to learn more about Split, CLICK HERE

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.

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