Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Croatia Logs 47 New Coronavirus Cases, 3 Deaths

ZAGREB, 31 May 2022 - In the past 24 hours, 47 coronavirus cases, out of 1,420 tests, and three related deaths were registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Tuesday.

There are 1,802 active cases, including 223 hospitalised patients, five of whom are on ventilators, while 672 persons are self-isolating.

To date 1,136,500 coronavirus cases have been registered in Croatia, the death toll is 15,987, and 70.79% of the adult population has been vaccinated.

Mask-wearing mandate in health system extended

The team has decided that the obligation to wear masks in healthcare facilities, including pharmacies, is to be extended until 30 June, the Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists said today.

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.

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Nearly 1500 Croatian Residents Pay Fines for Not Wearing Masks

December the 14th, 2021 - Croatian residents are obliged to wear masks on public transport and when inside enclosed spaces. This has always been asked of the public long before the arrival of the vaccine and the advent of EU covid certificates. Despite it being only a small ask, 1500 Croatian residents have been fined for not doing so.

The Croatian epidemiological measures put in place to try to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which made its first appearance in Croatia back in the February of 2020, have always been extremely mild in comparison to other countries across Europe.

In comparison to the likes of the United Kingdom, which, until the arrival of the new Omicron variant, had dropped more or less all of its measures, and Austria, which is set to make vaccination against the novel coronavirus mandatory, the Republic of Croatia's residents have fared quite well.

As Croatian residents are now being asked to do much more than simply wear a mask when being close to others, including needing to present a valid EU covid certificate in order to enter social care and healthcare facilities, as well as public and state administration buildings, it isn't surprising that there have been fines issued to those who have an issue with the oldest requirement of the pandemic - mask wearing.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, ever since the introduction of the obligation to wear masks indoors and when using public transport in Croatia, a requirement which came in a little over a year ago, a fine of 500 kuna had to be paid by just under 1,500 Croatian residents. Twice as many people have had to be verbally warned for not wearing a mask.

Recommendations for those using public transport have been in force since last year. “It would be ideal for people to be able to keep distance of one or two metres between each other, for passengers to try to sit in a sort of zigzagging fashion. That there is one passenger in each row, that about 40 percent of the capacity is filled and that everyone wears their masks properly. I would recommend FPP2 masks because they are much better. Covid passports are not being checked, they aren't obligatory for people travelling on public transport, but it would be ideal for them to be used,'' believes Dijana Mayer, an epidemiologist working at the the Croatian Institute of Public Health, who said the above in conversation with RTL.

While anyone who has ever used a tram during rush hour in the City of Zagreb will know very well that the above request is all but totally impossible to achieve, it leaves the question of Croatia potentially following the example of several other countries as far as EU covid certificates are concerned and widening their use.

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.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Many Shocked by Croatian Sign Asking People to Enter Premises WITHOUT Mask

August the 12th, 2021 - One Croatian sign has shocked many and a picture of it is doing the rounds on Facebook. The sign reads ''Please enter without a mask, with the exception of those in poor health''.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen our collective attitudes towards many things change. No longer is it ''phone, keys, wallet'' before heading out of the house, as a mask now has to be included on that list as well. 

Planes, stores, and in the vast majority of enclosed spaces have all been demanding the use of surgical masks for months now, and having one wrapped around your neck or stuffed in a pocket (even if that poor disposable mask is months and months old) has become very much the norm. One Croatian sign asking people to please enter the premises without a mask unless they're in some way unwell has surprised many.

Some European countries with excellent vaccination rates such as the United Kingdom now no longer demand people wear masks in enclosed spaces as a rule. You're free not to, but they still ask that if you can - you should. That is currently not the case for Croatia, nor is it likely to be for a while yet.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, while some agree with what has been written on this particular Croatian sign which is actively asking people not to wear masks, others condemn such an approach to the possible spread of the novel coronavirus, which has put almost the entire world on hold for the last two years now.

The Republic of Croatia is not the only one to have such signs and instructions appearing on privately owned shops, bars and the like. Several similar cases can be found all over the world.

According to a report from Slobodna Dalmacija, an extreme example of this can be found at Basilico’s restaurant in Los Angeles, which posted an inscription on its display that says that a person must show that they have not been vaccinated in order to enter and consume their food.

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.

Monday, 5 October 2020

Croatia Prepares for Mandatory Masks Indoors: How Will It Look Inside Restaurants and Cafes?

October 5, 2020 - As Croatia prepares for mandatory masks indoors, many wonder how this will work inside restaurants, bars, and cafes. A closer look. 

After mandatory masks were announced in public transport, shopping malls, bakeries, and shops, masks will be introduced in all other activities that operate indoors. What people are most interested in is how this will work in restaurants and cafes. 

Namely, Index.hr reports that the Croatian National Institue of Public Health director, Krunoslav Capak, announced that an indoor mandatory mask measure is being prepared.

"We are certainly preparing a measure making it mandatory to wear masks indoors. We will discuss other measures with individual sectors of the economy and adopt them in agreement with them," he said. Waiters have had to wear masks for a long time, but now so should guests.

Marin Medak, head of the National Caterers Association, told Index that they had agreed with the Civil Protection Headquarters to jointly make all decisions regarding the implementation of measures in catering facilities, and a new one should be introduced in the next month.

"In a conversation with members of the Headquarters, we were told that Croatia could expect to replicate the German model in terms of wearing masks in restaurants, including cafes and pastry shops. The guest will need to wear a mask to the table and when they get up and leave to go to the toilet or leave the restaurant. While the guest is sitting at the table, they should not wear a mask, but can normally sit and consume food and drink. We asked the Headquarters when it should be in force, and they told us that it would be introduced in the next month," Medak told Index.

He states that so far they have not mentioned any other measures that would be introduced, and adds that, in addition to Germany, this model of wearing masks in restaurants has been applied by Spain and that it is being introduced by Italy and France.

He believes that this measure should not deter guests from visiting restaurants and cafes, but it could even encourage those who are afraid of indoor spaces to feel safer in catering facilities.

"I believe it will be good because the guests will feel safer. And part of the traffic may drop, but for loyal guests, this security measure would certainly be an even bigger argument to visit the bar," Medak said.

As the rainier days began, Index asked if the traffic had dropped for caterers, given that many do not want to sit on the terrace when it is colder and rainier.

"It is difficult to do analytics until we get data from the Tax Office, and they publish a report for the previous week at the end of this week. I know some locals who said that their turnover did not drop, I know some who lost 40 percent, but only Tax data can show the real situation," Medak said.

He also said that the Headquarters mentioned another measure, but it will not be introduced for the time being.

"One of the measures is that guests would have to leave information when entering the facility, but that would complicate everything for us. We don’t have enough people to do that yet, and we can’t raise prices to offset the cost of hiring a person to run it. If it is in the state's interest and the citizens to increase the security of everyone in that way, then the state should compensate us for that. I don’t know how that would be feasible in practice, say if a person works in a cafe in a shift, she can’t serve and make coffee and keep a list. Few restaurants have a reception," Medak said.

He states that it will not be a problem for caterers to keep lists, but they must be paid by the person who would keep them.

"Whatever the state prescribes, we will do it, but on the condition that the state covers that part of the cost. The Headquarters initially copied all German and Austrian measures, so they copied the provision for reducing working hours, which proved to be a failure. We will see how things will go on," Medak said.

Veljko Ostojic, director of the Croatian Tourism Association, which brings together leading hoteliers, told Index that he would not like to comment on anything until an official decision is made.

"We were at a meeting with the Headquarters last week and nothing concrete was announced. But I think that masks in catering facilities should not be brought for everyone, but depending on the epidemiological situation in each region. We expect proposals this afternoon, and we will react," Ostojic said to Index.

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Thursday, 3 September 2020

Croatian Vet Clinic Warns People to Wear Masks in Funny Way

September the 3rd, 2020 - One Croatian vet clinic has caused a stir and a lot of likely broad grins on social media with its warning to those visiting that they must wear a mask in order to be granted access into the facility.

The way in which we live our lives has been dramatically altered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The newest member of the coronavirus family to have successfully jumped species to humans has dealt a dramatic blow to almost every aspect of normality, and that is without even beginning to delve into the catastrophic economic consequences.

Masks have been a hot topic for many, with some opposing the idea of being asked to wear masks when in certain areas such as shops and other enclosed spaces, and others becoming irritated at the sudden expenditure and the previous difficulty in even being able to find masks to purchase. Still, regardless of the strength of the opinions of some, the requirement to wear masks on public transport and indoors remains in force. One Croatian vet clinic, called Dr. Doolittle, has made sure that those bringing their pets for medical care at least get a laugh in these depressing times.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 2nd of September, 2020, visitors to the Osijek-based vet clinic were pleasantly surprised by the announcement posted on the door of the practice, so much so that the notice became some what of a hit on social media.

The warning reads: “Please be sure to wear a mask when entering. Thank you! If you don't have a mask, we'll have to measure your temperature, and you know very well how we do it.''

Visitors to this Croatian vet clinic were pleasantly surprised by this announcement, and in addition to being thankful for the expertise of the staff in treating their beloved pets, they also praised their sense of humour in the current, often depressing climate dominated by the virus.

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Friday, 17 July 2020

Minister Bozinovic Reveals How Long We'll Need to Wear Masks For

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on July the 16th, 2020 - Decisions, as they state from the National Civil Protection Headquarters, must be respected. A recent guest of RTL Danas (Today) was Minister Bozinovic, who further clarified the latest anti-epidemic measures.

''You know that our approach is oriented towards raising people's awareness. At this time when science is confirming something to us, and science knows about the issue of masks, given that we know that this is a virus we're up against, initially, the World Health Organisation gave two interpretations, but now it's consensually accepted that masks do protect us, especially if they're worn indoors

Our goal is for people to accept this fact as something that can protect them and others from them when it comes to coronavirus transmission. We'll do everything so that we don't have to come to a situation where people are being punished. However, if someone consciously doesn't want to wear a mask, which is obligatory and not wearing one endangers people's health indoors, then it's likely that the competent authorities will need to take some additional actions,'' said Minister Bozinovic.

He also described what it would look like if someone didn’t have a mask on, yet wanted to obtain some sort of service, such as going shopping or needing to visit various administrative institutions.

"In that case, they mustn't receive that service, it's now the responsibility of the institution to which the person came and the counter officer to help someone who could endanger their own health. There are legal solutions for those situations as well,'' Minister Bozinovic said.

He also explained the laws under which offenders will be punished.

"There's also the Law on the Civil Protection System, the Law on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases, so, what you're saying goes towards a violation against public order and peace. But let's leave it to life, and I hope that life will teach us in this new normal that masks will need to be worn by everyone because it's actually good for everyone,'' Minister Bozinovic explained.

He also said how long the masks will have to be worn in Croatia for.

"Until a solution is found for this virus is found, and if the scientific community doesn't change its mind [on the issue of masks], then it will last until the end of the epidemic is declared," Bozinovic concluded.

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