Friday, 11 June 2021

Adriatic Counties To Be Removed From Slovenian Red List

June 11, 2021 - Good news after it was established yesterday that Slovenian tourists would not need to go into self-isolation when returning from the Adriatic counties, according to the decision of the Slovenian Government to remove the Croatian coast from its red list, which will take effect from tomorrow.

At yesterday's session, the Slovenian Government decided that the Adriatic Croatia administrative unit is no longer on their red list. The counties of Istria, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Lika-Senj, Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia, and Dubrovnik-Neretva were thus removed from the list of countries and areas with a high risk of coronavirus infection, reports

Namely, in areas not on the dark red or red list, there is no high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, so a person coming from such an area can enter Slovenia without being sent into mandatory self-isolation if they submit proof that they've been in the area.

Apart from Croatia, Switzerland, the Vatican, the Austrian administrative unit of Tyrol, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and the Portuguese Azores were removed from the red list of European Union countries at yesterday's session. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro are no longer on the same list comprised of third countries. The administrative units of Pannonian Croatia, the City of Zagreb, and Northern Croatia are still on the red list. This means that a person coming from these areas in Croatia is quarantined for ten days due to possible infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus upon returning to Slovenia

The decision to remove the Adriatic counties from their red list, made by the Slovenian Government yesterday, will take effect on Saturday, June 12th.

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

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Monday, 28 September 2020

Time To Reflect, As Loyalty Not Luxury Saves 2020 Croatia Tourist Season

September 28, 2020 – The tail end of 2020's unparalleled summer offers opportunity for pause, contemplation and appreciation, as it's loyal and not luxury guests that have saved this year's Croatia tourist season.

In this day and age, things always have to get better. There's no room to sit still. Life without improvement is deemed a failure. Nowhere is this more true than the Croatia tourist season.

The numbers of overnight stays in the Croatia tourist season sometimes seem to be the only measure by which its success is judged. Year after year, the numbers must rise. Any decrease is unthinkable. At the same time, hungry eyes still want more. Some want to reposition themselves. A new class of guest is wanted, from faraway nations. They must be of a better quality. They must stay longer, in more expensive dwellings. They must spend more.

Incredible initiatives are undertaken to turn this want into a reality. But, at the end of the 2020 Croatia tourist season, perhaps it's time to pause and reflect. For this year, it is undoubtedly loyalty and not luxury that's saved the Croatia tourist season.

In the year the coronavirus pandemic hit, arrivals by charter plane and cruise ship were seriously curtailed. So much for the flying visits of premium guests from far-flung lands. Instead, the tourists who came were from much closer to Croatia.

The English language that most on the coast are so familiar with was this year useless. On the beaches of Istria and northern Dalmatia, it was Slovenian, Polish, Czech, German, Slovakian and Italian that was heard. The packed bars of Makarska echoed with the familiar call of 'Đe si, bolan?' (where are you, bro? - in Bosnian dialect). Many of those who came drove to Croatia. And many do so every year.

1024px--Sharing-_Friday_night_pizza_(17405004226).jpg© Jeremy Segrott

Sighs and light-hearted jokes about some of these guests persist in some places. “That family come every year, but they only ever order one pizza to share between the four of them.” The choice of footwear of some German-speaking and Czech visitors frequently draws chuckles, in particular, the classic sock and sandal combo. But, just where would the 2020 Croatia tourist season have been without the 60,000 Czech and Slovak visitors who this year arrived by train?

Just two days ago, Jutarnji reported on phenomenal numbers of Polish visitors this year. Would anyone else really have taken the place of the returning family of four sharing a pizza? Just what would the season in Makarska have looked like without bolan?

Croatians are famously very appreciative hosts. On the ground, there's no doubt that such loyal guests are warmly welcomed and thanked each year by accommodation renters, restaurateurs and others. They greet returning visitors with smiles of familiarity and reserve for them their favourite place. In September 2020, gratitude to such guests was echoed by The Croatian National Tourist Board as they launched a new campaign 'Thank you', directed at the tourists who this year chose Croatia.

Perhaps it is time to ensure that this gratitude extends into any grand new initiatives for growth in the Croatia tourist season? Such loyal guests should not be taken for granted, nor forgotten.

Initiative within the Croatia tourist sector is vital. The unlocking of continental Croatia's potential is simply a must. That too of the Dalmatian hinterland and inland Istria. The exploitation of world-class Croatian assets such as nature, agriculture and health and wellness services are also perfectly on-point. The desire to attract a better class of bigger-spending visitor to luxury holidays on the Croatian coast should surely be a lower priority. After all, eyes that covet can all too frequently fail to appreciate that for which they should already be thankful.

SANDALS.jpg© Oddman47

Lead image adapted from an original photograph by © Marco Verch

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Thursday, 3 September 2020

Slovenian Official Says Croatia's COVID Situation Dramatic

ZAGREB, September 3, 2020 - The Slovenian government's spokesman for COVID-19 said on Thursday that due to the rise in infections in neighbouring states, Slovenia would next week revise its list of safe countries and that the daily rise of new infections in Croatia was dramatic.

Jelko Kacin ruled out the possibility of Croatia being put back on the green list of countries either as a whole state or some of its counties.

He was responding to a question from the press in Ljubljana about the situation in Croatia and the possibility of relaxing the current border crossing regime in light of suggestions of a regional and differentiated approach based on the epidemiological situation in each county.

The epidemiological situation in Croatia is rapidly deteriorating and becoming dramatic, Kacin said.

Croatia will soon have 100 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, which is red list level. Split-Dalmatia County could have 200 and the number of infections in Istria County is also rising, he added.

Asked about the possible relaxation of border crossing measures for Croatian citizens wishing to visit the graves of their dear ones in Slovenia, notably in the border area, Kacin said the government was considering the possibility of an "elastic" solution.

That primarily refers to All Souls' Day, when the graves of predecessors are visited, he added.


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Thursday, 3 September 2020

Free Holidays for Austrians and Slovenes this September and October

September 3, 2020 – A bold and open gesture from the winemaking industry on the Pelješac peninsula to appreciated neighbours – cost-free accommodation will allow free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes in September and October 2020

Of all the incentives to assist Croatian tourism in the troublesome year of 2020, this one may be the boldest. In order to show appreciation for visitors from two of Croatia's nearest neighbours, winemakers from the Pelješac peninsula are arranging to offer free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes in September and October 2020.

In an interview published in Slobodna Dalmacija just yesterday, famous Pelješac winemaker Mato Violić Matuško revealed the plan. Matuško is also president of the Pelješac Wine Routes, a forward-thinking initiative in and of itself. It has massively increased wine tourism on Pelješac with its joined-up approach and has managed to bring together many individuals operating with the winemaking and tourism sectors of the region. Who better to organise free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes at harvest time?

Just one of the breathtaking views available on Pelješac. The peninsula is most famous for its incredible wines © Romulić & Stojčić

Winemakers who are members of the Pelješac Wine Routes Association are those who will be involved in offering the free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes. The plan is to offer free accommodation to Austrian and Slovene tourists in order to thank them in particular for their returning custom. Visitors from these nations are among the most frequent to come. The incentive also aims to bolster tourism numbers well past the point of late summer.

Although some revenue in accommodation rentals may be lost due to the offer, the idea is startlingly inventive. It is hoped money put into the local economy by visitors taking advantage of the free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes will benefit the wider population in what has been a difficult season for many. Austrians and Slovenes taking advantage of the incentive will also surely be offered some excellent Pelješac wine on their visit.

You can read here a TCN interview from August 2020 which also shows how the wines of Dubrovnik Neretva County have assisted in keeping visitor routes open during a difficult year for tourism in south Croatia  - Croatia Wine: ”Every Visit Is A Voyage Of Discovery”

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Thursday, 20 August 2020

Croatia On Slovenia RED List. What Does That Actually Mean?

August 20, 2020 – Slovenians must quarantine if returning from Croatia after the weekend, but what are the implications of Croatia on Slovenia RED list?

Update on August 20, after the official placement of Croatia on Slovenia RED list by the Slovenian government was made public: in order to make things easier for their nationals currently vacationing in Croatia, Slovenia has decided to extend the deadline for the return to Slovenia until Monday. Slovenians who own real-estate and boats in Croatia are given an extra 48 hours, so they can take care of their property before leaving Croatia without self-isolating upon return. 

As reported in TCN yesterday, Slovenia has designated Croatia on Slovenia RED list as a country on its red list for travel. Sounds bad. But, what does it actually mean?

Well, for Slovenes, the choice is pretty simple – return home before the end of the weekend, or you'll face a mandatory two-week quarantine and Coronavirus test when you do. The quarantine and test will apply automatically to any Slovene travelling to Croatia after Friday.

But, what are the implications of Croatia on Slovenia RED list?

Well, the mandatory quarantine and test apply to any Croatian entering Slovenia after the weekend. There are exceptions – if you're just passing through, say, on your way to Austria or Germany, the quarantine doesn't apply. You'll have a maximum of 12 hours to travel into, through, and out of Slovenia. The same goes for delivery drivers who are just dropping off or picking up. You can stop for gas and use the WC. Special permits are also available for those who have to cross the border for daily trade.

Not such a big deal for Croats, then? Well, we'll have to wait and see. But, it doesn't look good. The economic implications could bite much harder.

From June, Slovenians have accounted for 7 million overnight stays in Croatia. As reported continuously in TCN's 2020 travel and tourism coverage, regional tourism - lead by those travelling by car – has accounted for the largest number of arrivals this year. Numbers of Slovenes holidaying in Croatia are actually up by as much as 3 percent compared to the same period last year.

In 2020, visitors from Croatia's next-door neighbour have been more important - and more numerous - than ever before, until Croatia on Slovenia RED list

According to the Croatian National Tourist Board, Slovenes accounted for 8.7% of arrivals and 11.5% of overnight stays in total over 2019, second only to Germans. During this 2020 season, in which their custom is more important than ever, the financial impact on Croatia may be much more damaging than that incurred from similarly imposed classifications by Austria and Italy, who recently announced mandatory testing for all returnees.

The peak days of the season are already behind us but, truth be told, the season only began in earnest a month ago. There was no pre-season this year. Hopes of an extended season, based on the optimistic numbers of July / early August, now seem to be dashed, due to the rise in number of COVID-19 infections. Certainly from the Slovenian market.

Will Slovenes and others accept a mandatory quarantine in exchange for their annual break on the Croatian coast? Some may. Surely, some won't. Any Slovenes planning trips in late August or September have been given serious cause to reconsider, thanks to the new classification. School and work start again in September – how does a two-week mandatory quarantine fit into that schedule?

Nobody really knows how long the 'red card' Slovenia has given Croatia will last, nor when it will end. The answer presumably lies in Croatia's ability to address its number of newly infected. Before all criticism for the stranglehold this classification places on the 2020 season is attributed to Slovenia, Croatia must first ask itself some tough questions; could Croatia – from staff and owners in the service industry, right the way up to state level - have done more to keep the numbers down? For it is the numbers now that can help save the remainder of Croatia's 2020 tourist season, not the Slovenes.

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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Quarantine On Horizon for Slovenes If They Don't Return from Croatia by End of Week

August 18, 2020 - Health Minister of Slovenia, Tomaz Gantar, said on Monday that he would propose that the government introduce quarantine for Slovenes returning from Croatia by the end of the week, stressing that this was the "unique opinion" of medical experts.

T.portal reports that if the government makes such a decision on Wednesday or Thursday, then tourists from Slovenia who want to avoid quarantine would be given "another two or three days at most" to return home, Gantar said on television.

The minister does not believe that this could change in the event of a drop in the influx of coronavirus through Slovenian tourists spending their summers in Croatia, or if a decrease in the number of daily infected occurrs, because Croatia "already has an exponential growth" of the coronavirus infection recently.

He also pointed out that it is not possible to introduce a "selective" approach, according to age and quarantine, only for those aged 15 to 35 who are most often infected or to those who come from epidemiologically less risky counties, for example from Istria.

Gantar explained that the first would be irrational because most families with children travel to Croatia, while regarding the second option, he said that Slovenia has always applied a single criterion by country, not region, to compile a list of risky destinations.

However, he failed to say that a month ago Slovenia put the whole of the Czech Republic on the "red" list, and after a letter from Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis to Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, it kept the warning for only one mining region where infections jumped.

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Thursday, 2 July 2020

Croatia on Slovenia's 'Yellow List', New Border Measures Apply - July 4

July 2, 2020 - The Slovenian government has put Croatia on the "yellow" list of epidemiologically less secure countries due to the increase in the daily number of coronavirus infections, said government spokesman Jelko Kacin in Ljubljana.


Croatian citizens who want to go to Slovenia from today (July 4) must show a negative test for coronavirus not older than 36 hours, made in the European Union, to a Slovenian border police officer. If they do not have it, they will be handed a decision on 14-day self-isolation at the border.

If they have nowhere to self-isolate in Slovenia, they will not be allowed to enter that country, Slovenian Interior Minister Aleš Hojs explained yesterday.

If they pass through Slovenia in transit without stopping, they must pass it within 12 hours. These new measures are valid for our citizens after Slovenia put Croatia on the yellow list, which means that it is not an epidemiologically safe country. Apart from Croatia, the Czech Republic and France have been on the Slovenian yellow list since midnight.

This means that both Czech and French tourists who go to Croatia on holiday in Slovenia will have to pass without stopping, and at the Slovenian border attach proof that they are going to Croatia. Hojs said that all border crossings to Croatia remain open, but all those who are aware that after entering Slovenia will have to self-isolate, will be able to enter the country only through four border crossings with Croatia - Gruškovje, Obrežje, Metlika and the airport in Ljubljana.

This new restrictive measure, Slovenian government spokesman Jelko Kacin admitted at a press conference yesterday, was introduced by Slovenia because of its citizens who lied to border police officers when they entered Slovenia that they were in Croatia, but were actually returning from Serbia or Bosnia and Herzegovina. They did this to avoid the 14-day quarantine they are required to go to on their return from those countries. Kacin admitted that the number of people infected with coronavirus in Slovenia has increased precisely because of such people. In an attempt to prevent this, the Slovenian authorities are introducing restrictive measures that will make Croatia one of the biggest victims.

As of July 4, all foreign citizens entering Slovenia, who were on vacation in Croatia, will have to give Slovenian border police officers proof that they have been in Croatia. Invoices for paid sojourn tax, hotel invoice or registration via the Enter Croatia application will be recognized. In order to avoid quarantine in their own country, all Slovenes returning from vacation at the Croatian Border Police will have to prove that they were in our country.

Those who own real estate in Croatia will be able to avoid going into self-isolation by providing proof of ownership, and all others by paying bills in Croatian restaurants and bars in Croatia or by confirming the paid sojourn tax. For example, those who transported someone to the Zagreb Airport will have to enclose an invoice for paid parking at the airport or an invoice from the bar where they had a drink.

Checks on proof of residence in Croatia will enormously increase congestion on the Croatian-Slovenian border, admits the Slovenian Minister of the Interior. But he succinctly explained that it is not a problem for all those waiting for quarantine to wait an hour longer at the border.

The new Slovenian regime at the border will also create great pressure on Croatian border police officers and create large crowds at the entrance to Croatia from the direction of Slovenia. Especially since the decision is starting to apply for the weekend. Regardless of the new Slovenian measures on the Croatian side, new measures were introduced at four border crossings - Bregana, Macelj, Rupe and Plovanija in order to reduce the time of crossing the border and enable better flow.

Special lanes have been established for foreign tourists who have applied to come to Croatia via the Enter Croatia application. In front of the border crossings, there are special traffic signs and lines have been drawn that direct these tourists to the part of the border crossing intended for them.

-------------------- reports that as he explained at the press conference, the decision was made by the government on Thursday, and the measures will take effect on Saturday at midnight.

So far, Croatia has been on Slovenia's "green" list of epidemiologically safe countries.

Apart from Croatia, the Czech Republic and France have now been relegated to a lower category of safe, while Belgium and the Netherlands have been included in the higher "green" list of safe countries.

The decision for Slovenes staying in Croatia means that when they return home, they will be able to expect the border police to ask them exactly where they stayed, which they will be able to prove, for example, with a hotel bill, but they will not be quarantined.

Those returning from Croatia will have to substantiate their route at the border with evidence or give confirmation that they have a vessel or real estate in Croatia "because there have been too many attempts to deceive in that sense," Kacin said.

Apart from the increase in the number of infections in Croatia, as Kacin suggested, the measure was also adopted because there have been many cases recently when Slovenian citizens and those with permanent residence in Slovenia coming through Croatia or Hungary stated that they were in those countries, even though they were in Serbia or Bosnia and Herzegovina, which are on the "red" list of epidemiologically safe countries.

Kacin again called on Slovenes living abroad to avoid crowds and respect epidemiologically prescribed measures, and especially to avoid nightclubs and mass parties because they are a potential source of infection.

When asked what putting Croatia on the "yellow" list means for Croatian citizens, Kacin said that they would be able to come to Slovenia freely if they have real estate or booked tourist accommodation.

A few days ago, Kacin explained what it means to be on the "yellow list". "If the country is placed on the yellow list, then a Slovenian citizen or foreigner with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia, if they come from the EU or the Schengen area, enters Slovenia without quarantine. For other persons, a 14-day quarantine is mandatory," he said, but also stated that there are 15 exceptions to that decision.

Details of the decision to move Croatia from the "green" list of safe countries to the "yellow" will be announced on Friday after the session of the Slovenian government, Health Minister Tomaz Gantar told Slovenian television on Thursday evening.

According to Gantar, a new government decision and the tightening of epidemiological measures are needed as part of the deteriorating situation in the region, but also in Slovenia, where more and more new local infections are being transmitted after the virus was imported, especially from "red list" countries such as Serbia, North Macedonia, BiH and Kosovo.

From those countries, everyone who enters Slovenia must be in a 14-day quarantine. Quarantine decisions will be issued at the border with Croatia.

For those Slovenes who continue to go to Croatia as tourists, "it is not planned for now" that they would need a binding 14-day quarantine, and for now, this only applies to those who were in the countries on the "red" list where the epidemiological situation is critical, or very bad, Gantar explained.

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Friday, 27 April 2018

Slovenes Unhappy About Price Increases in Croatia

Regardless of price increases which aren't exactly delighting the neighbours, a record season is expected once again.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Pelješac Winemakers Impress at International Fair of Crafts and Entrepreneurship in Slovenia

Pelješac winemakers up their game to attract as many Slovenian tourists to the southern Croatian region as possible.