Sunday, 6 December 2020

COVID Inspectors Issue Fines Worth €200K in 10 days, Daily Says

ZAGREB, December 6, 2020 - In the period from November 23 to December 3, State Inspectorate representatives, members of the Civil Protection and police officers carried out 10,130 inspections of business entities and issued 242 warnings, the Jutarnji List daily said on Sunday.

Forty-eight misdemeanor warrants have been issued, totalling HRK 1,440,000, due to failure to comply with the measures, Minister Davor Bozinovic said at the last two government sessions, the daily said.

The value of misdemeanor warrants does not mean that so much money will be paid into the state budget. It will be known how many fines will actually be charged after the final verdicts of misdemeanor judges.

Inspectors, Civil Protection members and police officers have been patrolling shops, hospitality establishments, social and health institutions for months, monitoring the implementation of decisions by the national COVID-19 crisis management team.

According to data from the State Inspectorate, from March 15 to November 29, a total of 12,961 inspections of business entities were conducted.

From March 15 to November 15, tourist inspectors carried out 1,791 inspections of the application of anti-COVID measures in hospitality establishments. It was established that there were 352 violations of the national COVID-19 crisis management team decisions.

Following the introduction of stricter anti-epidemic measures, tourist inspectors carried out 1,129 inspections from October 14 to November 29, and it was established that there were 43 cases of hospitality establishment owners not complying with the measures.

The State Inspectorate said that their sanitary inspectors had carried out 9,600 inspections since the introduction of epidemiological measures, as carried by Jutarnji List.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Government: St Mark's Square Designated a Guarded Area

ZAGREB, November 26, 2020 - The government on Thursday amended the decree on designation of protected persons and buildings, designating St Mark's Square, the location of the buildings housing the government offices, parliament and the Constitutional Court, as a category 1 guarded area.

The amendment came after a 12 October shooting incident in which a police officer guarding the entrance to the government building was shot and wounded and the perpetrator later committed suicide.

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said that the designation of the area as a guarded area created the legal grounds for stepping up security measures in order to reduce the possibilities of direct access and undermining the safety and security of the persons and buildings concerned.

He said that the rights to public assembly and peaceful protests would not be restricted and would be in compliance with the relevant legislation.

Access and movement for all persons, employees, office-holders, lawmakers, Constitutional Court judges, people living in the buildings in the square, worshippers visiting St Mark's Church and participants in public rallies will not be restricted.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Arena Zagreb to Accommodate COVID-19 Patients in Final Stage of Recovery

ZAGREB, November 26, 2020 - Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Thursday that the Arena Zagreb sports hall has been activated and equipped for the accommodation of COVID-19 patients.

"The Arena has been activated, mobilised and equipped. When it will become operational will be decided by medical professionals and the Health Ministry. It is intended for patients who have passed the worst stage of the disease. We will see when this will be, but it can be soon," Bozinovic told a press conference at which new measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic were presented.

He added that the Arena would accommodate hospital patients who had not fully recovered and who needed to spend some more time under medical observation.

Bozinovic said that regional government units could adopt additional measures provided that they were tighter than those adopted by the national coronavirus response team.

The Defence Ministry said on Thursday that army personnel were on standby to assist the public healthcare system in case of opening of the medical unit at the Arena Zagreb.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Minister Bozinovic Doesn't Rule Out Mandatory Coronavirus Vaccination

November the 25th, 2020 - Could Croatia introduce mandatory coronavirus vaccination when the vaccine becomes available and arrives in the country? For some the idea is excellent, for others it is quite the opposite. Regardless of the ins and outs, Minister Davor Bozinovic hasn't ruled the idea out completely.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after the meeting with numerous county prefects, Minister Davor Bozinovic presented a new set of strict measures that should be in force until Christmas, you can read them here. As previously touched on, the possibility of Croatia introducing mandatory coronavirus vaccination for the entire population hasn't been ruled out.

When asked by journalists whether the vaccine against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 will become mandatory here in Croatia, the Minister was not explicit in his response, but he left such a possibility open.

''There are vaccines that are already mandatory. That vaccine would reduce the spread of the infection,'' replied Bozinovic, explaining that according to Croatia's Law on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases, there are vaccines that are indeed mandatory.

''Certainly, we need to know that in order for the vaccine to stop the epidemic, then the estimate [of the population which needs to be vaccinated] needs to stand at 70 percent, we're absolutely going to make sure that happens,” he assured, noting that it remains to be seen what the coming months will bring and what that will mean for decision making.

The head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters also noted that additional efforts should be made when it comes to communication with people when it comes to the measures and decisions regarding the pandemic and he asked for the media to help in that.

"Croatia has an obligation to vaccinate against some diseases. There's no mandatory coronavirus vaccine because all of this is brand new, but [should that be decided] it wouldn't be some sort of new thing,'' he noted.

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Sunday, 22 November 2020

Davor Bozinovic: Police to Control Adherence to Measures More Strictly

November the 22nd, 2020 - Minister Davor Bozinovic has stated that the most recently introduced anti-epidemic measures will be policed far more strictly than they have been in the past as the battle with the spread of the pandemic continues.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Davor Bozinovic, Chief of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, was a guest recently for HRT and spoke about the newly introduced measures in the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

Davor Bozinovic said that he hoped that these new measures would lead to a slowdown in the infection and that was precsiely and solely why they were adopted.

"The measures depend on how many people will adhere to them. The measures imply the self-discipline of each one of us. The headquarters adopts measures, it will monitor the implementation of the measures and it will control them,'' he said.

Davor Bozinovic said the police were an integral part of the decision to monitor the implementation of the prescribed and introduced measures, and that things will be more strict now.

''The police, the State Inspectorate and the Directorate of Civil Protection and the Civil Protection Headquarters by county, city and municipality will all be involved. However, the police will now be much stricter in implementing these measures. Through the basic and criminal police, they will investigate the possible existence of misdemeanors and the criminal liability of legal and natural persons,'' the minister warned.

Davor Bozinovic said that the situation in Croatia and its neighbouring countries that have introduced stricter measures is being monitored all the time.

"We introduce measures rationally and thoughtfully and their implementation will be monitored. The epidemiological situation in the future and possible new measures will also decided upon,'' he said.

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Monday, 16 November 2020

Bozinovic: Illegal Parties will be Severely Punished

ZAGREB, November 16, 2020 - The introduction of new measures against coronavirus will depend on the number of new infections during the week, and illegal parties will be severely punished, Interior Minister and head of the national COVID-19 crisis management team, Davor Bozinovic, said on Monday.

He called on citizens to report any illegal parties they know about. That is important so that owners of cafes and restaurants that are implementing epidemiological measures are not fined.

"The growth rate is lower than a few weeks ago. If we do not see a decline this week, then we will consider new measures that could refer to limiting gatherings, reducing working hours of some businesses, working from home and working in shifts," Bozinovic said.

Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 1,313 new cases of the coronavirus infection and 33 related deaths, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Monday.

Talking about public gatherings that were approved by the COVID response team (Feast of the Assumption, Remembrance Day in Vukovar), Bozinovic stressed that they were traditional events and it was difficult to expect that they would just disappear, hence it was responsible to create an epidemiological framework for them to be held.

Health Minister Vili Beros said that six or seven weeks ago the number of infections doubled, and when new measures were introduced on October 26, the number dropped in the first week. Croatia is among the seven best countries in Europe in terms of the number of active cases per one million inhabitants.

"If you compare our measures with European measures, we are achieving the same if not better results with milder measures. If everyone adhered to the measures, the results would be much better," Beros said.

The increase in the number of hospitalised patients is the result of an increase in the number of new infections that occurred two weeks ago, he said.

The Health Ministry's call centre for oncology patients received over 720 calls by this morning, and more than 90% were about Zagreb's KB Dubrava hospital, which confirmed that a new process needs to be established to provide healthcare for those patients in other hospitals in Zagreb.

Deputy head of the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ), Marija Bubas, said that talks were underway with some counties to conduct targeted testing with antigen tests due to a large number of new infections, which would help to quickly isolate those infected.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Bozinovic on COVID-19 in Croatia: Cases Rising Due to Socializing on Weekends

November 5, 2020 - Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic with the latest on COVID-19 in Croatia.

Slobodna DalmacijaSlobodna Dalmacija reports that Davor Bozinovic said on Thursday that the number of newly infected had risen every week on Wednesday, which could be attributed to weekend behavior, and called for private gatherings to be reduced.

"Weekend days are approaching when people usually relax in the company of relatives and friends. Unfortunately, the data show that the number of newly infected grows every week from Wednesday onwards, which can be partly attributed to weekend behavior," Bozinovic said at a government session.

He warned that it is especially important in those days to reduce, as much as possible, social activities, private celebrations, gatherings from which the infection most often spreads within the household and family, and then in the workplace.

Since the last session of the Government, a decision has been made to extend the existing rule of crossing the Croatian border until November 19. Decisions were also made on necessary epidemiological measures for Brod-Posavina, Zadar, Karlovac counties, and the City of Zagreb, he reminded.

On Wednesday, given the complex epidemiological situation in Varazdin County, and at the county headquarters' suggestion, they intensified measures related to limiting public gatherings to 30 people, religious gatherings, cultural and sports activities to 50 and limiting the work of restaurants until 10 pm.

Inspectors of the Directorate of Civil Protection, in cooperation with inspectors of the State Inspectorate and police officers, inspected 23,221 business entities, catering facilities, and public gatherings, Bozinovic reported.

They issued 1,137 warnings and 25 misdemeanor warrants in the total amount of HRK 630,000 for exceeding midnight, not pointing out the notice of observance of hygienic measures and not maintaining physical distance, and wearing face masks.

Members of the State Civil Protection Intervention Unit continued to equip health and other facilities with containers and tents.

Since the last session of the Government, 1.12 million items of protective equipment have been issued, which is about 58 tons, of which 26 tons were delivered to the Arena sports hall.

There are about 13.6 million different items or 1350 tons of protective equipment in the Directorate of Civil Protection in Jastrebarsko and regional warehouses. Bozinovic emphasized that the protective equipment and means issued to the users are being promptly renewed.

The directorate also mobilized a home for the elderly in Novi Marof as an outpatient facility for the treatment of the sick in the Varazdin County, which currently houses users of the Home for the Elderly and the Infirm Zavojna from Varazdin.

To read more about coronavirus in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Thursday, 29 October 2020

Bozinovic: Future Measures Can Only Be More Restrictive

ZAGREB, October 29, 2020 - Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Thursday that any new epidemic measures would only be more restrictive that those currently in place, but did not specify whether and when they would be imposed, saying that this would depend on further developments.

"Any new measures that may be adopted in the coming days or longer may only be more restrictive considering the present epidemiological situation, but I will not be more specific because you more or less know the direction in which new measures would go," Bozinovic told the press ahead of a regular cabinet meeting.

He was asked whether and when restrictions such as those imposed in France and Germany could be expected in Croatia.

Bozinovic recalled that the national coronavirus response team had adopted a set of measures earlier this week to contain the coronavirus epidemic. Possible new measures would depend on the numbers of new infections, the infection growth rate and the burden this puts on the healthcare system, he added.

The minister also commented on the gathering of hundreds of Hajduk Football Club fans in Split on Wednesday evening to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Torcida fan club. Asked who was responsible that the gathering took place despite the restrictions in force, Bozinovic said that the responsibility lay with those who assembled there.

"We know that any gathering of more than 50 people has to be reported in advance. I believe that, if the gathering wasn't reported to it, and I presume it wasn't, the local coronavirus response team will take the measures provided for under the law," the minister said.

Bozinovic noted that "we will have a problem as long as there are people who think it is all right to gather together in large numbers and have close contacts without maintaining a distance."

He concluded by saying that other measures could be used to prevent such behaviour, but "repression should be a last resort."

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Croatia Ready to Set Up 2,360 Beds in Makeshift Hospitals if Necessary

ZAGREB, October 22, 2020 - Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Thursday that the authorities were preparing additional beds in makeshift facilities for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, following a surge in the number of daily cases of the coronavirus infection.

For this purpose, Zagreb's Arena Centre, Split's Spaladium hall, Rijeka's Dvorana Mladosti venue as well as similar locations in Varazdin and Osijek have been selected for installing a total of 2,360 beds, if necessary.

Bozinovic informed the government that those capacities could be prepared to take in COVID-19 patients within 48 hours.

He also called on the Croatians to avoid all the uneccesary contacts so as to help efforts to curb the infection.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Health Minister Vili Beros Says Introducing a Curfew is the Last Resort

October 22, 2020 - As coronavirus cases rise in Croatia, Health Minister Vili Beros says introducing a curfew is the last resort. reports that Health Minister Vili Beros warned on Wednesday that the number of newly infected is higher than ever and announced that possibly introducing some previous measures will be decided in a few more days.

"If there are no positive developments, it is quite certain that we will introduce some additional, but balanced measures that will primarily refer to the restriction of gatherings," Beros said. He reiterated that citizens could contribute to preventing the spread of the virus through responsible behavior.

"We are the best cure for this pandemic if we respect the measures. Only then can we expect the number of infected to slow down. However, I must say that the virus is spreading horizontally, radiantly among the population. Therefore, we need to be more careful than ever," he said.

He even told reporters that they were too close to each other.

"And you are too close to each other, even though you have masks on and we are outside," Beros said.

When asked about introducing a curfew, Beros answered that some countries had introduced a curfew but that he did not want to give an affirmative answer now. He pointed out that a curfew is the last thing he will introduce if necessary, adding several other measures that can be taken before that.

The head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Davor Bozinovic, said on Wednesday that in a situation where the number of people infected is growing, they would focus mostly on punishing all behaviors that are not in line with epidemiological measures, especially legal entities.

During his visit to Jastrebarsko, Bozinovic told reporters that there would be no need for additional activities to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection if the measures already adopted were applied as intended, negotiated, and ultimately prescribed.

"We are monitoring the situation; the numbers are growing, the numbers are growing outside Croatia," said Bozinovic, emphasizing that they will mostly concentrate on prescribed measures, especially the obligations of legal entities that organize events or engage in economic activity with fluctuating people.

In doing so, he said, they will be aimed at sanctioning all behaviors that are not in line with epidemiological measures.

He claimed that they had made a great effort, including the Croatian Institute of Public Health, which made detailed recommendations for all economic and social activities to not close.

"It is an effort that has been translated into concrete recommendations of the Headquarters," said Bozinovic, calling on all citizens to adhere to these measures because it is the only way to slow down the spread of the virus in Croatia.

He emphasized that citizens should refrain from large gatherings, private parties, and meetings as long as the epidemic lasts.

He noted that they prescribe measures for public events, while what happens in homes cannot and should not be controlled. However, he warned that it is in these circumstances that citizens relax the most, which is why the virus spreads when they return to their home or go to work.

"This is not a big philosophy. In practice, it is not comfortable or easy to wear a mask when we cannot maintain physical distance, but it is not so difficult as long as it is the only way to overcome the crisis," he said.

He pointed out that the headquarters can make decisions, and epidemiologists prescribe recommendations, but nothing will be achieved if the citizens do not accept it.

Bozinovic announced the intensified inspections aimed at irresponsible behavior, explaining that the facilities' organizers and owners will be sanctioned if the measures are not adhered to in their facility and stated that a 30 thousand kuna fine is prescribed for dancing in clubs.

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