Entering Croatia & Rules During Coronavirus

Some posts contain compensated links. Please read this disclaimer for more info.

Entering Croatia & Rules During Coronavirus

Guide To What's Inside

First published February 25th, and now updated daily, or as new information comes to hand. 

The below outlines details on entering Croatia, what rules there are to follow as set by the Civil Protection Authority, and our current epidemiological situation.  

The Coronavirus Cases In Croatia

Update 29 May

  • 2246 cases in Croatia since Feb 25
  • 2063 recovered
  • 103 deaths
  • 80 active cases
  • 66,144 tests performed (16,104 per million population)

See the map here

Can I Travel To Croatia During The Pandemic?

Croatian citizens may pass without issue.

Foreigners are permitted to travel to Croatia from these 10 countries without any restrictions:

  1. Slovenia
  2. Hungary
  3. Austria
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Slovakia
  6. Estonia
  7. Lithuania
  8. Latvia
  9. Germany
  10. Poland

The Minister of The Interior Davor Božinović has asked that you fill in the details on this site https://entercroatia.mup.hr/ in order to reduce the waiting time at border crossings. If you do not have this done when you cross, you will need to wait in a separate lane and a member of the border crossing team will do it for you (expect longer delays).

For members of the EU states (including the UK) that are not on the list above, you still may cross into Croatia for family and business-related purposes, or if you have accommodation pre-booked that you can prove on entry.

No one is required to commit to a 2-week isolation period or COVID-19 test.

If you have questions about if you are eligible to cross the border you can email: uzg.covid@mup.hr and ask for clarification or this page here has an official online form to help you figure out if you can enter. Available in English and German (more languages to be added).

COVID-19 Test In Croatia

There will be no need for a PCR test for COVID-19 to enter. 

Travelers From Non-EU Countries

There were no details announced on this as yet. 

At this stage, it remains unclear what the options are for those traveling from Canada, USA, and further abroad. As soon as it is announced, we will update it here for you, so bookmark this page.

Wearing A Mask In Croatia – Do You Need To?

This is currently not mandatory. But as you know, the use of a medical mask is advised if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) to protect others. 

If masks are worn, they must be used and disposed of properly to ensure their effectiveness and to avoid any increased risk of transmitting the virus. 

Transport In Croatia During The Pandemic

Full details to come. So far we know: 

Flights To Croatia

There are several ready to book now – we’ll keep updating this section as they get announced.

  • Croatia Airlines: As of now, Croatia Airlines operates one daily flight (from May 25 2x a day) that goes from Zagreb to Frankfurt and also Frankfurt to Zagreb.  From May 25, Croatia Airlines will fly Zagreb – Amsterdam – Zagreb daily. From June 1 they are also flying to Copenhagen 4 times a week, and from June 8 daily. From June 1, Croatia Airlines will fly Zagreb to Copenhagen five times a week.
  • Austrian Airlines: Flights begin June 21 Vienna-Dubrovnik (twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays). Then from June 24, Austrian will fly Vienna-Split 4 times a week 
  • British Airways: This carrier announced it will start June 15, with regular flights to Zagreb and Split. London-Heathrow to Zagreb 3 times per week as well as London-Heathrow to Split 4 times per week. Other flights to Pula and Dubrovnik have not yet been announced. 
  • RyanAir: This low-cost carrier has flights to Croatia scheduled, and ready to book from several European bases. Ryanair will require all passengers flying in July and August to fill in details at the point of check-in of how long their planned visit will be, and their address while visiting another EU country. This contact information will be provided to EU governments to help them to monitor any isolation regulations.
  • Eurowings: Several flights have now been announced including, a line to Split from June 6. From June 21, Hamburg to Rijeka and Hamburg to Split from June 2. Also, from June 20, there will be several flights from Düsseldorf, including to Split, Rijeka, and Pula
  • Condor: Begining May 26 Condor will operate two routes to Split. Once from Frankfurt and also from Dusseldorf. Both with fly twice a week (Fridays and Sundays).

Private Transport

Operational. We recommend you use our own transport company for this. Contact Octopus Transfers Croatia here. Local drivers, safety measures in place, and guaranteed satisfaction.

Public Buses & Taxis

Operational.

Domestic Flights

Croatian airlines are operational. Masks are required to be worn by all passengers. At this stage, there are two daily flights:

  • Zagreb – Split – Zagreb
  • Zagreb – Dubrovnik – Zagreb

More are expected to be announced for the summer season soon.

Gatherings & Events In Croatia

  • All gatherings of 40 or more people are banned at this stage
  • Tisno music festivals have been canceled
  • Zrce music festivals have been canceled
  • Ultra Music Festival has made no announcement to confirm or cancel

Border Crossing Into Croatia & Driving

The rules for driving in Croatia have not changed, all the roads are now open (police blocks have been removed), though you should check which borders are open – you can do that here

Pandemic Rules and Regulations For Hotels In Croatia 

Hotels, campsites, and private accommodations can open at any time they choose (they are not banned), pending the implementation of the directed health and safety measures listed by the Croatian Civil Protection Authority.

Hotels and camps have already started making their own opening announcements. Try here for our favorite ones.

Exact detail on any restrictions that get announced for hotels will be added here. Some we know of are:

  • Physical distance. During their stay at the hotel, visitors must adhere to a measure of physical distance of 1.5 meters in relation to other visitors, unless they are members of the same family or group
  • Disinfectant. At the entrances of hotel premises, it is necessary to install dispensers with disinfectant
  • Lifts. Social distancing and a set number of guests in the lift at any one time

Nautical Tourism

We’ll update this soon. In the meantime, this helps (just use Google translate).

Cafes & Restaurants during COVID-19

Restaurants and cafes in Croatia were able to open on 11 May, under certain rules.

These include (but not limited to):

  • Only those with outdoor seating/terraces
  • They must implement the prescribed health and safety measures. Eg hand sanitizer on entry, no menus on the tables

National Parks In Croatia During COVID-19

All of these are now open in Croatia. It has been said that Croatia expects all national parks and beaches to be operational for summer tourism.

There are measures set in place for Croatia’s national parks to keep you safe. The main one that you should know is that it is recommended that visitors maintain a physical distance of 1.5 meters unless they are members of the same group.

Find Croatia’s best national parks here

Beaches In Croatia During COVID-19

Beaches in Croatia are open, though there are some measures you should know about:

Social Distancing Rules For Beaches, Lakes & Waterparks:

  • For both the sea and for freshwater swimming areas, the maximum number of people allowed to stay at the same time is determined according to the principle of 15 persons per 100 square meters
  • All visitors and employees are advised to adhere to a distance of 1.5 meters between each other
  • Deckchairs, need to be separated to ensure the 1.5-meter distance rule, and these are to disinfected several times a day
  • Hand disinfectant should be available 
  • Persons must adhere to the 1.5-meter rule when swimming
  • Cleaning and disinfection of sanitary facilities every two hours

Find Croatia’s best beaches here

Find Croatia’s best water parks here

PCR Tests

At this stage, there is no need for a PCR test to enter Croatia (it was at one stage said it would be required, but has since been revised).  These tests are widely used across Europe, with more expected to be available should you need one.

As an example, Vienna Airport has started offering its passengers PCR tests directly in the airport (as at 4 May), so perhaps more airports will also offer them soon. 

Also, I have been informed that the costs for the tests are as follows (and I will add more as I find them)

  • Albania – 100 Euro
  • Poland – 110 Euro

What Is The Current Situation In Croatia With Coronavirus

On March 19th, all bars and restaurants in Croatia were been closed, with the exception of the delivery of food and the operation of public kitchens. All stores except those selling food and hygiene items, pharmacies, bakeries, pet stores, gas stations, baby equipment have also been closed.

Children have been home from school, public transport has been suspended, and life has been on hold for many, while Croatia tried to bring the virus under control. The great news is that so far all the measures implemented have been worthwhile. Our daily increases in cases have been slow.

Staged Approach To Coming Out Of LockDown In Croatia

So now what? Well, as of 23rd April the Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković has announced the following new rules:

Stage 1: 27th April

  • Shops will open (except those within shopping centers)
  • Public transport (city and suburban lines) will be introduced
  • Libraries and museums will open
  • Professional athletic training is allowed 

Stage 2: May 4

  • The health system will be fully operational
  • Private healthcare networks are allowed to begin work
  • Beauticians, hairdressers, and the like are allowed to open
  • Religious gatherings will be allowed from May 2. (recommendations and instructions from epidemiologists will be made shortly)

Stage 3: May 11

  • Meetings of up to 40 people will be approved
  • Shopping centers will be open – with a limit of a maximum of 15 customers per 100 m2 of net retail space. Masks are recommended
  • Preschools and classes for grades 1-4 will be provided – parents can choose to keep distance learning in place
  • Inter-county public transport lines will be introduced
  • Food and beverage facilities will be allowed to open – but only those that have terrace seating and distance measures must be adhered to 
  • Gyms, fitness and sports centers will be operational
  • Pools can open from May 18th.

The border remains closed for non-Croatian citizens until June 15.

Where To Get Information Of COVID-19 About Croatia

As you already know, COVID-2019 (also known as SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in Wuhan, China, and has now been reported in dozens of countries globally. You can see up to date worldwide stats here and in Europe here thanks to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. So far 90%+ people have been reported as recovered (some cases still being treated and sadly some 2% deaths).

If you plan to travel to Croatia (once borders open of course), you must follow the travel advice from your home country about travel to Croatia (and the Balkans). You can also stay up-to-date with information from RELIABLE sources*.

For example: As an Australian, I love to look at the Australian Smarttraveller website. The Smartraveller is provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has all the latest information, and they will update the information on that site if travel restrictions for any country are required.  This website also allows you to sign up to travel alerts for the countries you plan to visit.

My American friends use this site which has similar information to the Australian site and also this one from the CDC

Canadian colleagues, have told me this site is where they look.

* Only reliable sources have been used for this post, mostly from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Australian and Croatian government sites.

Be Informed, & Do Not Take Advice From Random Social Media Posts  

Kind of ironic to say, given I am writing about the topic, though it’s important to note that you should rely only on credible sources – like the government websites I mentioned. Here are a few from Croatia:

The Croatian authorities have published the following information and contact details:

  • For urgent queries call the 24-hour on-call epidemiologist: +385 98 227753
  • The Clinic for Infectious Diseases “Fran Mihaljevic” advises those WITH symptoms as described for COVID-19 to contact: +385 91 4012 784 or +385 91 4012 790
  • Public inquiries related to Coronavirus can be sent to the Civil Protection Crisis Committee: stozercz@mup.hr

You can also find daily (updated at 15:00h) information about Croatia here on this link about Coronavirus in Croatia.

Is Croatia Taking Coronavirus Seriously?

100%, yes they are. Once borders open, you’ll see that for yourself.

Croatia Virus And The Balkans

I will update this section as I find new information. 

Number Of Coronavirus Cases In The Balkans

  1. Albania. 998
  2. Bosnia-Herzegovina. 2401
  3. Bulgaria. 2427
  4. Croatia. 2228
  5. Greece. 2244
  6. Kosovo. TBC
  7. Macedonia. 1978
  8. Montenegro. 324
  9. Romania. 18070
  10. Serbia. 11159
  11. Slovenia. 1468
  12. Turkey. 21750

Restrictions For Balkans Countries

Please check with your airline and the country you plan to travel to directly for the latest most up-to-date information (links below). As a guide here is what I know so far as at April 10.

Montenegro

You must wear a face mask or scarf in all enclosed public spaces, such as shops and banks. Borders are closed and commercial flights are unavailable right now.

Montenegro will soon open borders to travelers from Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Czechia, Hungary, Albania, and Greece.

Beaches are required to set our chairs 2 meters apart and shower facilities on the beach must also install disinfectants. 

Serbia

The Serbian government announced it has now lifted all entry restrictions and requirements. Incoming passengers will no longer be required to have a negative Covid-19 test, be required to self-isolate, or be quarantined if they do not have one. Foreign nationals will no longer be required to obtain a special permit to enter the country.
 
Belgrade Airport has reopened for commercial traffic and Air Serbia has resumed limited commercial operations. 

Some restrictions imposed at the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency are in the process of being relaxed. However, a State of Emergency remains in force. There is a nationwide curfew in place from 6:00pm to 5:00am daily. An extended curfew will run from 6:00pm Thursday 30 April until 5:00am Saturday 2 May. 

Romania

There are several rules and restrictions in place in Romania, you can find the latest here on this Government website. Some rules to note are:

There’s a a state of emergency in Romania. Emergency regulations include a series of restrictions on gatherings, and suspension of shops, businesses, and restaurants. Free movement is limited and the Ministry of Health has ordered the wearing of protective masks while outdoors, in enclosed public spaces and on public transport. Only Romanian and EU citizens and their family members, and those with valid residency permits can enter. 

Bosnia-Hercegovina

Entry to foreigners is heavily restricted. Curfews are in place and non-essential services are closed. 

That said, Bosnia and Herzegovina is likely to open its borders to foreign nationals on June 1st, the Council of Ministers Chairman, Zoran Tegeltija, announced on Monday 19 May, but it is not yet clear under what conditions.

You can find more details here.

Slovenia

Information can be obtained on the Government site here. Many restrictions are in place and face masks must be worn in indoor public places and may be required in other situations.

Borders are open to those from the EU, no quarantine is required. 

Macedonia

There’s a State of Emergency in North Macedonia. A nationwide curfew and movement restrictions are in place. All international airports are closed and all borders are closed to non-citizens and residents.

You must wear a mask if you are in a public space where social distancing cannot be maintained, you can be fined for non-compliance. 

Greece

New health and hygiene protocols have been announced for air, road, train, and sea travel in Greece. Social distancing rules of 1.5m are in place for all indoor and outdoor public spaces. Masks are mandatory when traveling on transport and when in shops, malls, medical centers, and some restaurants/cafes and tourist sites.

Travel within mainland Greece, Crete and Evia is allowed. 

Greece will open borders on June 1. With airports opening slowly over the following 6 weeks.

Greece will open for the following countries soon:  Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Finland.

The UK & Ireland are not allowed entry at this time.

Bulgaria

There are no longer any restrictions on regional travel within Bulgaria. Outdoor areas of cafes, restaurants, and bars may now open to the public, with social distancing rules in place. You must wear protective masks while you are in public, and must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from other people.

Entry to Bulgaria for non-EU citizens and travelers from high-risk countries remains suspended 

Albania

Albania has now closed all land and sea borders. 

There are restrictions on internal travel within Albania. Other restrictions include the closure of shops, except for food shops and pharmacies, and suspension of public transport in a number of cities.

Movements from your accommodation may require approval from the Albanian State Police. You may be fined or taken into custody if you do not follow this requirement. 

Kosovo

The Government of Kosovo has revised movement restrictions and introduced a phased plan for the reopening of services.

Also, it is prohibited to be outside your place of residence overnight between 9 pm and 5 am

Balkan Website Links

CONTACT NUMBERS IN THE BALKANS - CORONAVIRUS

Here are other government links for the Balkans that you may find helpful:

So far, the best advice has been to follow the local government rules and to follow basic hygiene rules as a way of protection. Those are:  

Basic Protective Measures Against The New Coronavirus

Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others.

All the government websites say there is no need to stop traveling, and you must take care of your health and protect others by doing the following simple steps:

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Covid-2019: Should You Cancel Your Trip To Croatia With Coronavirus Now Confirmed? _ Wash Hands

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for a minimum time of 20 seconds.

What is the best way to wash your hands properly?

  • Step 1: Wet hands with running water
  • Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands
  • Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including the back of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds.
  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water
  • Step 5: Dry hands with a clean cloth or single-use towel

Wash your hands often, especially before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and going to the bathroom. 

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.

Covid-2019: Should You Cancel Your Trip To Croatia With Coronavirus Now Confirmed? _ Wash Hands 2

Maintain Social Distancing

Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose And Mouth

Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice Respiratory Hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu, and COVID-19.

If You Have Fever, Cough And Difficulty Breathing, Seek Medical Care Early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority on how to report suspected cases of having Covid-19.

National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to direct you to the right health facility quickly. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.

What Are The Symptoms Of Covid-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • dry cough

Some patients may have:

  • aches and pains
  • nasal congestion
  • runny nose
  • sore throat or
  • diarrhea.

These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

Once infected with the virus, symptoms can take up to 14 days to show. You can still spread the virus to others during this period. A person is most contagious when they are exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

Is Coronavirus Fatal?

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every six people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. About 2% of people with the disease have died. People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

One thing to note is that as this is a new virus, there is not yet enough known how it affects children or pregnant women. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but so far there have been relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported among children. The virus is fatal in rare cases, so far mainly among older people with pre-existing medical conditions.

How Is Coronavirus Diagnosed?

Coronavirus is diagnosed by a polymerase chain reaction test. A sample of a person’s nose or mouth secretions is collected and tested. The swaps are then checked for genetic markers for the virus.

Before You Go Home

If you do travel to Croatia (or other places that have confirmed Coronavirus cases), you should check in with your local authorities in what is expected (if anything) of you before returning home. 

As an example, Australia has these rules for returning home –  and Canada has this advice for Canadians.

So tell us, what are your thoughts on travel plans for Croatia and the Balkans in 2020.

Share

Comments (8)

  1. Today (9-05-2020) Paul Bradbury wrote a blog on Total Croatia News about a Belgian traveling by car through Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia to Hvar. Not an official site but giving the information of what to expect traveling these days from someone with recent experience. I think blogs are here to inform each other by directing them to official information but also information from first hand. I was very glad to hear the PRACTICAL NEWS in this blog. So, if the status of the information is clear also not official info can be very helpful. Love your reply to Laura, keep up the good work!

  2. thanks for sharing important blog please stay to home snd your blog very useful to us today covid -19 very serious

  3. It is very important to not copy information from any media and to go to primary sources and credible sites for information As of now, Feb. 25 at 21:23 there is no word on the Croatian Ministry of health website (I am reading it in Croatian) about the first case of covid 2019 in Croatia. What is stated in this blog is simply not true. The link in the article takes to a news portal, and not to the information that relates to this subject on the Croatian Ministry of Health page. Some individuals have been hospitalized, but no one tested positive. Please don’t spread misinformation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: No. Sorry.