COVID-19: New Restrictions Arrived

COVID-19: New Restrictions Arrived

It was so great to write few previous updates on COVID-19 situation in Croatia, but things change fast this year. Too fast. And in direction we don't want.

Numbers in Croatia are still among the lowest in EU, but can and probably will grow. You can follow all stats at official national COVID-19 page. Obviously, re-opening brought some unwanted side effects. I don't want to put blame on ordinary people, but it's a fact that people don't wear face masks. It was never mandatory, just a recommendation, and it was obviously understood that way.

Rise of new cases is not specific for Croatia, in spite of some high-profile events like Adrian Tour tennis tournament. Numbers are even higher in neighbouring and region countries - Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, but also in other EU countries, for example Germany, or United Kingdom, still counted as EU. That's why national Civil Protection Headquarter came up with new regulations on borders crossing, and rules of behaviour in public transport.

First, all passengers coming from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia will have to undergo self-isolation for 14 days. Exceptions are those transferring to other countries, or those who were only transferring through those four countries. It will apply to all passengers coming from there, regardless of their citizenship. It means that Croatian citizens living in Bosnia or Serbia will have to obey these regulations. If situation gets worse in other countries, the list might grow. For now, most of new cases have a source in one of countries listed in new decision, but it might change with increase of testing.

Another important decision is about mask wearing in public transport - all drivers and passengers in buses, trams and trains must use masks (including those made of cotton). This decision was extended to ships and ferries travelling to Croatian islands, too, where crew and passengers have to use masks.

In the meantime, new announcements of air traffic re-openings arrived, but with new developments it's risky to predict anything. Arrivals are far from previous years' results, but growing, especially from ten countries whose citizens can come to Croatia without limitations. It's different with travels from non-EU countries, especially those on other continents. The New York Times recently published a story that EU might ban citizens of USA, Brazil and Russia from entering the Union, because of the way those countries were and still are dealing with this pandemic. According to the story, ban should come in effect on July 1.

It would be better if we don't have to, but it makes sense to finish this blog with "to be continued". Hopefully with better news.