Are daydreams of lazing on sun-kissed Mediterranean beaches, sipping sweet wine next to the vineyards it grew from and savouring fresh-off-the-boat seafood on your mind? Croatia (along with Greece, Italy and Spain) is, under special circumstances, delivering such experiences to travellers as soon as this summer.
On May 9, Croatia reopened its borders to travellers, but only if they're able to provide necessary documentation. What's required is: proof of accommodation reservations, the address(es) visitors plan to stay at, contact numbers and precise lengths of stay. The need for documentation doesn't apply to relatives and partners of Croatian citizens. The documentation process is mandatory through June 15 - though this date and all travel restrictions are subject to change according to future decisions by the Croatian government.
Upon arrival to Croatia and approval of entry, most visitors are currently not subject to the mandatory two-week self-isolation period that was previously required. However, the period is still imposed on individuals who have been in contact with anyone infected with COVID-19. Otherwise, visitors are given a pamphlet containing the Croatian Institute of Public Health's official instructions which must be followed for the first two weeks of their stay. Inter-county travel via roadway, sea and air is allowed throughout Croatia at this time.
International flights are being reinstated at the discretion of individual airlines and countries. For international air travel information, we advise checking directly with airlines as well as your local government. Keep in mind that many countries are still not allowing cross-border travel or are strongly advising their citizens against it.
We caution responsible travel due to the still-ongoing pandemic. Also, who would want their seaside summer sojourn interrupted by a bout of sickness? If you're feeling unwell upon or after arrival to Croatia, or have been in contact with anyone affected by COVID-19, make sure to call an epidemiologist or health institution.
Overall, vacationing will undoubtedly look different this year. The number of people allowed to gather in one place is not 40 (the former COVID-19 limit in Croatia) anymore; but will be determined case by case for larger events by the Croatian government. Just about all large-scale festivals (think INMusic, Ultra Europe, Outlook...) in Croatia have already been cancelled.
Nightlife, accommodation, food and entertainment establishments also won't be as jam-packed as in previous years because distancing measures are still in place. For example, restaurants are required to set tables 1,5 metres apart indoors and one metre apart outdoors. Due to the pandemic, some such establishments still aren't open at all. Beaches have also begun to impose mandatory 1.5-metre distances between sunbathers.
If you look at the (Plavac mali wine) glass as half-full, however, those able to safely visit Croatia will have all the more opportunities to enjoy this captivating country in peace and without the usual tourist crowds.
Sretan put - and stay safe.