Sunday, 7 November 2021

Growing Number of Russians Vaccinated in Croatia, EU Covid Certificates Desired

November 7, 2021 - There is a growing number of Russians vaccinated in Croatia since the Russian Sputnik vaccine is yet to be approved by the European Union. 

Russian citizens flocked to a small vaccination point in Zagreb's Kajzerica neighborhood on Tuesday of last week, reports Jutarnji List.

While vaccinations were done at that location from 8 am to 6 pm, those in line were redirected to the Fair around noon because Kajzerica could not handle the number of people. At that time, a decision was made that vaccination without notice in Kajzerica would be allowed only to Croatian citizens and foreigners residing in Croatia.

The interest in vaccination at the HZZO vaccination point was so great that the workers had to go out and look for Croatian citizens, who, as assumed, have a vaccination advantage over Russians in the country. 

"When I came to work in the morning, there was a large line of Russian citizens. They came even before we opened and waited. They started coming last week," said Kristina Tomašić, the head of the Kajzerica vaccination location. She emphasized that there is only one doctor who vaccinates, so there are big crowds.

The main reason for Russians coming to this Zagreb neighborhood is that Sputnik, the Russian vaccine, has not been approved by the European Union, so it is impossible to issue a Covid-certificate necessary for work or travel.

"Our vaccine is not approved in the world, and that's why I'm here. By the way, I am a sailor, and I need the vaccine for work," said Aleksandar (30). He came to Zagreb from Novgorod, and this will be his second dose of the European vaccine. He was first injected in France. Aleksandar revealed that he came to Zagreb alone and that no agency mediated his arrival.

Viktoria (22) came to Zagreb from Moscow, and like Aleksandar, she wants to have the approved vaccine. She plans to travel the world and can't at the moment without self-isolation.

"Today, I will take the first dose, but I will return to Zagreb for the second. I want to travel but not be in self-isolation. That's why I'm here," said Viktoria. She will stay in Zagreb for four days and stated that she came alone.

"I read about agencies organizing group visits. But I didn’t choose that. I don't even know the people who came here through an agency," Viktoria added.

Dmitri (35) also came to Croatia on his own. He went on a long journey by car but was accompanied by friends on his travels. 

"I am here because I need a European vaccine. I have already taken two doses of Sputnik, and this will be my first vaccine," reveals Dmitri. He added that of all the places, he decided on Croatia because "it is easy to get vaccinated there."

In the end, Dmitri did not get vaccinated at the Kajzerica location. Namely, Russian citizens were redirected to the Fair around noon due to the crowds. When the news spread that they must have at least residence in Croatia to be vaccinated at the Kajzerica location, they were visibly dissatisfied. Finally, however, they headed to the largest vaccination point in Zagreb - the fair. 

"I asked them to move there. We are too small a point for so many people. Our citizens are a priority in vaccination because that is the only way we can improve the epidemiological picture," explained Tomšić. She warned that they had only one vaccination room, and they could not grant the 15-minute observation period if people got sick after getting the jab. 

"They have to stay after receiving the vaccine. What if they fall when they come out?" Tomšić wondered. She said that the workers went out and looked for Croatian citizens who had come to get vaccinated at one point.

Tomšić said that vaccinating foreign citizens without residence in Croatia will not be prevented at their checkpoint in advance. All subsequent decisions will be made daily, depending on whether their capacity can withstand such requests.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Number of E-citizens System’s Registered Users Doubles During Pandemic – Večernji List

ZAGREB, 10 Oct, 2021 - The e-Citizens system could be called a coronavirus profiteer as it boomed during the pandemic, with more than 1.5 million registered users, Večernji List daily said on Sunday.

Although the appetites of the Central State Office for Digital Society Development, which operates the system, are much bigger, the number of registered citizens is almost twice as high as before the pandemic, the paper said.

The first incentive came from the e-passes introduced in spring 2020, during the first lockdown. They were required for crossing county lines and could be obtained much faster via e-Citizens.

The second motive for registering were the COVID certificates. On 1 June 2021, e-Citizens had 1,288,211 users. Since the moment the certificates could be obtained digitally until early September, the number of users went up by 115,255, while the number of those who registered only for the EU Digital COVID Certificate service in that period was 498,842.

The latest incentive for registration, bringing 83,500 new users, was the recently held first phase of the population census, during which citizens could self-enumerate online via e-Citizens.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 4 October 2021

Chambers of Physicians, Nurses Criticise Protests Against COVID Certificates, Testing

ZAGREB, 4 Oct 2021 - The Croatian Chamber of Physicians said on Monday it supported mandatory COVID certificates in the health sector as a measure that would contribute to patients' safety, adding that protests against them in or near hospitals disrupted the peace patients need for their treatment.

The chamber said patients' health and safety should come first to all health workers, adding that 95% of physicians had either been vaccinated against coronavirus or recovered from COVID.

The chamber said it was confident the few doctors and a minority of other health workers who had not would be tested every week, adding that regular testing was part of the measures introduced in line with the law protecting the population from infectious diseases and rules preventing hospital infections.

There is no acceptable justification to refuse testing because that directly harms the safety of patients, the chamber said.

Chamber of Nurses distances itself from protesting members

The Croatian Chamber of Nurses too said it supported the decision on mandatory COVID certificates in the health sector, distancing itself from a dozen of its members who protested outside several hospitals this morning against mandatory certificates and testing.

Several dozen nurses are protesting outside hospitals against measures preventing COVID-19 instead of honoring medical rules, getting tested, and working with patients, the chamber said, adding that 72% of nurses have been vaccinated, plus those that have recovered from COVID.

The chamber said it was unacceptable of individuals outside the health sector to attempt to use the situation and manipulate workers in the sector, and once again called on the nurses who have not been vaccinated yet to do so as soon as possible.

About 50 protesters booed Health Minister Vili Beroš outside the KBC Zagreb hospital this morning.

Outside the KBC Split hospital, a group of disgruntled citizens and several hospital staff insulted the hospital director and grabbed some physicians by the arm.

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

 

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.

Friday, 1 October 2021

EU Digital COVID Certificates Are Now Valid For 365 Days From Today

October 1st, 2021 - According to the recommendation of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), a new rule has been implemented on the EU Digital COVID Certificates system in Croatia as of today, extending the duration of vaccination certificates to 365 days.

HrTurizam.hr reports that the new duration of certificates applies to all new certificates, as well as to those previously issued. Citizens who have already obtained their certificates will not have to request re-issuance because the duration of their existing ones will be automatically extended. Citizens can check the duration of their certificates by storing the certificate in the digital wallet of the CovidGO mobile application, and in the case of travel to other countries, it is certainly necessary to check the local rules in force.

With the new duration, the previously implemented rules of the issue concerning vaccines that have central approval in the EU are still in force. Certificates of vaccination can thus be obtained by persons who have been vaccinated with both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, persons who have been vaccinated with two doses of different vaccines received in two doses, for example, a person has received the first dose of AstraZeneca, the second Pfizer and which have been vaccinated with a single dose vaccine.

Confirmation may also be requested from persons who have been vaccinated with a single dose of vaccine received in two doses that have a positive PCR test 180 days from the date of receipt of the vaccine. They can request a certificate from the day of vaccination and it will also be valid for 365 days.

In accordance with the accepted revision of the document by the e-Health Network of the European Commission from September 29, 2021, it is possible to issue EU digital COVID certificates for vaccines that do not have central approval in the EU.

From 30 September 2021, certificates may also be issued for vaccines below in the table, in accordance with the following rules:

new-vaccines.png

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.

Friday, 18 June 2021

Croatia to Relax Restrictions for People with EU Digital COVID Certificates

ZAGREB, 18 June 2021 - New epidemiologicial measures will enter into force in Croatia on 1 July, under which events involving people with digital EU certificates will not be subject to restrictions on the number of people gathered, the head of the national coronavirus crisis management team, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, announced at a press conference on Friday.

People who have been vaccinated, who have recovered or who have a negative test for COVID-19 will be allowed to participate in events without having to comply with special epidemiological measures or with the scope of restrictions reduced, Božinović said.

The new measures mostly concern gatherings of persons possessing EU digital COVID certificates. Events involving such people will not be subject to restrictions on the number of people attending or the duration of the event.

Božinović said that in other cases where people's COVID status will not be checked, the restriction of 100 persons per event and the duration of events until midnight remain in force.

Cafes with outdoor terraces will be allowed to serve only seated customers, to deter crowding and uncontrolled gatherings.

EU digital COVID certificates will not be required at events involving up to 30 persons, but participants will have to observe epidemiological measures. On the other hand, participants in events attended by more than 30 people, such as wedding parties, will have to have COVID certificates.

Božinović said that only people with EU digital COVID certificates would be allowed to attend sporting events.

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

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

Thursday, 3 June 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For all, you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centers across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

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

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

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

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

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

How to access the certification system?

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

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

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

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

How to apply through e-Citizens (eGrađani)?

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

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

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

Can the certificate be used via mobile phone?

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

How will this help you freely move?

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

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

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

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