Friday, 26 February 2021

Index Finds Out New Rules for Cafes, Restaurants, and Sports in Croatia

February 26, 2021 - New rules for cafes, restaurants, and sports in Croatia will take effect from March 1. finds out the details. reports that on Monday, March 1, the measures will definitely be relaxed, and the much-anticipated opening of cafe and restaurant terraces will take place.

This is clear after Thursday's government session at which Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced the opening of terraces and concessions in sports.

"By all indications, the situation is better, but it still requires great caution. To remain responsible in protecting citizens from the coronavirus epidemic, after a series of consultations with several departments, the intention is that from March 1, the work of catering facilities, in addition to what has been relaxed so far, will be opened on terraces and open spaces," said Plenković and announced that training would be held indoors, with some exceptions when it comes to contact and collective sports.

Strict epidemiological rules will be prescribed for both terraces and concessions in sports, which the Headquarters will talk more about on Friday.

New rules for cafes and restaurants
As Index has learned, music will be banned on the terraces of cafes and restaurants. Sources close to Headquarters said that this was insisted on to prevent people from speaking louder by shouting over the music, which they believe increases the risk of spreading the infection. Terraces must be open, not closed with glass, plexiglass, or otherwise.

The distance between the tables should be as before, three meters. Different groups of guests will need to maintain a distance of at least a meter and a half to two. 

Guests will be able to go to the toilet inside the restaurant and cafe and must wear a mask. 

Opening hours, as before the closure of cafes and restaurants, will be until 10 pm.

Details of concessions in sports
As far as sports are concerned, team sports training such as basketball will be possible, but not competitions. In agreement with epidemiologists, the Headquarters decided on this option because the same group of people trains together, and there is not much interference.

The use of locker rooms and showers will be prohibited.

In sports where close contact is made, neither training nor competition is likely to be allowed.

Fairs, however, remain closed
The Headquarters discussed the reopening fairs for a long time, but it was decided that they would not open in the end.

When thinking about opening fairs, the Headquarters primarily considers Zagreb's Hrelić, where items are sold or exhibited. Still, they feared fairs in smaller places, including the consumption of food and drinks and even festivities, where compliance with measures would be difficult to control.

Božinović on concessions
Chief of the Headquarters and Interior Minister Davor Božinović spoke about the new measures valid from March 1.

"The Croatian Institute of Public Health will soon issue special recommendations on the conditions for easing measures. We can expect those classic measures, the distance between tables, especially if people come from different households. This will have to take into account the number of people who can be on the terraces. The terraces must be open," Božinović said.

"However, we have seen growth in recent days, and we must be careful. We cannot experience this as if the epidemic is coming to an end or is over. We are not at that stage yet. We urge everyone to be careful, especially those responsible for organizing work in their facilities. We know that in recent months they have called for opening under certain measures," he said, adding that the Headquarters has been seeking a balance between epidemiological measures and the preservation of the economy since day one.

Minister of Health Vili Beroš also spoke about the relaxation of measures on Thursday night.

"Local headquarters can adopt more restrictive measures, so we agree with Dubrovnik-Neretva County. We are in everyday communication, and their move is an indicator of responsibility. Today, the Prime Minister announced new measures; they will be presented tomorrow. There should be an epidemiological framework for many of our activities, and it will be the same as before - space between tables, guests, hygiene… Probably not everyone will open, depending on the location, size of the terrace. Still, we can now relax this measure," Beroš said for Dnevnik N1 and added that the circumstances are in favor of preventing the spread of the epidemic.

"After opening the terraces, if the situation worsens, we will have to take other steps," he concluded.

To read more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 12 February 2021

Davor Bozinovic Explains Details of New Measures Valid from 15 to 28 February

February 12, 2021 – At today's press conference of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic presented and explained the details of the new epidemiological measures announced by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković at yesterday's Government session. Namely, from February 15, caterers will be allowed to sell coffee to go, fitness centres, gyms, and bookmakers will be able to open. Students will be able to study in foreign language schools and in workshops.

The new eased measures, created by the Headquarters and the Government's reflection, will be valid until 28 February.

An epidemiologically, but also sociologically and psychologically justified approach

"We know how the situation can get worse in a short time. We don't expect this, but we must be careful. In the last seven days, we've even managed to get into third place in terms of incidence in Europe. But our primary interest is to lower the numbers of new infections so that, compared to other EU members, we now have the least stringent measures in Europe, which means that this effort is paying off. We must not relax totally, and just because we didn't do so before, we're able to ease some measures now.

February 28th is going to be here in less than two weeks, and from today we'll be thinking about measures that could be further relaxed if the trends remain like this. We don't know what that's all going to look like at the moment. Still, we're going to closely monitor everything that is happening, especially in regard to to the new variants, where the profession, primarily epidemiologists, have an essential role," said Božinović.

He added that they're advocating for a gradual approach that is epidemiologically but also sociologically and psychologically justified. From day one, they've been trying to learn as much as possible about the virus and society's behaviour, and they're also taking a new strain of the novel coronavirus and its appearance in Croatia into consideration. He spoke about the easing of the country's measures in five categories.

The delivery of food, beverages, and desserts from catering facilities:

Those who pick up food and beverages must not stay on the terraces and in front of the buildings or enter the buildings. While waiting in line, they should maintain space between each other and wear masks. Staying in front of the building shouldn't be encouraged by things like playing music, the terraces should be fenced off, and tables should be removed or arranged in a way that they can't be used. Notices must be posted on facilities prohibiting entry, the maintaining of social distancing, and so on.

2. Gyms and fitness centres:

The maximum number of people inside - one person pet 20 square metres - should be taken into account, as well as proper ventilation. If the building doesn't have such artificial ventilation, the premises should be ventilated every ten minutes. Exercise machines should be disinfected after each use. Users are allowed to use only their own towels and gym mats etc. They should avoid close contact and maintain a distance of four metres between each other. The use of shared showers is still prohibited. A list of such users must be kept, and masks must be worn on arrival and checkout, as well as during registration.

3. Language schools:

It's necessary to limit the number of users per group to maintain a distance of two metres. In addition, masks are mandatory. Lecturers/teachers must keep their distance from the participants/students, wear a mask or separate themselves totally plexiglas, they must also measure temperatures. A list of participants should be kept here, too.

4. Children's workshops and playrooms:

It's necessary to limit users to one person per seven square metres and highlight that notice at the facility's entrance. You should maintain a distance and wear masks, ensure disinfection, as well as the proper disinfection of devices and toys, and of course, measure people's temperatures when they enter.

5. Slot machine clubs, bookmakers, and casinos:

Betting places/bookmakers – epidemiological measures apply here in the same way as they do for stores, depending on the facility's size. The number of people entering should be limited. Users should wear masks and keep a distance from each other, staff also, who should be separated from users with plexiglas, and they should disinfect the facility.

Slot clubs and casinos – the number of users should be limited to one user per seven metres of gross usable space. The catering part of these facilities must be closed off. Catering services can't be provided in such facilities.

When asked why children who train indoors still cannot go to their training, and bookmakers are allowed to work, epidemiologist Bernard Kaić answered, but before that, Božinović pointed out:

"Graduality means that we can't let everything open at once. We're easing these measures in a certain order, about which we've concluded at meetings. Some arguments prevail a little more in some places, others do so in other places. Epidemiologists will create a framework by which almost anything can be maintained. Still, we're going to take care to adopt our measures that favour children, which was the argument when we opened schools. The profession recommends that when we ease things, we need to first give preference to children, schools, workshops, and playrooms because children are the ones who find living like this the most difficult to grasp. Those who are older can understand the situation better. We aren't comfortable making such decisions either, but we're making them together," said Božinović.

Basic rules: limit gatherings and use your own initiative:

"Every activity carries a risk. The epidemiological framework can provide guidelines for risk reduction, but in some situations, no epidemiological framework can eliminate the risk entirely, and then the priority activities must be determined. This was discussed at the Government and the Headquarters' meeting, and this all resulted from those negotiations. Children's playrooms also pose a risk, as do children's sports and going back to school and kindergarten and the like, as well as me just going to the market. But I prefer to go to the market than to do some other activities. I agree that if all measures were eased up at once, we'd very easily have an increased number of patients. Yesterday, a Government Council member stated that there are only three basic rules: limit gatherings, small groups, and take the initiative. All of these measures that are introduced or relaxed only serve to limit gatherings, smaller and larger ones, to reduce close contacts," Kaić explained.

Božinović also referred to schools and school halls. They allowed offline classes and made sure that different classes don't interfere with each other, and that children don't all come to school at the same time. Since children aren't divided into sports groups as they are in classes, if the school halls are open, there would be more mixing between them, and then the possibility of spreading the virus is increased.

The above decisions will be valid for two weeks, and then the Headquarters will think once again about the further opening up of other facilities if the number of infections continues to fall.


Friday, 18 December 2020

Headquarters Announce New Measures in Croatia: Ban on Inter-County Travel, New Rules for Christmas Mass

December 18, 2020 - The National Civil Protection Headquarters announced new measures in Croatia at the 11 am press conference on Friday. reports that in the last 24 hours, Croatia has recorded 3,222 new cases, and the current number of active cases is 21,297. 10,478 people were tested in the last 24 hours; there 310 new patients in the hospital. Compared to yesterday, there are 29 new patients on ventilators. 68 people died. 

“The seven-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in the Republic of Croatia is 591.1. The highest is in Međimurje County, then Zagreb County, and the lowest in Dubrovnik-Neretva and Istria. Within the 14-day incidence rate, Croatia is in 25th place. Luxembourg and Lithuania are higher,” said Krunoslav Capak at the start of the press conference.

After Capak, Minister Vili Beroš took the floor: "Within the current knowledge, those who have already had coronavirus and currently have immunity will probably not get sick in the coming period. However, due to the presence of the virus, they can transmit it and infect other people. This is very important because even those who have survived can transmit the disease to others.

The virus has condemned us to togetherness, and in the context of measures, we must think of each other. Wearing masks is essential, as is vaccination. To achieve collective immunity, we need to talk about it because with the vaccine we are not only protecting ourselves but for others as well.”

Davor Božinović continued: "It is great to talk about the start of vaccination, but it is a process that will continue throughout the next year. We will be able to breathe a sigh of relief in the next six months if responsible. That is why we made several decisions until January 10, 2021. We are trying to send a message about how important it is to calm the population and discourage socializing in this risky period. It is a combination of measures of the Headquarters and other government activities," said Bozinovic, before introducing the measures. 

"First, there is the beginning of school holidays, allowing students to go on vacation until January 18. The movement and number of people in public transport will thus be reduced," Bozinovic said. He added that the government will hold talks with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. The initiative is for workers to use old vacations during Christmas and New Year decisions.

Two decisions have been made; one is the extension of measures with some changes.

"On Christmas Eve and Christmas, mass will be held according to the special instructions of the CNIPH, with one believer per 7 square meters of the church instead of 25 people, regardless of the church's size.

The rule of one person per 7 square meters is also introduced for cinemas, theaters, and other places that belong to the domain of culture.

It is forbidden to leave the county in which the person resides. This does not apply to emergency activities and supplies, daily migration, security services, pharmacy delivery, journalists, patients requiring medical purposes, commuting to and from work if necessary and cannot be done from home, emergency persons preventing the spread of COVID-19, and diplomatic staff.

This is not the introduction of passes; this is a travel ban. Passes are issued only in exceptional cases, when necessary. The message is that everyone refrains from traveling, visiting, and contact for the holidays. The intention is not to extend the restriction of movement after January 8," Bozinovic said.

"It is important to reduce work activity. It is not very high at this time of year anyway, but there are exceptions, so there is a possibility of passes for exceptional cases. We appeal to everyone to refrain from traveling and gathering and socializing for two weeks," said Bozinovic.

NEW EPIDEMIOLOGICAL MEASURES - from midnight on December 22 to January 10

School holidays

- Students are on holiday until January 18, which reduces student mobility and public transportation


"On Wednesday, a meeting was held with representatives of the economy. The next two weeks, December 23 - January 8, to enable the use of annual leave to reduce the number of infected people further. Representatives of the largest trade union centers that support this initiative were also introduced," Bozinovic said.

Private gatherings and ceremonies

- maximum of 10 people

- maximum of 2 different households


- when possible, via radio, TV programs, and otherwise

- exceptionally on December 24 and 25 according to special recommendations of the CNIPH

Professional and artistic performances

- the number of persons present is limited due to the size of the space

- at least 7 square meters per person

Ban on inter-county movement, from December 23 to January 8 (TCN has more on this HERE)

- it is forbidden to leave the county in which the person has a permanent or temporary residence. This does not apply to staff necessary for traffic maintenance, daily migration of employees in health care services, pharmacy delivery, utilities, gas and electricity supply, security services, journalists, patients, travel to and from work, emergency services to help prevent the spread of disease and diplomatic staff

- when entering/leaving the county, the measure should be adhered to, and you should have an identification card proving your status or pass

- the pass is issued by the county headquarters

- does not apply to the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County

- The travel ban enters into force on December 23 and lasts until January 8

Nove epidemiološke mjere od... by

"We want to tell citizens to be patient through this risky part of the year without contact so we can wish each other all the best for the upcoming holidays. This is a time-limited decision and is not extended unless necessary due to the epidemiological situation. Around January 8, we will see the results of our behavior during the holidays."

As for people who have already paid for hotel accommodation or holiday home, Bozinovic said: "There are a number of justified reasons for issuing passes. These include people caring for the elderly, enforcing court decisions on the right to spend weekends with children, but also reservations for hotels and other accommodation until the day this decision takes effect. Those who have paid can keep their plan."

They also clarified measures related to churches. "HZJZ is preparing a special document for religious events. Every believer should have 7 square meters of space and there must be a notice at the entrance to the church," said Capak, adding:

"We will appeal to the church to ensure that the faithful monitor the implementation of the prescribed measures. As for the area in front of the church, the provision of a maximum of 25 people applies. In addition, it will contain recommendations members of the same household do not need to keep a distance. It is recommended to set up benches for believers from the same household and to have every other bench in use from the entrance to the altar."

Asked why catering facilities are not allowed to do the same, Capak said: "Because it is impossible. We persistently communicate that we are taking measures to reduce contacts so as not to ban certain activities that are necessary for economic and other reasons. This measure is related to respecting the wishes and needs of believers for spiritual peace and the need to celebrate the holiday. Religious celebrations are allowed with 25 people, but for Christmas Eve and Christmas we have allowed it to be with minimal epidemiological risk, so that believers can celebrate the holiday."

On the arrival of the vaccine in Croatia, Capak said: "We do not yet have any documents to know the exact quantities. The first symbolic delivery for all EU countries will be on December 26 and we will receive that quantity. We have Pfizer's promise to deliver the complete tranche by the end of the January. We will probably find out what the quantity will be at the beginning of next week."

More soon...

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Thursday, 17 December 2020

Draft of New Measures in Croatia: Reintroduction of Passes, Max Gathering of 2 Households

December 17, 2020 – As first reports, a draft of new measures in Croatia has been prepared, according to which all current measures should be extended, with several new restrictive measures. The new measures will be officially announced tomorrow, announced Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

The Civil Protection Headquarters and the Government of the Republic of Croatia are currently working on the final details of the new, stricter measures that will be in force in Croatia after December 21, 2020. The draft of the new measures, which would be valid from Tuesday, December 22, includes the introduction of passes and a ban on gathering people from more than two households.

Reduction in the number of people at gatherings

New measures will prohibit leaving the place of permanent residence, which would mean the return of passes. Another restrictive measure, which, as Index reports, is a ban on gathering people from more than two households. This provision will certainly remain in the final decision on the measures, but it is not yet entirely sure in what form. Namely, there are proposals to limit gatherings to one household, but for now, it is a more likely option with two households.

The ban on cafes will remain in force, and restaurants will remain closed to guests. Cinemas and theaters will not close; neither will hairdressers and other salons. The headquarters believe that cinemas and theaters currently pose a minimal risk because they do not have many visits. Salons also remain open with the explanation that they do not pose a significant risk given the number of people in them at the same time, wearing masks and adhering to other measures.

Shops and shopping centers are regulated by another decision, which further limits the number of people inside. It is valid until January 10, and there will be no change.

An additional reduction in the number of people at gatherings is considered. However, in the ongoing conversations, the question was asked how much it makes sense because the numbers are still minimal. Gatherings take place in private spaces where the possibility of control is limited.

'The chances of introducing passes are about 70 percent'

The passes have already been included in the draft, and if there is no reversal today, this measure will also be in force after December 21, 2020. As Index learns from a reliable source, the movement restriction will apply between counties, and the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County will again be one unit, as was the case at the end of the lockdown in the first wave.

Due to the large number of passes issued in the first wave, more than a million of them, it is considered that inter-county movement should be allowed only to employees of services who need it and in rare exceptional cases.

It is also possible that a particular decision on passes, for this reason, will not be formalized immediately on Friday, but subsequently, during the weekend, when all the rules that will apply to passes would be defined.

"It will take us another six months to get all the vaccines and to vaccinate enough of the population. If we do not adhere to the measures, it is necessary to introduce formal restrictions, although there is no success in the measures without personal engagement. New measures are currently being prepared. The goal is to do everything to spend the holiday season in the most peaceful way possible. We are now fighting in terms of the clinical picture for a better January. It is necessary to reduce mobility," said Prime Minister Andrej Plenković at today's government session.

Cafes and restaurants closed until further notice

"It seems to me that the chances of introducing a ban on leaving the permanent residence, or the introduction of passes, are about 70 percent at the moment. It is tragic that some people probably think that someone's goal is to make Christmas and the holidays bitter. Restricting movement is something we are reluctant to think about, but we expect it to reduce contact, which is extremely important to us this holiday season. Otherwise, there will be a tough situation after the holidays, despite some positive developments in recent days. Something must be done to prevent the spread of the infection for the holidays. Unfortunately, the introduction of such measures is necessary because of the small number of people who do not want to abide by the appeal and the simple measures we have to endure until the end of the epidemic, which is getting closer," a well-informed interlocutor told Index.

The new measures should be valid until January 8, 2021, when passes will be abolished. Still, most other measures would be extended for another two weeks to see what consequences the holiday gatherings will have on the numbers of newly infected and consequently dead.

According to the Index's information, among the measures that would be extended beyond January 8 is the ban on working in cafes and serving guests in restaurants until further notice.

"The infection cannot spread if we do not socialize and meet others, and we do not adhere to that enough. We must give our contribution. If that were the case, we could relax the measures," Plenković said.

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

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Thursday, 26 November 2020

Capak: New Measures to be Combined with Wide Use of Rapid Antigen Tests

ZAGREB, November 26, 2020 - Croatian Public Health Institute director Krunoslav Capak said on Thursday that the latest restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak would be combined with the wide use of rapid antigen tests and that this was expected to result in a fall in new coronavirus cases over the next four weeks.

"Right now our epidemiological situation is concerning. Epidemiologists have made their suggestions about individual measures and their effectiveness. The most important thing is to reduce the intensity of social contacts and keep the mobility of people as low as possible," Capak said at the presentation of the latest package of measures.

Croatia's incidence rate among highest in Europe

Capak said he believed the latest measures, combined with rapid antigen tests and self-isolation, would help reverse the present trend over the next four weeks and ensure that the number of new infections started falling.

"Our incidence rate is currently among the highest in Europe, above 900 cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days. We have the 13th highest mortality rate in the European Union. The number of hospitalisations and the number of people on ventilators are also rising, and we also have a large number of deaths," Capak said.

Asked why the number of new cases detected by rapid antigen tests was not included in daily statistics, he said that the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention did not recognise the antigen test but only the PCR test. He added that Slovakia had not reported the results of its massive antigen testing campaign to the WHO. 

"At this point, we are not including these figures. We are tracking them separately and will release them separately," Capak said.

No exemptions from measures

Capak said it was not possible for individual counties to be exempt from the latest restrictions because they were all colour-coded red.

"The incidence rate is so high that there is no need to consider any exemptions. In certain area the measures can only be tightened and not eased," he said.

Asked why the government had not at the same time presented a plan for easing the measures so that people could better organise their lives and work obligations, Capak said that Croatia had opted for a strategy of monitoring the epidemic on a daily basis.

"Some countries plan in advance the steps they will take when new cases reach a certain number, but Croatia is not among them. We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis, and we will discuss the easing of the measures in due course," Capak said.

Sunday, 22 November 2020

List of All New COVID-19 Measures in Croatia Now In Effect

November 22, 2020 - At midnight, new COVID-19 measures in Croatia came into force. A list of what's changed starting today. 

The National Civil Protection Headquarters adopted new measures against the coronavirus on Friday after the previous measures did not reduce the number of infected. All measures are applied from the beginning of November 22 (midnight) to December 15, announced the head of the National Headquarters and Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic a few days ago.

Restrictive measures for weddings and private gatherings

The measures relate to limiting public events and gatherings to 25 people instead of 50, as has been the case so far, limiting wedding ceremonies to 15 instead of 30 people, while a maximum of 25 people instead of 30 can be present at funerals, and condolences must not be expressed in close contact. 

Private festivities are limited to 10 people instead of 15, and sports competitions are to be held without spectators and with adherence to measures as before.

Catering facilities can be open until 10 pm

Nightclubs, casinos, and slot machine clubs cannot work, and other catering facilities can be open until 10 pm, with a prominent notice regarding the largest number of guests that can be in the facility following the recommendations of the CNIPH.

The notice must be displayed by stores and shops, and it is mandatory that all stores and shopping centers take additional measures when more customers are expected, such as during discounts and pre-holiday shopping.

Additional restrictions have been introduced for gatherings that are not limited to 25 people, such as professional art programs, cinema screenings, religious ceremonies, and sessions of representative bodies. The number of persons present is limited to the size of the space, and four square meters of space must be provided for each person in compliance with the measures.

Ban on selling alcohol after 10 pm

A ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages from 10 pm to 6 am is also being introduced. The implementation of the measures will be controlled by members of the Civil Protection Directorate, police officers, and the State Inspectorate.

Thus, the necessary epidemiological measures imposed on the whole of Croatia are:

- ban on holding all public events and gatherings attended by more than 25 people in one place;
- a maximum of 15 people may be present at wedding ceremonies;
- a maximum of 25 people may be present at funerals, final farewells, and placing urns, and condolences must not be expressed through close contact;
- a maximum of 10 people may be present at other private ceremonies;
- it is mandatory that all stores and shops clearly display at the entrance the highest capacity of customers that can be in the store at the same time following the recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health and strictly adhere to the permitted number of customers;

- it is mandatory for all stores, shops, and shopping centers to take additional measures during the expected arrival of more customers (discounts, rebates, pre-holiday purchases, etc.) so that more customers do not stay on their premises at the same time; they must ensure compliance with epidemiological measures;
- suspension of catering facilities such as night clubs, night bars, and disco clubs;
- suspension of casinos and slot machine clubs;
- it is mandatory for all catering facilities that have not been suspended to clearly display at the entrance a notice of the largest number of guests who can be inside the catering facility at the same time following the recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health; they must strictly adhere to the limit;
- sports competitions can be held only without spectators and with strict adherence to all prescribed epidemiological measures and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, and the organizers are obliged to ensure that all competitors and necessary technical staff adhere to prescribed epidemiological measures;
- public events and gatherings and ceremonies of all kinds can last until 22:00;
- ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages between 22:00 and 6:00;
- mandatory use of face masks or medical masks outdoors when it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 meters.

Anti-epidemic measures do not apply to:

- professional artistic performances and programs;
- cinema screenings;
- religious rites;
- exhibitions in museum, gallery and other exhibition spaces;
- sessions of representative bodies.

In places that include gatherings that are not subject to a strict number of measures, some other restrictions apply.

At such gatherings and ceremonies, the number of persons present is limited due to the size of the space, so that at least 4 square meters of distance must be provided for each person, in strict compliance with all prescribed epidemiological measures and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health. It is mandatory to have a clear notice at the entrance to the facility where the gathering or ceremony is held regarding the largest possible number of people that can be present in the facility at the same time.

Organizers are obliged to ensure that the premises where the gatherings are held are regularly ventilated, that no more than the allowed number are present at the gathering or ceremony, and that all present adhere to all prescribed epidemiological measures and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

The decision on shortening working hours for catering facilities

A special decision was made for the operation of catering facilities, which can now operate until 10 pm, except for nightclubs and bars, which are banned, and catering facilities in Varaždin County, which are also not allowed to work.

Catering facilities that have not been suspended by a decision of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia may operate from 6:00 to 22:00.

The stated working hours also apply to providers of catering services in the household and family farms, except for accommodation services.

The stated working hours do not refer to catering facilities from the groups "Hotels", "Camps" and "Other catering facilities for accommodation", except for catering facilities of other groups that work in their composition.

At the proposal of the County Headquarters, the working hours of catering facilities and other providers of catering services may be additionally limited for the area of an individual unit of local and regional self-government.

The control of the implementation of this Decision will be carried out by inspectors of the Directorate of Civil Protection, inspectors of the State Inspectorate, police officers, and members of civil protection.


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

Monday, 12 October 2020

New Measures in Croatia: Mandatory Masks Indoors, Restrictions on Gatherings

October 12, 2020 - The Croatian Headquarters announced new measures in Croatia, which are in effect as of today. reports that Minister of the Interior and Chief of the National Civil Protection Headquarters Davor Bozinovic announced that the obligation to wear masks indoors is being introduced and that there is a limit of 50 people at social gatherings.

"We are introducing the obligation to wear masks indoors, where people come into contact with each other, and where it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least two meters," Bozinovic said at a press conference of the National Civil Protection Headquarters.

Citizens are obliged to use face masks or medical masks correctly all the time - over the mouth and nose, he added.

Employees of healthcare institutions must wear masks and anyone visiting patients, employees of social welfare institutions providing accommodation services, and passengers, drivers, and other employees in public transport.

Employees should also wear them in the commercial industry and customers during their stay in stores; employees in the catering industry who come into contact with guests or participate in serving or preparing food, drinks, and beverages, guests in catering facilities, except while sitting in their seats and consuming food or drink.

Bozinovic said that special recommendations had been made for all gatherings where more than 50 people are expected. They refer to professional artistic performances and programs, amateur cultural and artistic performances and programs, cinema screenings, sports competitions, gatherings during weddings, funerals, religious rites, exhibitions in museums, galleries, and other exhibition spaces.

The organizers of these gatherings are obliged to request the consent of the competent county Civil Protection Headquarters via e-mail no later than five days before the planned gathering. The headquarters should decide according to the current epidemiological situation within 48 hours.

Bozinovic mentioned that decisions on limiting social gatherings for the areas of certain local self-government units could also be requested by the county headquarters, considering that the epidemiological situation is not the same everywhere in Croatia.

He also said that the measures come into force on the day of their adoption, which is today.

"The number of newly infected is constantly increasing. I would not assess today's number of 181 as realistic; we know that these are test results from Sunday, and then the least testing is carried out. We only get an objective picture from Wednesday to Sunday; then, all laboratories work to the maximum," said Bozinovic. 

"We cannot be satisfied with the epidemiological situation. The basic defense is keeping a distance, hand hygiene, and wearing masks,” he said.

"Since the measures were relaxed in May, the headquarters has mostly appealed to everyone to act responsibly, which means applying these basic instructions. A large part of the citizens have accepted it, we thank them, but some people, consciously or unconsciously, do not. Because of these others, the states, and thus Croatia, are forced to take measures," he said.

"We have prescribed decisions for gatherings for which over 50 people are expected. These are special recommendations for cultural programs, cinema screenings, weddings, sports events..." said Bozinovic.

The organizer for these gatherings should ask permission from the headquarters, Bozinovic said. The Headquarters will respond within 48 hours.

“Those who are rejected cannot be held,” he said.

"We are introducing an obligation to wear masks indoors where people come into contact and where a distance of two meters cannot be kept,” the minister said.

"Masks must be worn by guests in catering establishments except while sitting in their seats,” he added.

Masks should also be worn by anyone attending indoor Mass.

"Face masks do not have to be used in cases of recommended exemptions. With these two decisions, we believe we can reduce proliferation. The other goal we are achieving is to avoid bans," Bozinovic said.

"We call on everyone for more patience, rationality, solidarity," said Bozinovic.

"These decisions come into force today."

Capak took the floor.

"HZJZ has prepared a series of instructions, most of which relate to the operation of catering facilities. A new recommendation for masks is coming into force today," Capak said.

"In all outdoor situations where it is impossible to keep a distance, it is recommended to wear a mask," said Capak.

"For tomorrow, we are planning a set of measures related to the work of catering facilities," he said.

"We estimate that it is good to wear masks in the open where it is not possible to ensure distance," said Bozinovic.

Capak said a total of 404 people were hospitalized. There are 27 people on ventilators.

Markotic said that the intensive care unit on Zarazna was mostly full.

"It's a dynamic process; patients are discharged and admitted during the day. Everything is under control," she said.

Beros said that inaccurate information appeared in the media that there is a lack of doctors who know how to work with ventilators.

“That’s not true,” he said.

"We have over 800, and the fact is that one anesthesiologist supervises several ventilators, the number of specialists is sufficient," he said.

"We are doing everything to be more prepared; we are procuring new ventilators," Beros said.

“In the last month, 141 staff have been employed to help epidemiologists,” he said.

Capak commented on self-isolation.

"It is true that at the last session of the Board of Directors of the Croatian Epidemiological Society, several members proposed that the self-isolation be shortened to ten days because after the tenth day the risk of infection is significantly lower," he said.

"We estimate that six to ten percent of people get sick in those four days, and it's a big economic loss. Maybe that shortening would reduce hiding contacts. But at the then board meeting, it was decided that self-isolation would remain for 14 days," Capak said.

"Now that has changed a bit. In the next session, which will take place soon, we will consider it. That decision has not been made yet; there is only a proposal from the Croatian Epidemiological Society," he said.

Capak said he believes the decisions were made at the right time.

"We have a problem that the number of new cases is high. With these decisions, we count on stopping it," he said.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure the lockdown never happens again,” Capak said.

Bozinovic finally added that the next press conference could be tomorrow.

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