Saturday, 20 June 2020

First Stricter Measures Announced: Tighter Control at Croatian Border, Nursing Home Visits In Question

June 20, 2020 - Passengers who tried to enter Croatia from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the last two days without a valid reason supported by documentation were returned to their home country from the Croatian border. 

T.portal reports that this is the result of stricter measures at border crossings with these countries, with which most new patients in Croatia have been connected in the last week. 

The news was confirmed for Jutarnji list by the Minister of the Interior and the Chief of the National Headquarters, Davor Bozinovic, who pointed out that the controls at these borders have been strengthened and the prescribed measures are strictly controlled.

"After new cases of the infection occurred, and most of them were related to those countries, we immediately started to carry out more intensive controls on Thursday. Anyone who wants to enter Croatia must state the reason for the trip and present documentation that supports it, such as the economic interest for our country," said Bozinovic. He also stressed that Croatia had never fully opened its borders to Serbia and BiH, as has been done to ten European countries that have a good epidemiological situation.

The complete borders closure with those countries is not yet being considered.

"Due to the current epidemiological situation, the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy recommend that visits to residents of nursing homes should be banned in Split-Dalmatia County and the City of Zagreb until further notice. Furthermore, users should not be allowed to visit their family's homes so that they do not become infected during their stay outside the nursing home and potentially transmit the virus to other users upon their return.

In addition, the Croatian Institute of Public Health recommends that local headquarters, in cooperation with the competent public health institutes, monitor the epidemiological situation in their area and that based on continuous situational analyzes, make recommendations on further action regarding banning or permitting visits to users in the social welfare system," reported the Ministry.

Follow more news in Croatia on our dedicated page.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Minister Bozinovic: No Indications that Some Measures Should be Tightened, But Always Possible

June 19, 2020 - On Dnevnik Nova TV, Davor Bozinovic revealed how the National Civil Protection Headquarters will react in case the number of coronavirus patients in Croatia continues to grow, but also whether strict measures will be introduced again.

"You know we have always said that with measures we balance between economic activities and the protection of life. There are currently no indications that some measures should be tightened, but this is always a possibility. We will see in which direction this hotspot is going," he said on T.portal.

He says citizens are not recommended to travel outside the country, unless necessary. "If you travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and other countries in the region, there really must be a reason, and you shouldn't go for something you can do without. We have long noted that cross-border movement carries risks. As far as tourists are concerned, we have prescribed all measures in catering and tourism," says Bozinovic.

Asked whether the measures at the borders will be tightened, Bozinovic said that there is no need for that at the moment because there have been no tourists in Croatia in recent days. He added that tourists fill in the data in the application for tourists coming to Croatia.

"We have opened a headquarters in Zadar and Split that deals with security in the coastal areas," he said, adding that in the event of an outbreak, they would react promptly. "I am sure we have, and if we don't, we will have the answer to every challenge," said Davor Bozinovic.

When it comes to weddings and larger celebrations, Bozinovic says that if everyone adhered to all the prescribed measures, there would be no need to talk about whether it will be possible to hold large celebrations normally. He revealed that the arrival of citizens from third countries would not be allowed soon. "We will certainly not go for liberalization in the foreseeable future. The European Commission has issued recommendations. We will see the epidemiological situation," concluded the Chief of the National Headquarters. 

Asked whether all citizens, including those in self-isolation, will be allowed to go to the parliamentary elections and fulfill their civic duty, Davor Bozinovic said that epidemiologists would make recommendations for those people as well. "But I wouldn't prejudge the numbers or whether there will be any. There is communication between the DIP and the Headquarters," he said.

For more news in Croatia, follow our dedicated page.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Minister Beros: We Want to Attract as Many Tourists as Possible to Croatia, That is Dangerous

June 19, 2020 - Health Minister Vili Beros said that the spike in coronavirus cases after a long time without any or a small number of patients is under control, and that the Republic of Croatia wanted to attract as many tourists as possible.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that Minister Beros participated in the meeting of the County Civil Protection Headquarters in the Dubrovnik City Hall, from which they boasted that there are no more patients infected with COVID-19 in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, three months after the first recorded case of infection on March 19.

He stated that the coronavirus pandemic is a crisis, unlike anything we've witnessed before. 

"We talked about new circumstances and challenges. We are interested in getting as many tourists as possible, but it carries a certain danger. The task of the expert group of the Ministry of Health was to develop mechanisms in all cases, and I asked staff members not to relax. Some things we also need to anticipate because it is optimal if we are one step ahead of the virus," he said.

Speaking about the increase in the number of patients in the Republic of Croatia (11 new cases in the last 24 hours), Beros said that he had heard from the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, and that the situation was under control.

"All patients who came from abroad are not tourists, but Croatian citizens who have been to neighboring countries for short visits. We have a number of measures ready to limit such movements if we see that the cases are repeated in the coming days," Beros said.

He noted that all epidemiological measures should be adhered to, but also stated that the issue of wearing protective masks is not grounded yet.

Director of Civil Protection and Assistant Minister of the Interior Damir Trut said that the meeting of the County Headquarters discussed the coronavirus, but also the fire and tourist season.

"We have seen everything and we want to prepare the Headquarters for all activities. They have done all the tasks at school. The Headquarters will remain active in the summer months," said Trut.

County Chief Josko Cebalo said that after the opening of the borders and the beginning of the tourist season, there was an increase in the movement of people through the county, which increases the risk of the recurrence of the coronavirus in southern Croatia.

"To prevent this from happening, we are preparing measures and instructions with the epidemiological services for hotel houses, private renters and catering facilities, and we are also working out protocols on how to act in cases of infection among guests," Cebalo said.

Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavic pointed out that the absence of coronavirus infections in the county is the result of the work of the Government and the National and County Headquarters, as well as all other services and institutions.

"Many have contributed to the suppression of the pandemic so far. Of course, the key role was played by citizens who responsibly followed all measures and instructions. I believe we will know how to respond to a possible second wave, which should not be a significant danger when we have people like this." concluded Dobroslavic.

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


Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Bozinovic: More than 800 Foreigners in Croatia for Business or Economic Reasons

May 12, 2020 - The head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters and Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic was a guest of RTL Direkt on Monday. 

In the beginning, Bozinovic commented on the statement of the HZJZ director, Krunoslav Capak, that those who are in self-isolation can also vote if they put on a mask and have no symptoms.

Isn’t that contrary to everything we’ve heard and done so far?

"Mr. Capak elaborated on one issue. It is not the position that this is a rule that will be applied. When such a decision is made, then the State Election Commission will contact the HZJZ and create a framework for the elections to take place," said Bozinovic.

E-passes are no longer valid. So can people go where they want without needing a reason?

"The recommendation is not to go if you don't have to, but there are no restrictions, except on the island of Brac. Citizens can travel freely," the minister said.

From Monday, there is also more freedom for those coming to Croatia. When asked how many foreigners are already registered in Croatia and the justified reasons they can come, Bozinovic said:

"Today, according to some recent data, more than 800 foreigners came to Croatia. Here we are talking about EU citizens. The reasons are either business meetings or the economic interest of the Republic of Croatia. There are also personal reasons. These are situations that are allowed. And epidemiological measures must be respected," he said.

Are Croats allowed abroad? In which case are they allowed to travel?

"We have allowed our citizens to enter and leave the Republic of Croatia. The second part is whether the countries they intend to go to will want to receive them and under what conditions. Most EU countries receive EU citizens. We are in talks with our Slovenian neighbors and I think we are in a situation where we could reach an agreement to help our citizens," Bozinovic said.

And tourism continues. So people in Croatia can now go to hotels, camps, rent rooms, boats, go sailing...

"Yes, Croats can, but also foreigners, EU citizens, if they have reservations in hotels and with the application of all measures. This is a situation of normalization; this is not the old normal, this is the new normal. We will have to get used to a new way of life. They must have no symptoms; it is important that they have an invitation if it is a meeting or a reservation if they are coming on vacation," Bozinovic said.

Goran Latković said that flights to London and Amsterdam would soon return. Does that mean we will be able to travel around Europe normally?

"If airlines are opened, that means the consent of the other side, then that's it. Everyone in Europe is trying to find the least painful way out of this situation," he said.

Up to 40 people can gather. Are weddings and parties allowed?

"Parties? No. People can gather, preferably outdoors and while maintaining a physical distance. We are all trying in this situation, not just in Croatia, no matter that the New York Times says we are among the best in Europe, we are trying to find a way to normalize life. If it is a meter and a half, people can gather in a public place," he pointed out and added:

"What is important is for people to be aware that the fight against the coronavirus is not over. It is going back to where it started, there is no cure."

Asked whether cafes are allowed to have newspapers, the minister replied:

"I know that it is not forbidden. I remember that discussion of epidemiologists who concluded that the virus does not spread through newspapers," Bozinovic said.

Should the elections be held in the summer, in July?

"I didn't say that and I can't tell you because I don't know that."

Finally, when asked if Vili Beros, Dr. Capak and other people from the headquarters will be on the list, he said:

"I am not compiling lists, I know Capak said that he was not interested in that," Davor Bozinovic said at the end of the interview for RTL Direkt.

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

Monday, 20 April 2020

COVID-19 in Croatia: List of New Measures Explained

April 20, 2020 -  In the last two days, the Civil Protection Headquarters in Croatia decided to extend some measures, while others have been loosened.

A look at the latest measures in Croatia, courtesy of

Extended measures:

- Measures to ban the assembly and operation of facilities such as cafes and non-food shops and a range of activities are being extended (extended until May 4)

- The decision on how to hold a funeral is extended. Funerals continue to be held exclusively within the immediate family and representatives of the religious community, subject to precautionary measures, no music, flowers or candles, and obituaries may not contain information on the time and place of the funeral (extended until May 4)

- The decision on measures for marriage and life partnership is extended. Weddings continue to take place within the immediate family and officials or representatives of the religious community, with respect to precautions, none of the participants should have a fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection, and wedding ceremonies are prohibited (extended until May 4).

- Children's and sports fields continue to be closed (extended until May 4)

- Mooring ships in international navigation subject to quarantine or self-isolation measures are prohibited (extended until 18 May)

- The decision on border crossings for the transit traffic of freight vehicles is extended without organized convoys (extended until 18 May).

Loosened measures:

- Intra-county passes will be lifted IF requested by the counties and movement in these counties will occur smoothly, while passes will still be needed to move from one county to another.

- Zadar ferry from Ancona, which was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, will resume operations from April 26 twice a week for freight only (more here)

- Truck convoys entering Croatia have been terminated, drivers at the border will be informed that they are allowed to drive only on motorways and stop only at specific places.

Example of E-passes 

The National Civil Protection Headquarters accepted the proposal of the Split-Dalmatia County Civil Protection Headquarters to eliminate e-passes, while previous measures are in force for the islands, with the exception that the e-pass is not required to move from one administrative unit to another on the island.

The head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters and the Minister of the Interior, Davor Bozinovic, on Sunday signed a decision to eliminate the necessary measure to ban movement from permanent residence and permanent residence in the area of ​​Split-Dalmatia County.

Thus, as of April 19, the said measure for the entire county, except for the islands, has been lifted.

This means that persons residing or permanently residing in an island area can only leave the island with an issued e-pass. Also, for persons who do not have a residence or permanent residence in the Split-Dalmatia County island area, arrival on the island is possible only with an issued e-pass.

As of Monday, April 20, 2020, the e-pass is required only to go to the territory of another county or/and to the islands, that is, to an island in Split-Dalmatia County.

See the decision below:


You find information on your county HERE

What could soon be lifted?

At the next government session, the ministers will propose what measures should be lifted for the economy to recover. This is followed by an epidemiological assessment for each of these requirements and then a discussion of what is estimated to be no epidemiological risk. A few days ago, Minister Beros said he hoped some measures could be loosened as early as next weekend.

Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts Minister Darko Horvat said a few days ago that he is sure that smaller crafts such as hairdressers can start working if shops can work. There were also references to tech shops, service shops, showrooms, but also bookstores.

It is also possible that some of these measures will be lifted in those counties where the epidemiological situation is better.

Capak announced the possibility of returning public transport but did not say how long.

"At some point, we will release public transportation, but not as it has been so far - with strict behavioral measures prescribed," Capak said.

There are also plans to open catering facilities and other services, and they will need to be organized with strict epidemiological measures.

"Hairdressers cannot use social distancing, but they can have protective equipment and disinfect everything they do. When the epidemiological situation permits, hairdressers will start working as well," Capak said.

Follow TCN's live updates on the corona crisis in Croatia 


Thursday, 16 April 2020

Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic on Extending Measures

April 16, 2020 - Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic spoke to RTL Danas about loosening the stringent measures introduced by the National Civil Protection Headquarters because of the coronavirus pandemic, which expires in three days according to the first plan.

"On Sunday, those first measures expire, and we will probably extend them, because the most important thing is to follow the advice of epidemiologists, and they say that we should have a drop for five to seven days before we begin lifting measures. Of course, we talk about it daily, and we also understand the situation when we talk about the economy, about securing living conditions. We are moving along a narrow margin, above all protecting our health and lives, but we need to think about when and what measures could be discounted," Bozinovic said.

"That Sunday does not mean that on Tuesday or another day, the measures cannot be lifted. It appears that our measures were good, Croatia has an excellent result when looking at the average number of patients. Of course, we are sorry for every person who died, but our health care system is not as burdened as in other countries and we hope it will allow us to think about relaxing measures soon. It should be clear, loosening the measures probably also means increasing the risk when talking about the number of patients," he added.

The first measures lasted 30 days, but new ones are unlikely to be introduced for that period.

"We are thinking of making it shorter, but it can change in five days, not in 15, not in 30. It all depends on the epidemiological situation because it is our priority to save lives," Bozinovic said.

He did not want to say whether there would be some indulgence on Sunday because we still have a few more days until then: "Let's see how we will deal with the fight in the coming days and that will certainly be one of the elements on which we will decide. We cannot talk about dates. At this point, the date would certainly be breaking news, but no one can rationally say that something will be on this day. No one knows."

The government will decide on everything, says Bozinovic.

"The Headquarters is here, it is the government headquarters, and it is the government that controls the whole process. The Headquarters exists as a government body in order for some decisions to be made urgently, an operational body is needed," Bozinovic commented. 

Follow TCN's live updates on the coronavirus crisis. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Krunoslav Capak on Loosening Measures in Croatia, and When

April 14, 2020 - Head of the Croatian Institute for Public Health and a member of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Krunoslav Capak, spoke about loosening measures in Croatia and when. 

Like much rest of the world, Croatia has been living with special measures because of the coronavirus pandemic. It seems, however, that the epidemiological situation in Croatia is quite good, so the question arises when the rules will be lifted, or at least loosened. 

We've already heard the news in Austria, which first announced that it was phasing out of the measures in place, as is Slovenia, Germany, but also Italy and Spain, the two countries most affected by the coronavirus in Europe. discussed loosening the measures and the epidemiological situation in Croatia with the head of the Croatian Institute for Public Health and a member of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Krunoslav Capak.

Capak first commented on the fact that some countries, particularly those that were severely affected by the coronavirus, were already lifting measures.

"This situation cannot last indefinitely, especially in the economy, so that there is no economic collapse because then we have not done anything. The measures can be relaxed, but it must not be as before, special conditions such as distancing must be introduced," Capak said.

He announced that he would consider loosening some measures in Croatia in the next period as well.

"One of those things is public transport. When public transport comes back, social distance measures will be prescribed. But before relaxing measures, such as normalizing public transportation, we think the epidemiological situation must be stabilized so that, God forbid, we don't have a jump in the number of new cases as it happened in Serbia," said Capak.

Capak said that there should be a consecutive number of days without new cases or a drop in new cases, or, more preferably, a drop without sudden leaps. The Head of the National Headquarters and the Minister of Interior, Davor Bozinovic, also gave a concrete time interval. A drop in the number of new cases should occur for five to seven days for them to begin loosening restrictions. 

Krunoslav Capak revealed which of the measures represented the least risk and could be loosened in the first wave. 

"It will definitely be economically good, good for the recovery of the economy and not a big risk. The business people will also help us a little by telling us which measure will most help the economy without creating chaos in terms of spreading the infection and increasing the number of new cases," Capak explained, noting that the decision to loosen measures, when the time is right, is to be made by the Headquarters.

Capak confirmed that the public transport mentioned earlier could be one of the first measures to be eased.

"We will certainly consider public transportation and think very carefully about how we will do it. Our best people from the Public Health Institute use public transport to get to the lab, and they have no other option than public transportation. Some people just have no other options. We will certainly consider public transport soon, but under stringent conditions," Capak revealed.

He said extending the opening hours of shops, like before Easter from 7 am to 8 pm, is not currently being considered.

"We will stay part-time from 8 am to 5 pm. When we agreed to that, we wanted to make it one shift, that people working in stores rotate and reduce the number of people going to work. I think that it is very important and that it is a successful measure," Capak said.

Was there any feedback at the Headquarters as to whether the shops were organizing one shift?

"According to the information we have, most are. There may have been some shifts, but work is not two shifts, and that was important to us. I think it is very important to reduce the number of people, workers in stores, and customers," he added.

When asked about complaints from those who work from 9 am to 5 pm, who are left with little time to go to the shops, he said that those in the Headquarters understand this best, but that it is still a good and efficient solution.

"Of course, I'm pleased. We considered the scenarios and comparisons with other countries and I always thought we wouldn't have an Italian scenario. We did all the estimates on the number of beds and ventilators according to the Italian scenario, but I always thought it would be a lot milder here. If it were not for this situation in Split, we would have had a much calmer situation with less than 50 new cases a day," Capak said.

Can we expect that the tourist season will begin by the end of July or August?

"It is very difficult to predict. We do not know what will happen in Scandinavia, although it looks promising there, and we do not know what will occur in central Europe. We have a particular advantage here because of the favorable epidemiological situation.

However, the tourist season depends a lot on the situation in the countries from which tourists come to Croatia. We will certainly not allow people from countries where the situation is not good to come. That is why it is tough to predict the tourist season at the moment. I think it would be good to think about attracting local guests," Capak said of the tourist season.

Capak was asked if Croats who were planning holidays could then expect the movement ban within the country to be lifted.

"If it is a favorable situation, why not, we will see how we can ease it. For the time being, we are keeping that measure, but we will surely get there," Krunoslav Capak concluded.

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