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Entering Croatia & The Balkans Rules During Coronavirus
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.
Coronavirus Cases In Croatia As At June 3
Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 357,109 people infected with the new coronavirus have been recorded to date, of which 280 in the past 24 hours.
347,108 people recovered, of which 312 in the past 24 hours.
In the past 24 hours, 14 people died, a total of 8,056 people.
To date, a total of 2,032,200 people have been tested, of which 6,049 in the last 24 hours.
There are currently 9,603 people in self-isolation.
As of June 2, 1,847,314 doses of vaccine had been consumed. So far, 1,312,272 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose, of which 535,042 have received both doses.
All current epidemiological measures for cities/counties can be found at the links below :
- Zagreb County
- Is Tar County
- Grad Zagreb
- Zadar County
Can I Travel To Croatia During The Pandemic?
Yes…well, mostly yes. Read on…
Movement within Croatia is not restricted. Public transport is operational (though there are caps on how many can travel at once).
Test Results Older Than 48 Hours
Travelers who arrive in Croatia with a negative PCR test that is older than 48 hours will be allowed to enter Croatia, but they will be issued a self-isolation order and will have to be tested again locally, at their own expense. Having an expired PCR test upon arrival will allow for a shortened period of time in self-isolation pending a negative result of a local PCR test.
If you arrive and do not provide a negative PCR test upon arrival will be ordered to quarantine/self-isolate for at least 7 days prior to taking a local PCR test. Travelers who fail to present a PCR test upon arrival and refuse to take a test locally will be ordered to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days.
Tests cost are $300 or more, depending upon the location, which can be done at the following locations: COVID-19 Testing Locations in Croatia.
What If You’ve Had Covid-19
If you can prove that you’ve had COVID-19 in the past 180 days, you may enter Croatia without showing the negative PCR test and without self-isolating.
Where To Get Tested In Croatia
Kids COVID-19 Tests
Children under the age of twelve (used to be seven) who are traveling accompanied by a parent/guardian are exempted from presenting a negative test result or self-isolation if the parents/guardians show a negative PCR/rapid antigen-BAT test or have a certificate of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19.
Still, Have Questions?
If you have questions about if you are eligible to cross the border, you can email: email@example.com and ask for clarification, or this page here has an official online form to help you figure out if you can enter.
Wearing A Mask In Croatia – Do You Need To?
This is currently mandatory when using any form of public transport and in closed spaces such as shopping malls and getting your haircut OR where a minimum distance of 1.5 meters can not be achieved. Fines (500 HRK) for non-compliance apply.
As you know, the use of a medical mask is advised if you have any respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) to protect others. Masks should be disposed of properly to ensure their effectiveness and to avoid any increased risk of transmitting the virus.
Transport In Croatia During The Pandemic
Flights To Croatia
There are flights to and from Croatia. They get canceled and added so frequently; we stopped adding them all in detail. Please check with your travel agency or directly with the airlines.
Public Buses & Taxis
Though there are no limits on the number of people allowed on buses and trams to help maintain distance.
Croatian airlines are operational. Masks are required to be worn by all passengers.
Health Insurance If You Get Sick
EU, EEA, UK, and Swiss nationals and are covered by your national health insurance provider for any COVID-19-related services in Croatia just as they would be in their home country if the policy is current.
Be sure to check the validity of your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and/or have a new one issued prior to your trip.
Nationals of countries with who Croatia have a bilateral agreement with such as Bosnia & Hercegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Turkey, are entitled to coverage. You will need a certificate from your national healthcare providers (which must be obtained prior to travel).
Gatherings & Events In Croatia
Private gathers are capped at 10.
Public gatherings are capped at 25.
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 in case they change suddenly. You can do that here.
County By County Regulations
All current epidemiological measures for cities and counties can be found below :
- Is Tar County
- Dubrovnik-Neretva County
- Grad Zagreb
- Primorsko Goranska county
- Zagreb County
- Karlovac County
- Zadar County
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.
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 2 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
We’ll update this soon. In the meantime, this helps (just use Google translate).
Cafes & Restaurants during COVID-19
Most restaurants and cafes and the like can only be open if they have outdoor seating or provide take-away. Though in some counties, like Dubrovnik they are not open at all. This changes on the daily.
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.
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
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.
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:
Croatian Institute of Public Health (Hrvatski Zavod za javno Zdravstvo – HZJZ) – many of the pages are in English, if not use Google Translate to read them
Up to date statistics on cases in Croatia & Europe from the HZJZ. Note: this page is updated at 3 pm every day.
World Health Organisation info & news: This page is dedicated to Coronavirus
The Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure are keeping teams and transport companies like our private transfer company updated and info can be found here
Government page in English about the virus and updates
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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…
Turkey Covid-19 Border Regulations
Turkey has introduced a nationwide lockdown from 29 April until 5 am on 17 May. Grocery stores, markets, butchers, and other essential shops will be permitted to operate between 10 am and 5 pm during the lockdown. You can walk to your closest market for essential supplies during these times. Temporary foreign tourists are exempt from lockdown measures. If you’re entering Turkey, you’ll need to complete an online form in the 72 hours prior to travel. Travelers must also present proof of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test taken within 72 hours of boarding your flight unless you’re traveling from a limited list of countries.
Montenegro Covid-19 Border Regulations
Serbia Covid-19 Border Regulations
Romania Covid-19 Border Regulations
- COVID-19 information: 0800800358.
- Ministry of Public Health – COVID-19
- Romanian border police: +4021 316 2598
Bosnia-Hercegovina Covid-19 Border Regulations
- You can find more details here
- Federal Health Institute
- Sanitary Epidemiological Services: +387 62 842 318
- Border police: +387 33 755-300
Slovenia Covid-19 Border Regulations
Macedonia Covid-19 Border Regulations
Greece Covid-19 Border Regulations
- Public Health Organization: 1135
- National Public Health Organization
Bulgaria Covid-19 Border Regulations
Albania Covid-19 Border Regulations
- Albanian National Medical Emergency line: 127
- Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection
- Institute of Public Health
Balkan Website Links
Here are other government links for the Balkans that you may find helpful:
- Bosnia-Herzegovina Info
- Macedonia Info here and also Facebook page here. (you will need to use Google translate for these pages)
- Slovenia Info
- Romania Info
- Serbia Info
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
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.
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:
- dry cough
Some patients may have:
- aches and pains
- nasal congestion
- runny nose
- sore throat or
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.
So tell us, what are your thoughts on travel plans for Croatia and the Balkans in 2020.Share