Travel

Entering Croatia Rules During Coronavirus


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CROATIA TRAVEL UPDATE

Croatia COVID-19 details change constantly,  we are doing our best to keep this page updated and easy to follow. This page was first published in February 2020 and is updated 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.  

Coronavirus Cases In Croatia As At April 6

In the past 24 hours, 735 new cases were recorded, so the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 11,028. Among them, 1,713 patients are in hospital, of which 155 are on respirators. In the past 24 hours, 1,531 people recovered and 6,333 were tested.

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). 

THE BELOW IS TAKEN FROM THE OFFICIAL GOV. PAGE

These rules apply from April 1 to April 15, 2021

Passengers Traveling To The Republic Of Croatia From One Of The EU/EEA Member States (Regardless Of Citizenship)

Passengers coming directly from the countries and/or regions of the European Union, or countries and/or regions of the Schengen Area and the countries associated with the Schengen Area, and who are currently in the so-called. The green list of the  European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, regardless of citizenship, will allow entry into the Republic of Croatia under the same conditions as before the onset of COVID-19, if they show no signs of disease and have not been in close contact with the patient.

If the aforementioned persons transited to other countries / regions without delay at the border crossings of the Republic of Croatia, they should prove at the border crossing that they did not stay in transit areas, in which case they will not be required to provide evidence of testing or confirmation of vaccination against / overcoming SARS-CoV-2 disease, nor will they be required to self-isolate.
 
A graphical representation of countries by color according to the risk of COVID-19 can be found on the website of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
 
All other passengers coming to the Republic of Croatia from EU / EEA member states/regions, who are not currently  on the so-called green list of the  European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, must present one of the following :

  • negative PCR test or rapid antigen test – BAT  on SARS-CoV-2 not older than  48 hours  (counting from the time of swab to arrival at the border crossing) and, if it is a rapid antigen test and stay longer than 10 days in the Republic of Croatia, must retest the test by the tenth day from the date of issue of that test;
  • vaccination certificate for persons who, more than 14 days ago, received a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Exceptionally, in the case of a single-dose vaccine, an acknowledgment of receipt of a single dose if the dose was received more than 14 days before the date of crossing the state border;
  • present a certificate confirming that the certificate holder has recovered from SARS-COV-2 virus infection after having previously had a positive PCR or rapid antigen test, which certificate is valid no earlier than the eleventh day from the date of arrival of the positive test and no later than 180 -th day from the day of the first positive test;
  • or perform PCR testing or rapid antigen testing – BAT on SARS-CoV-2 immediately upon arrival in the Republic of Croatia (at its own expense), with the obligation of self-isolation until the arrival of a negative finding. In case of the impossibility of testing, a measure of self-isolation is determined for a period of ten (10) days.

Citizens of EU/EEA Member States As Well As Members Of Their Families Traveling To The Republic Of Croatia From Third Countries, Ie Those Who Are Not Members Of The EU/EEA

Citizens of EU Member States (including Croatian citizens), ie Schengen Member States and the Schengen Member States, as well as members of their families and third-country nationals who are long-term residents under Council Directive 2003/109 / EC of 25 November 2003 on the status of third-country nationals with long-term residence and persons entitled to reside under other EU directives or national law or who have national long-term visas  coming from third countries, upon entering the Republic of Croatia,  must present one of the following :

  • negative PCR test or rapid antigen test – BAT  on SARS-CoV-2 not older than 48 hours  (counting from the time of swab to arrival at the border crossing) and, if it is a rapid antigen test and stay longer than 10 days in the Republic of Croatia, must retest the test by the tenth day from the date of issue of that test;
  • vaccination certificate for persons who, more than 14 days ago, received a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Exceptionally, in the case of a single-dose vaccine, an acknowledgment of receipt of a single dose if the dose was received more than 14 days before the date of crossing the state border;
  • a certificate certifying that the certificate holder has recovered from SARS-COV-2 virus infection after having previously had a positive PCR or rapid antigen test, which certificate is valid no earlier than the eleventh day from the date of arrival of the positive test and no later than 180 on the day of the first positive test;  
  • or perform PCR testing or rapid antigen testing – BAT on SARS-CoV-2 immediately upon arrival in the Republic of Croatia (at its own expense), with the obligation of self-isolation until the arrival of a negative finding. In case of the impossibility of testing, a measure of self-isolation is determined for a period of ten (10) days. 

Third-Country Nationals 

Third-country nationals who are not family members of nationals of the Schengen Member States and the Schengen States, nor are they long-term residents under Council Directive 2003/109 / EC of 25 November 2003 on the status of third-country nationals of long-term residence and persons who have the right to reside under other EU directives or national law or who have national long-term visas, with the exception of persons referred to in point I of this Decision,  shall be granted entry into the Republic of Croatia only in case of emergency travel.

There are some exceptions, eg: health workers and transport workers. Full details should be checked on this official Government page and here.

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.

Kids COVID-19 Tests

Children under the age of 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: 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. 

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.

Private Transport

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

Public Buses & Taxis

Operational.

Though there are so limits on the number of people allowed on buses and trams to help maintain distance. 

Domestic Flights

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

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 for summer 2021. 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 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

Nautical Tourism

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

Cafes & Restaurants during COVID-19

Restaurants and cafes and the like can only be open if they have outdoor seating or provide take-away.

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.

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.

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

The Turkish Government has largely reopened its international land, sea and air borders, and some scheduled international flights have resumed. All arrivals into Turkey will be subject to medical checks.

Montenegro Covid-19 Border Regulations

Montenegro has begun to ease COVID-19 restrictions, including entry requirements. Depending on which country you are a resident in, you may need to quarantine or need a negative COVID-19 test before you are allowed to enter.

You must wear a face mask or scarf in all enclosed public spaces, such as shops and banks. 

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

Serbia Covid-19 Border Regulations

Serbia’s borders are open. A state of emergency exists in many towns and cities, including Belgrade. You must wear a mask indoors and on public transport. Local authorities advise people to observe social distancing and wear masks outdoors where social distancing cannot be maintained. Some areas have additional measures.

 

Some countries do not permit entry of travelers who have been in Serbia, regardless of nationality so check this if you have additional travel plans.

 

Romania Covid-19 Border Regulations

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:

The State of Alert in Romania has been extended for 30 days until at least mid-August. Many airlines have suspended flights and some airports are still closed. Restrictive measures are being eased gradually. Forms are no longer required to leave your house or home town. Public parks are open but not the children’s playgrounds within the parks. Wearing face masks in indoor public spaces and on public transport is still mandatory in Romania. Social distancing of 1.5 metres is mandatory. Only Romanian and EU citizens, their family members, and those with valid residency permits can enter Romania.

Bosnia-Hercegovina Covid-19 Border Regulations

International airports are open. Check with individual airlines for the latest information on available flights. Borders with neighboring countries are open, however, entry to Bosnia and Herzegovina is limited to nationals of those countries and EU nationals. EU nationals have to present a medical certificate confirming COVID-19 negative status not older than 48 hours. 

Slovenia Covid-19 Border Regulations

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.

As of 18 June passengers from BiH, Serbia, and Kosovo can not enter Slovenia unless they adhere to a mandatory 14-day quarantine or a negative test for COVID-19.

Macedonia Covid-19 Border Regulations

The State of Emergency has been lifted. Land borders are fully open as of 26 June. There are some bans on certain countries.  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 Covid-19 Border Regulations

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 Covid-19 Border Regulations

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 

Quarantine for up to 14 days may be mandatory depending on your country of departure. If you transit through Bulgaria, you’ll be required to complete a declaration on arrival confirming you’re COVID free, you aren’t under quarantine and will follow Bulgarian health measures. You’ll also need to declare you’ll depart Bulgaria quickly. 

Albania Covid-19 Border Regulations

Albania has reopened its borders and you’re free to move around within the country.

Some neighboring countries still have travel restrictions in place.

Commercial flights to and from Albania remain suspended and sea borders closed. 

Kosovo

The Kosovo Government has brought back curfews to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you’re in Pristina, Prizren, Ferizaj or Vushtrri, you’re not permitted to be outside your place of residence between 9pm and 5am.

Pristina airport is open. Check with airlines or the airport and border authorities for current updates. Land borders are open, but make sure you can enter Kosovo or the country you’re planning to travel to before or after you enter Kosovo.

You may have to do a health check at the border. Follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

 

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.

MORE COVID-19 & THE BALKANS TRAVEL BLOGS

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