Friday, 5 November 2021

COVID Certificates Only for Those Vaccinated and/or Recovered Announced

November 5, 2021 - Among the new measures announced due to the rise in positive cases in the country, Davor Božinović announced that COVID certificates will be introduced as of January 4, and if the situation does not improve, they will only be valid for those who have recovered and/or vaccinated.

The National Civil Protection Headquarters announced when a new record of 6,932 new cases was broken in Croatia, that the use of covid certificates will be expanded from November 15, which will be mandatory for users and employees of public and state services, and gatherings will be further restricted from tomorrow, reports Index.hr.

From tomorrow new measures for gatherings

"To prevent the spread of the infection, it is necessary to act in three directions: to achieve as much vaccination as possible, to limit gatherings and to achieve as much security as possible when conducting business that will not be limited," said National Staff Chief Davor Bozinovic at a press conference.

He announced that new epidemiological measures would be introduced as a result, gatherings would be restricted from tomorrow, and the use of covid certificates would be expanded from 15 November.

Thus, a certificate of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test from mid-November will be mandatory for all employees of state and public services, as well as for citizens who will use their services and come to their premises. 

If the numbers continue to grow, from November 15, confirmations for cafes, shopping centers ...

The Headquarters announced on Thursday that covid certificates will be used even more widely from mid-November if the number of newly infected continues to grow, and then they will be introduced in catering facilities, such as cafes, restaurants, gyms, recreational and fitness centers indoors. 

Bozinovic announced that testing will be possible only in registered institutions and that, for a start, the cost of testing will be borne by the employer at the request of employees. 

As of January 4, certificates only for those vaccinated and those who have survived COVID-19

He pointed out that, if the situation does not improve, they will introduce covid-certificates from January 4, which will be available only to those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, and those who have been tested will no longer receive them.

"That gap has been left because it is enough time for all those who have not been vaccinated to get vaccinated by the beginning of next year," Bozinovic said. 

Details of new measures

With a new decision coming into force tomorrow, Saturday, November 6, the headquarters further restricted gatherings indoors and outdoors.

From tomorrow, all public gatherings indoors with more than 50 people are prohibited, except for those attended by people who have a covid-certificate, but from now on it will be mandatory to wear masks and maintain distance. 

Events above 100 participants can only be organized at open-air public gatherings if all participants have an EU digital covid-certificate. Exceptionally, events over 100 people will be able to be held outdoors only with the approval of the CNIPH, which will develop an epidemiological framework. 

All gatherings are limited to 24 hours, with the exception of cinema screenings that begin at 11 pm and wedding ceremonies where everyone has a covid confirmation. The weddings must end no later than 2 o'clock after midnight, and they will consider additional time limits, announced Božinović. 

Congresses and conferences will be able to be held provided everyone has a Covid certificate, wears a mask, and keeps a distance.

Sports competitions will be able to be held in the presence of spectators indoors only if everyone has a Covid certificate and is required to use face masks. Sports participants will also have to have certificates, but they will not have to wear masks, Bozinovic said.

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

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

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

MP Calls for Resignation of National COVID-19 Crisis Management Team

ZAGREB, 27 Oct 2021 - MP Renata Sabljar-Dračevac (Social Democrats) said on Wednesday there was no longer any trust in the national COVID-19 crisis management team and called for its resignation.

Due to the high COVID-19 mortality rate and extreme irresponsibility, we call for the resignation of the national COVID-19 crisis management team and the appointment of serious experts who would restore the trust of citizens with consistency and expertise, achieving thus a better vaccination rate, the MP said.

According to unofficial data, Croatia has 4,400 new cases today, there have been 30 deaths over the past 48 hours, and the number of active cases is nearly 18,000 yesterday, Sabljar-Dračevac said.

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

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 25 October 2021

Božinović: Checks of Existing Anti-epidemic Measures Should Be Stepped Up

ZAGREB, 25 Oct 2021 - The national coronavirus response team on Monday discussed the COVID-19 situation in Croatia and the possibility of stepping up checks of the anti-epidemic measures in force, such as wearing face masks inside public spaces, the team's head, Davor Božinović, told a press conference.

Božinović recalled that they had anticipated a rise in the number of new cases in the autumn and addressed the problem by combining recommendations on compliance with the basic anti-epidemic measures with calls for vaccination. "Apart from these measures, there are no special activities that can be used in this situation," he added.

Since nearly a quarter of new cases come from schools, Božinović said that they would look into the possibility of face-to-face classes being suspended for two days in the week around All Saints' Day, 1 November. He said they also discussed the promotion of a booster dose for people whose level of antibodies is decreasing.

"As for the existing measures, notably wearing face masks, checks should indeed be stepped up because this obligation is taken too lightly," Božinović said, adding that the possibility of bringing COVID certificates into wider use is not being considered for now.

He stressed that there are enough vaccines against COVID-19 and that vaccination can prevent more serious forms of the disease. "A combination of the anti-epidemic measures and vaccination can get us out of the crisis," Božinović said.

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

Saturday, 23 October 2021

PM on Visa Cancellation: Strategic Goal Achieved to the Benefit of Croatian Citizens

ZAGREB, 23 Oct, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović have welcomed the fact that Croatians can travel to the United States without visas as of Saturday, 23 October.

"As of today, Croatians can travel to the USA without visas!" Plenković said in a Twitter post.

"We have met the necessary criteria and achieved a strategic goal to the benefit of Croatian citizens," Plenković said.

"We are opening a new chapter in our relations, strengthening our partnership and creating preconditions for closer economic cooperation and investments," the PM said.

As of 23 October Croatians can travel to the United States for business or tourism purposes without visas, after obtaining approval via the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, the US Embassy in Zagreb said.

Croatia has entered the Visa Waiver Programme, a comprehensive security partnership between the United States and participating countries that enables travel to the USA for business or tourism purposes in the duration of up to 90 days, with national security being protected in the process.

For a country to enter the VWP, it must meet criteria regarding the fight against terrorism, law enforcement, immigration, document security and border management, and the percentage of rejected visa applications must be below 3%, which Croatia met only recently.

Application via ESTA is possible any time before travel but the US Homeland Security Department recommends that travellers apply as soon as possible, and 72 hours before travel at the latest, the US Embassy says.

Božinović: Visa cancellation major acknowledgement for Croatia

The cancellation of visa requirements for Croatians travelling to the USA is a major acknowledgement for Croatia, Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović said on Saturday after talks with the Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy, Mark Fleming.

Božinović thanked the US Embassy for playing an important role in "moments that were very important" for Croatia, such as its accession to the EU and NATO.

He recalled "the hard work on the cancellation of visa requirements over the past few years", including the connecting of data bases, cooperation with the Homeland Security Department and with agencies in charge of fighting terrorism and organised crime, etc.

This is a very good day for US-Croatian relations, Fleming said.

We want more Croatians in the United States, he added.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Croatian Police Burn Over 2 Tonnes of Narcotics

ZAGREB, 18 Oct 2021 - More than two tonnes of narcotics seized in police operations was burnt in a factory in the eastern town of Našice on Monday, including two tonnes of marijuana and hashish, 28 kilos of amphetamines, 15 kilos of cocaine, and 12 kilos of heroin, with a street value of about €9.5 million.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović said that the amount of drugs seized was proof of good cooperation between relevant state authorities. He said that drug abuse was a global problem, especially in Europe which has become the main market for some types of drugs, notably cocaine.

"The fact that this is the second drug incineration this year shows the magnitude of the challenge we are all facing. The illegal market is very large, there are many interests of criminal groups, and our job is to be as efficient as possible," Božinović said.

"The present campaign by criminal groups is the result of the opening of communications that were closed for a while due to the pandemic," he added.

Božinović said that the government's goal was to increase prevention and "lead as many young people as possible, especially those in their formative years, away from this evil."

Over the past ten years, Croatia has incinerated over 20 tonnes of seized narcotics. About 500 kilos of cocaine was incinerated in July this year.

For more on politics, click here.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Božinović: COVID Vaccine Best Prevention Against Serious Illness

ZAGREB, 18 Oct 2021- The head of the national COVID-19 crisis management team, Davor Božinović, said on Monday, ahead of the start of the administration of the third vaccine dose, that vaccination was the best prevention against serious illness and hospitalization.

"We can protect ourselves from the most serious illness, individually and as a community, if we accept the fact that science, not just in this epidemic but in previous ones too, has helped humankind to survive," he told the press in Našice.

He added that "those who don't trust science first of all harm themselves, and then the community."

He said the recent rise in new cases meant a rise in hospitalizations and that vaccination was the proper defense against that.

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

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Božinović Says Waiting for Results of Investigation Into Violence Against Migrants

ZAGREB, 11 Oct 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović on Monday said that he did not have any new information related to videos of police violence against migrants and that it is necessary to wait for the results of the investigation.

"We'll wait and see what the results of the investigation show. Everything that will happen as part of the relevant procedures will be in line with what the police chief said on Friday," Božinović told reporters.

Protecting the borders in line with the law

Asked about responsibility in the chain of command, Božinović underscored that the orders are to protect the state borders in line with the law.

"There cannot be any order that is not in line with the law. As soon as I receive the report from the police directorate, I will forward it to the prime minister, even though we have already discussed all this," said Božinović.

He said that police officers, particularly those assigned to border control, doing one of the most difficult jobs.

He added that there were cases when the police themselves identified cases of police officers overstepping their powers or unlawful conduct.

He said that disciplinary procedures had been underway from before against eight police officers and that 22 cases had been documented and submitted to the State Attorney's Office (DORH).

"When someone individually breaches or oversteps their authority anywhere, there are services in the police directorate and internal controls to conduct investigations and decide on the penalties," he said.

Commenting on an anonymous letter by a police officer who claimed two years ago that an order existed for violent pushbacks, Božinović reiterated that anything that was reported was always investigated. DORH rejected 13 of the 22 cases for lack of evidence, he said.

The anonymous police officer's letter refers to a specific case, with a specific location and date, which previously was not the case, said Božinović and added that a prompt reaction followed the anonymous letter and that the matter was still being investigated.

Božinović also commented on a recent drug incident in the Croatian Army, underscoring that police offices were exceptionally active regarding the fight against drug smuggling.

"The cocaine market is expanding into the general population, which is concerning. We will meet with the anti-drug commission in the next few days. In 2020, 60 kilograms of cocaine were confiscated whereas in the first eight months of this year more than 667 kilograms were seized," he said.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 8 October 2021

Changes in Use of Croatian Covid Passes in Health, Social Care

October the 8th, 2021 - There have been many issues (for some) about the introduction of mandatory Croatian covid passes for entry into hospitals and other such facilities. Even medical and other staff working in Croatian healthcare institutions as well as in the social care system must now have either Croatian covid passes, or accept that they need very frequent testing, which will eventually need to be paid for out of their own pockets.

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, who has, since the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, been much more associated with the National Civil Protection Directorate than with the police, has revealed some quite significant changes in this regard.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at the recent suggestion of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), the decisions regarding the obligation to test people for the presence of the novel coronavirus in the healthcare system and social welfare systems were changed, according to Minister Bozinovic.

The period of validity of Croatian covid passes, which have caused a lot off fuss and by which certain categories of persons can prove that they have overcome the illness or are fully vaccinated has been extended from nine to twelve months. The move will more than likely result in a sigh of relief for all those who are either fully vaccinated or have proof of their recovery from the disease, as they will now be able to put this issue to the backs of their minds for an entire year.

Those who have very recently tested negative for the disease, are fully vaccinated against it, and those who have contracted coronavirus in the past and can prove it with a positive test result from that time, can all obtain Croatian covid passes.

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

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Božinović: Everything Is Ready for Mandatory COVID Certificates in Hospitals

ZAGREB, 3 Oct, 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović announced on Sunday that everything was ready for the introduction of mandatory EU digital COVID certificates in the healthcare and welfare systems.

"Everything is ready. ... I am confident that the people working in the healthcare and welfare systems will do their best and that the interests of patients are their priority. I think they will continue to observe the professional and ethical principles as they have so far," Božinović told RTL television during a visit to Velika Gorica, just south of Zagreb.

Commenting on the request by the nurses' union for assessment of the constitutionality of this decision, Božinović said that the purpose of decisions like this was to protect the health of the most vulnerable people, adding that the decisions by the national COVID-19 response team were in line with the constitution and law.

"Mandatory testing of staff before coming to work was in place before. Drawing a parallel between COVID certificates and mandatory vaccination is completely wrong and untrue," Božinović said, adding that the Constitutional Court had confirmed the constitutionality and legality of decisions made by the national coronavirus response team before and "that is what is going to be this time as well."

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Interior Minister Davor Božinović Praises Police For Their Irreplaceable Role in Many Segments

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - Addressing the central ceremony of Croatian Police Day, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Wednesday that the police were "engaged in all areas of national security" and that their role in many other segments was irreplaceable.

During the ceremony held in Zagreb, when the police observed their day on 29 September, the feast of their patron saint, St. Michael, Minister Božinović said that until the end of the term of the current government, all the working processes of the law enforcement authorities would be digitalised.

Police Director Nikola Milina said that police work had focused on detecting tax frauds and evasion, money laundering, and crimes affecting the state budget.

In the first eight months of 2021, the law enforcement authorities had detected 85% more corruption crimes, the number of reports concerning suspected white collar crimes increased by 20%, and the number of detected conspiracies to perpetrate crimes went up by 43%.

All that is not by chance, it is a result of well thought-out strategic planning and our commitment to conducting investigations into economic crimes and corruption, Milina said at the central ceremony.

As for organised crime, so far this year Croatian police officers have arrested 661 people smugglers.

When it comes to the protection of the Croatian and the EU border, it has been established that we have met all the technical and legal requirements which has made our border the best protected external border, he added.

Milina said that significant results had been achieved in raising cyber security, and that the police were ready to respond to all the challenges and threats stemming from the use of new technologies.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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