Croatia Stays on UK Green List, 14-Day Cases Fall, Transit Airport Update (August 1)
A round-up of the latest developments regarding travel to Croatia, as things are constantly changing (if you want to get the latest answers to your questions about the current travel situation, check out our new chatbot on the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community (you will need to download the app).
Big news for Croatian tourism, especially those destinations further south which are much more dependent on flights – Croatia has remained on the UK green list after much speculation that it would join Spain in a UK requirement to self-isolate for 14 days on return to the UK.
The importance of this green light to destinations such as Dubrovnik cannot be understated. Mayor Frankovic told me in a meeting last week that the city is 80% dependent on tourism, with the UK and USA their prime sources of income. Tourism traffic was just 12% of last year for the first 6 months of 2020.
According to the official Koronavirus map of active cases, above, Dubrovnik region (which is totally cut off from the rest of the country by the Neum Corridor in Bosnia and Hercegovina) has just 8 active cases at the moment. Since the first case was recorded in the city in late March, there have been a total of 184 cases and 8 deaths in Dubrovnik County.
This balance of tourism and fighting corona is an impossible balance to get right, and Mayor Frankovic explains to ABC News above the rationale and the precautions being taken.
In more good news, the 14-day number of cases per 100,000 came down from 29 to 25 in Croatia, according to the ECDC website. Tourists from Luxembourg, which currently has 10 times more cases per capita a day than Croatia, can currently enter Croatia without any checks or requirements other than a valid passport, while Americans can only enter with a negative PCR test no more than 48 hours old on arrival, or face 14-days self-isolation. The same is true of all EU countries, including Romania, which currently has three times the per capita daily cases than Croatia.
Croatia currently has 6 people on ventilators. Only four countries have a higher death rate than 1 per 100,000 in the last 14 days – Romania, Sweden, UK and Bulgaria. Croatia’s number is 0.6.
Croatia is currently welcoming all tourists from EU/EEA/UK without restriction, although four countries have placed self-isolation requirements on people returning to their country from Croatia – Slovenia, Belgium, Holland and Lithuania.
The Croatia Covid-19 website gives a daily update on the hotspots by region. It should be noted that most of the recent cases have occurred far away from the coast – in Zagreb and eastern Croatia, while a large number traced back to weddings and nightclubs. There have been very few cases so far of tourists bringing the infection with them.
That could all change very quickly, of course, but my general impression talking to tourists is that they are quite shocked at how lax things are here in Croatia, and how the rules are not strictly enforced on ferries for example.
The health v tourism debate is one which enflames passions both sides, and both sides have valid arguments. The best way to stamp out the virus would be to have a prolonged Wuhan-style lockdown. Our Western love of democracy and rights make that a non-starter for almost all.
PCR Tests in Transit Airports
There has been a LOT of confusion about this. The current state of affairs is as follows:
International passengers not from countries on the EU Safe List CAN transit through Schengen airports (Frankfurt, Amsterdam etc), but only ONE Schengen transit is allowed per journey. You may NOT enter the terminal for a hotel, as that would be entering the Schengen area.
Currently the ONLY international airport where you can do a PCR test in transit (and get the email results in 2 hours) is Istanbul. Several of our Viber community have praised the quick, 24-hour, and very affordable service (US$16).
There are two updates on airport transit. France now requires all transit passengers to have a COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours before transit arrival, thereby making Paris CDG less attractive for transit passengers. We are also getting reports of Air Serbia requiring proof of tests before boarding flights from Belgrade to Split.
For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily.
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