COVID-19: New Normal is Here!

COVID-19: New Normal is Here!

Ilustration Dalmatinski portal 

A time has come for "New Normal"! On this day, May 11, 2020 Croatia started what is officially called the third phase of opening after lock down caused by Corona virus. It's logical result of situation in Croatia, which is mostly under control, with numbers much lower than in most European countries. In the last few days, Split and its county had an outbreak of several dozens new cases, but with swift reaction this was contained, and now we enter more peaceful times. Split itself didn't have a single new case on a day when I'm writing this. Nation's efforts were widely and internationally recognized, this weekend The New York Times  praised ways how Croatia was dealing with pandemic. It's another proof why Croatia might become one of the most wanted possible destinations for those who will look for safety this year.

Of course, it's miles away from what we before considered normal, and caution is still needed, because virus can break out again on a slightest sign of over-relaxing. Still, we can greet this move, and hope that it will not go back, only toward further opening, and to revive travels. Let's see what's new, full info is available at official web site.

Third phase of re-opening includes return of domestic flights maintained by Croatia Airlines. National airline will have two flights a day from Zagreb to Split, and hopefully international flights will follow, with other companies. Split international airport is the busiest in Croatia, especially during season, and we can hope it will re-gain that reputation, with all precautions taken on the airport, and on flights. Of course, that will require borders opening, not only in Croatia but elsewhere in Europe. Croatia softened its border regime, so now it's possible to travel for business purposes from and to Croatia to and from EU countries, but anyone travelling must follow rules made by epidemiology services. Two-week isolation is not required anymore, but all passengers will get detailed instructions what to do. Warning; it's still not tourism, because anyone who wants to travel will need to submit proof why they need to travel. However, it's a kind of test for further steps, and citizens of non-EU countries should be allowed to enter from June 15.

With lifting e-passes between counties, traveling in Croatia is now possible, too. Not only you can drive, but also train and bus traffic is open again, but with restrictions required by epidemiologists. Further, all national parks are now open for visits, many of them lowered their ticket prices, so why not enjoying some of many natural wonders Croatia has? Not to mention that beach season is approaching. However, never forget physical distancing, wear face masks and gloves wherever needed.

Many services also re-opened, the biggest move came in hospitality industry, all cafés, bars and restaurants are now officially open for visit, but all of them will have to follow rules made by health authorities. Owners know what to do, your job is to follow their suggestions, and try to enjoy as much as possible. Split is not exception, coffee drinking as favourite local pastime is back. Next step are small events, there are no restrictions for gatherings of less than 40 people.

Now it's turn to hotels, and accommodation, still waiting for full re-opening and arrival of domestic and international tourists. It won't be tourism as we know it, but every single traveller will be a small sign that things are getting better and better.

There is one thing nobody who survived COVID crisis should forget. Act responsibly, that's the best way to prevent pandemic to come back, maybe even worse. And visit Split, of course.