Thursday, 16 September 2021

Students and Teachers in Sinj Wearing Masks in Class Today

ZAGREB, 16 Sept 2021 - Students and teachers of primary and secondary schools in Sinj must wear masks in class on Thursday, despite a recommendation of Sinj's civil protection team to lift the obligation to weak masks in schools.

"About 300 students and 25 teachers of the Dinko Šimunović Secondary School are today obliged to wear a protective mask in class, and the situation is the same in other secondary and primary schools in Sinj," the school's headmaster Tomislav Bilić told Hina.

He added that headmasters of primary and secondary schools in Sinj discussed on Wednesday evening the mandatory mask rule. He also said that one of his school's students was positive to COVID, and ten were in self-isolation because they had been in contact with the infected student.

On Wednesday, Sinj's civil protection team, at the proposal of Sinj Mayor Miro Bulj, made a decision recommending that elementary and secondary school students and teachers need not wear a protective mask.

Bilić said in a press release on the Dinko Šimunović school's website, despite the recommendation of the Sinj civil protection team, that measures on the mandatory wearing of masks in class were still in force.

He added that the school board might propose a decision to abolish these measures after collecting opinions from the Ministry of Science and Education, the teaching council, the parents' council and the students' council.

"I consider that through joint cooperation between teachers, parents, founders, the local team, and epidemiologists we will make the best decision in the interest of all our students," Bilić said in the press release.

The head of the education department within Split-Dalmatia County said on Wednesday that pupils in the county, including pupils in Sinj, were obliged to wear protective masks.

Students of primary and secondary schools in Sinj must wear masks tomorrow and in the next period, in compliance with the rules proposed by the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) and the Ministry of Science and Education, the county education department's head Tomislav Đonlić said on Wednesday evening in a press release.

The press release was prompted by the decision of the mayor of Sinj, Miro Bulj of the Bridge party, that elementary and secondary school pupils and teachers need not wear a mask.

"Mayor Bulj does not know the rules or intentionally accentuates this issue only to score cheap political points," Đonlić was quoted by the press release as saying.

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

Monday, 19 July 2021

"No Masks, Few Vaccinated Citizens": German Media Warns of Short 2021 Croatian Tourism Season

July 19, 2021 - The 2021 Croatian tourism season is in danger, according to German media, as the coast moved to orange, masks are hardly worn, and few citizens are vaccinated. 

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) published an article on the problems caused by the pandemic for the tourist season in Croatia. They state that in Croatia there is a fear of a short tourist season, reports

"Croatia, whose economy depends on tourism more than any other EU country, is worried about the continuation of the summer season. The country is facing a 'battle to save the season," the newspaper writes. The country's tourism sector has been upset since the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) last Thursday switched the previously green corona status of Croatia's coastal areas to orange," FAZ writes.

ECDC data, showing the situation from the previous two weeks, is actually a warning, according to the German daily. There is a fear that the entire Adriatic coast will "turn red".

"It threatens the success of a tolerably good season so far. So far, Croatia has reached about 75 percent of the tourist level in the last pre-pandemic summer of 2019," states FAZ.

"The general mood was optimistic because the number of infections was low until recently, and the fact that the incidence is currently higher than in the comparable period of 2020 indicates a new seriousness of the situation."

Interior Minister Davor Božinović warned that the authorities take the guidelines on prevention seriously. It is about preventing the loss of control, the German paper points out.

"There is little readiness for vaccination in Croatia. Only 46 percent of the population has received at least one dose so far. The supply of vaccines has long since exceeded demand. Almost 400,000 doses have already been given to other countries, of which 240,000 to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The government has also decided that from now on, uninsured people and foreigners can also be vaccinated for free," writes FAZ.

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac said the new orange status was an additional warning.

"Brnjac called on all employees in the tourism industry, but also the travelers themselves: 'Be reasonable, get vaccinated, and pay attention to epidemiological measures.' Meanwhile, Brnjac also demands that the ECDC take a closer look at Croatia and assess the Croatian coast. Dissatisfaction with the new classification comes especially from Istria, which has significantly lower incidence values ​​than Dalmatia, but it does not appear in ECDC statistics and maps, because there the Croatian coast is recorded as a whole," the article reads.

In the meantime, some regions in Dalmatia have announced stricter measures to combat the virus.

The mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, referring to the large increase in the number of infected people, announced sanctions for those who do not pay attention to respecting epidemiological measures in their restaurants.

"In everyday life, of course, things in Croatia are still quite loose. No one in the bars asks for tests or vaccination certificates, wearing masks is interpreted very casually in many places. Masks often only function as a fashion accessory that casually stands under the chin," concludes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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

Friday, 2 July 2021

New Decision on Masks in Croatia: Digital Covid Certificate Areas are Mask Free

July 2, 2021 - Chief of the Civil Protection Headquarters Davor Božinović announced a new decision on masks in Croatia for people in digital Covid certificate areas. 

In the last 24 hours, 92 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 544, the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia announced on Friday morning.

Among them, 139 patients are in hospital, of which 13 are on a respirator. Compared to yesterday, there are no new patients on the respirator. Three people died.

The Chief of the Civil Protection Headquarters and Deputy Prime Minister Davor Božinović announced at a press conference that a new decision had been made on the use of masks, reports

"Protective masks, medical masks will not have to be worn in all circumstances when there are people in the area who have a digital Covid certificate. Digital Covid certificates will be a substitute for wearing face masks in more and more situations. Specifically, at our next press conference, with us on one side and you on the other, we will have digital Covid certificates, and we will hold the conference without masks," said Božinović.

The director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic, Alemka Markotić, also called on the citizens to get vaccinated so that our hospitals would not be full again.

“Although there are not many patients in our hospitals, we have seen a lot in the last year and a half, and we do not want to see it again, but we could again. There are two reasons why such images from hospitals could be viewed again. First, the Delta Variant is spreading rapidly, and second, the population has not been vaccinated enough. If we take the United Kingdom and their 48 percent, we will see that it is insufficient. We are faced with a choice of vaccination, or the zimmer frei will remain free, children will be in online classes, the elderly will be closed off, and we will refill hospitals and cemeteries. Let’s not be cowards; let’s lend a shoulder for those two little jabs. If we get vaccinated, we can have a normal life," concluded Markotić.

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

Monday, 14 June 2021

Božinović: Masks Regulated For Personnel In Hospitality

June 14th, 2021 - Commenting on the reaction by Health Minister Vili Beroš, who left a cafe on Sunday because the waitress wasn't wearing a mask, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said that a decision adopted in October 2020 by the national COVID response team regulates wearing a mask for personnel in hospitality.

"In my opinion, Beroš acted the only way a health minister could. If anyone is obliged to point out protective measures against the epidemic while it still lasts, then that is the health minister," Božinović underscored on Monday in Zadar, where he opened the police offices for the person charged with the implementation of safety measures during the 2021 tourism season.

Asked by reporters about the fact that the waitress claimed that she had respiratory problems, which was why she could not wear a mask, Božinović added: "Unfortunately had she said that straight away, I'm certain we would not be talking about that today. As far as I am aware, she has a doctor's certificate. I don't know that wasn't said straight away. The minister would have accepted that because he is a doctor," said Božinović, who is also the head of the national COVID response team.

Asked about several concerts announced where no special measures will be imposed, Božinović said he wasn't aware of these events.

"But if they do exist, that is the responsibility of local civil protection teams. The national team cannot be expected to know and take account of every single event," he said, adding that several possibilities are planned for the event industry if the epidemiological situation continues to improve.

He underscored that "the lower numbers should not lull us into a false sense that the virus doesn't exist."

"We need to avoid risky situations. It has already been confirmed that six people became infected during the celebration of the basketball victory in Zadar last week. The epidemiological institute and all relevant services have to locate their contacts and see how to stop those numbers because when you observe the numbers, then it is obvious that there are more infections in Zadar county than other Dalmatian counties," he said.

Health Minister Vili Beroš on Monday denied claims on social networks that he was two kunas short on his tab when he walked out of the cafe after the waitress who served him wasn't wearing a mask. When asked about the incident by reporters, Beroš replied, "Do you think that a government minister would owe two kunas to anyone?"

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 up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

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Thursday, 22 October 2020

Masks in Croatia: Mandatory Almost Everywhere, Apart from Football Stadiums?

October 22, 2020 - Masks in Croatia are mandatory almost everywhere, though one law in the country forbids them inside football stadiums. Here's why. 

Slobodna Dalmacija writes that the first person from Croatia to be infected with the coronavirus was a young man who contracted the virus in the stands of the San Siro stadium in Milan, where he watched the Champions League match between Atalanta and Valencia on February 19.

When he returned to Zagreb, he ended up at the "Dr. Fran Mihaljević" Clinic, and on February 25, Croatia officially recorded the first case of COVID 19. Italian epidemiologists determined at the time that the match in Milan, which had 40,000 spectators, significantly affected the explosive spread of coronavirus in Italy.

Eight months have passed since then, the numbers of infected are higher than ever, we are breaking all records and setting up new hospital tents, and the crowds in Croatian stadiums are reminiscent of those in San Siro - because they don’t have to wear protective masks.

But here's the catch - not only do they not have to, but they are now allowed to wear masks or face coverings inside the stadium. Here's why.

Masks are prescribed in the open where the required distance cannot be kept, but not in the stands, because, according to the provisions of the Law on Preventing Disorderly Conduct at Sports Competitions, masking the face with a hat, scarf or otherwise to conceal identity is considered illegal behavior. When the law was passed, it never occurred to anyone that one day, masks would become a mandatory part of our everyday lives. Epidemiologists, therefore, prescribed only distance for stadiums, but not masks.

When the Croatian Institute of Public Health published the first epidemiological instructions (before spectators returned to the stadiums), they stated that masks were mandatory. However, this was short-lived. A new recommendation was soon published in which masks were not mentioned, but only a distance of a meter and a half and a measurement of body temperature on the day of the match.

Spectators are required by these recommendations to wear a mask as they move around the stadium, as they walk to their seats or wait in line for the toilet, but must remove it when they arrive at their seat.

Before the weekend match between Hajduk and Sibenik, fans were especially warned about the ban on consuming alcoholic beverages, lighting pyrotechnics, bringing banners that incite hatred and violence, and the ban on face coverings, which would make it difficult for the police to identify them should any chaos occur.

GNK Dinamo will begin competing in the Europa League group stage on Thursday, at 9 pm, when Dutch club Feyenoord will play in Zagreb. There will also be spectators in the stands, as the club announced, at 30 percent of the capacity of each section of Maksimir Stadium, and tickets will be on sale until the permitted capacity is filled. And there will be no masks in the stands. Just like last week at Poljud, the club announced that despite epidemiological recommendations, wearing masks at the stadium is not allowed under Article 4 of the Law on Preventing Disorderly Conduct at Sports Competitions.

Only after the match can we expect an assessment of how things went with respect to epidemiological measures, which in practice will be reduced because only 30 percent of the audience capacity is met.

Earnings are not enough for the club to profit from 30% of tickets, but there are still too many fans to control the spread of coronavirus, so the legitimate question is: why are spectators still allowed?

Epidemiologists cringed after fans failed to keep distance in the Croatian First League games, and previously in the games of the Croatia national team in Zagreb, but the Civil Protection Headquarters has not indicated that they will tighten the prescribed measures.

Slobodna Dalmacija asked the head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters Davor Bozinovic, leading epidemiologist Krunoslav Capak, and the executive director of HNS whether there will be any changes in the stands considering the record number of cases in the country, especially considering the previous experiences of non-compliance with measures at Poljud and Maksimir. No one has answered.

Unofficially, Slobodna learned that some members of the Headquarters are discussing re-implementing recommendations we had back in June, but no decision has been made.

Unlike in Croatia, the Greek government reacted urgently. Just after this week's announcement that Greek sports fans will be able to go to stadiums and halls again from October 31, albeit in limited numbers, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said: 

"Holding matches, even with a few spectators, would send the wrong message to the citizens," thus rejecting the plan to return the fans to sporting events.

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


Saturday, 10 October 2020

Masks Mandatory in Croatian Gyms from Monday? A Look at Potential New Measures

October 10, 2020 - Are masks mandatory in Croatian gyms from next week? A closer look at the potential new measures as coronavirus cases spike in the country.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the large increase in new coronavirus cases in Croatia prompted the Headquarters to hold an emergency meeting, and new measures, as they announced, should start early next week. As announced by Krunoslav Capak, it is increasingly likely that we will be obliged to wear masks in all indoor spaces from Monday.

This also applies to gyms, which would not be too surprising for someone who lives in Latin America or other parts of the world, because wearing masks in gyms has been in force elsewhere for some time. 

"Masks indoors are being considered because the spread of the infection has been noticed in many workplaces among colleagues who are in close contact, for example, sharing the same office, and are unable to adhere to physical distance measures," Health Minister Vili Beros told

Miroslav Venus, president of the Croatian Epidemiological Society, points out that lockdown is the worst option.

"Therefore, it is better to wear masks in gyms, because at this moment we have to do everything we can to prevent the closures again," Venus said.

Coach Vladimir Pavlinovic also commented, who agrees with Venus.

"Everything is better than closing fitness centers again, because who knows how long all this will last. Users will get used to it over time. Although masks as a prop will certainly bother and interfere with their breathing, they may also feel nauseous, so they will need to pay attention to the signals sent by their body," Pavlinovic believes.

Wearing a mask when exercising, whether indoors or outdoors, can certainly be demotivating because it is harder to get air during exercise. Still, it also has many advantages, especially when we know that it is impossible to maintain the prescribed social distance of one meter in gyms.

While it may take a few weeks of regular exercise to get used to it, in the end, you will feel more comfortable exercising with a mask, experts say, noting that it is imperative to listen to your own body’s pulse.

If you start feeling dizzy or tired, it is advisable to take a break and remove the mask and, at that point, stop other exercisers. Also, certain medical conditions can make exercising in a mask potentially dangerous, for example, for people with respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic lung disease, heart disease, or angina.

In these situations, if your doctor has advised you not to wear a mask during exercise, it is advisable to exercise at home or in an outdoor environment where there is enough ventilation and space to maintain an appropriate social distance. After all, the question arises, is it safe to exercise with a face mask?

"In general, most people certainly exercise while wearing a face mask," says Grayson Wickham, a physical therapist. "You will need to monitor how you feel during exercise and watch for specific symptoms such as dizziness, numbness, tingling, or shortness of breath," warns Wickham.

Over the course of a few weeks, your body will certainly adjust by becoming more efficient at oxygen metabolism, but this will take time.

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Saturday, 18 July 2020

Rovinj Tourist Board Provides Masks for Caterers and Private Renters

July 18, 2020 - The Rovinj Tourist Board has designed its own protective canvas face mask that will be distributed to catering staff and registered private renters.

HRTurizam writes that these masks with the message "Carry me" and the logo of the Rovinj Tourist Board can be picked up in the Rovinj Tourist Board office, and a total of 1,000 masks were made.

Creatives from the Rovinj studio LC Studio are responsible for the design of the masks, and as the Rovinj Tourist Board points out, thanks to its interesting design with the Rovinj tourist logo, it will also be an attractive souvenir for many guests.

In addition to the masks, the Tourist Board has prepared a leaflet or brochure titled "Info COVID-19" which is intended for guests and renters and is available in 4 languages (Croatian, Italian, German and English). It is designed to inform guests about what to do if the coronavirus infection occurs during their stay at the property.

According to the eVisitor system, over 18,000 guests are staying in Rovinj, which is 57 percent compared to the same period last year. The tourists are mostly made up of Germans (33%), followed by Austrians (14%), Dutch (8%), while Slovenians, Italians and Czechs took fourth place. Guests are mostly staying in campsites (47 percent), followed by private accommodation (22 percent) while hotels and resorts make up 12 percent.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Mandatory Quarantine for Everybody Coming from BiH and Serbia, Masks on Public Transport

June 24, 2020 - The Croatian Headquarters reported on new coronavirus cases and made two new decisions. The first refers to the mandatory self-isolation for everyone coming to Croatia from BiH and Serbia, and the second that masks are now required when using public transport in the country. reports that in the last 24 hours, 22 new coronavirus cases were recorded, bringing the total to 2,388. So far, 2,145 people have recovered. One hundred and seven people died. Another 136 people are being treated.

Everyone coming from BiH and Serbia must go into self-isolation

New border rules have been established for people traveling from BiH, Kosovo, Serbia and North Macedonia, as they will be required to undergo self-isolation for 14 days. The obligation does not apply to those transiting through these countries. This rule applies to anyone coming from these countries, regardless of citizenship.

Masks required!

The second decision refers to a change in public transport, according to which drivers and other employees and passengers must use medical masks and adhere to general measures.

The following are questions to the Croatia Headquarters from journalists:

What about tourists?

"As for the decisions, they are based on the opinion of the medical profession. These decisions were made based on the recommendations of epidemiologists with regard to the situation in neighboring countries. We have an increase in the number of infections, and most of these people came from the direction of BiH and Serbia. We will continue to monitor everything that happens daily. We will make decisions faster and change them if necessary."

About Beroš's statement that the virus mutated

"Analyzes are being done about it, the situation is being monitored. The situation at the moment is not as it was before. Most new patients now have very mild or no symptoms, which is good. We don't have anyone on a ventilator or seriously ill. A lot of them have only a positive result, without symptoms. The amount of the virus that can be transmitted to another person is important. For now, it seems that it is not so strong. People move in the open, and there is no constant close contact. When you are apart in the open, it is harder to transmit larger amounts of the virus to someone. For now, it seems that the situation is more favorable, but it is a perception, we will see. There is no information that the clinical picture is more severe in infected countries and other countries. But distance and hygiene remain," said Markotic.

About Zadar

"Several hundred tests have been conducted. Seven positive people have been identified. Zadar has been brought under control, congratulations to colleagues," Markotic said.

Has there been a local transmission in Zagreb?

"Croatia has been on the list of countries with local transmission for some time now. We are talking about a pandemic and an epidemic. This is a completely normal thing," she added.

As for the wedding arrangements, there will be no changes, for now, she added.

Masks do not have to be medical; they can also be canvas

"It is a measure to maintain physical distance, but it is impossible in a tram. That is why it is mandatory to wear masks; they do not have to be exclusively medical masks, they can also be a canvas mask made of a thicker weave than usual. If we know that there is a crowd in public transport, we may need to leave 15 minutes earlier. People are being pushed by force. Don't do that. Face masks became inevitable. The responsibility is on us - whether we go in and work our way through the crowd or wait for the second tram," the press conference concluded.

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