Travel and movement restrictions in Croatia are changing by the day - even by the hour - as the country fights to reign in COVID-19. 442 cases of COVID-19 are currently confirmed in Croatia. Read on to find the latest travel (within, into and out of Croatia) information as of March 23, 2020.
TRAVEL AND MOVEMENT WITHIN CROATIA
New rules have been implemented by the Croatian government regarding civilian, vehicular and sea transport throughout the country. Following rules is still mandatory, even in the wake of the 5.5 Richter scale earthquake that hit Zagreb and its surroundings yesterday, the aftershocks of which are still felt.
The current civilian movement rules across Croatia:
Gatherings of five or more people are banned
A two-metre distance must be kept between individuals outside of the home (both indoors and outdoors)
Loitering is prohibited in public areas including
The following establishments are open, but only from 8am to 5pm as of March 23* Grocery and hygienic product stores
* Specialized stores for medicine (pharmacies) -24-hour pharmacies are exempt from the above time limits* Specialized stores for veterinary-medical products
* Agriculture-based pharmacies
* Gas stations - working hours may vary
* Kiosks* Banks - may vary from bank to bank, check with each individually
* Dry cleaners
* Specialized stores with orthopedic and other assistance-based products
* Specialized stores with equipment for children
* Specialized stores with food for animals
* Issuance of construction materials per retail order - times may vary
* Logistic and distribution centres for food, beverages and hygiene products
All other non-medical/non-public service establishments are closed including* All cultural establishments (museums, theaters, cinemas, libraries, reading rooms), exhibitions, shows and fairs
* All customer service establishments (including cafés and restaurants), with the exception of food preparation and delivery services, accommodation services, and soup and student kitchens
* All service establishments which entail close contact with customers (for example, hairdressers, beauty salons, barber shops, nail salons, massage parlors, saunas, swimming pools)
* All sports competitions, organized trainings, gyms, sports centers, fitness and recreation centers
* Childrens’ playgrounds, workshops and organized dance schools
* Driving schools and language schools
* Religious gatherings* All marketplaces and all establishments included (fish markets, meat markets, vegetable stands, fruit stands, oil stands, honey stands, souvenir stands) - as of March 23
Leaving the house should be kept to a minimum and only done when necessary, in accordance with new rules.
The current public transport rules across Croatia:
All public transport is being stopped and all bus and train stations are closed as of March 22 for 30 days. This includes the following
Public transport vehicles will still be in use but restricted to those with a special permit (which will be issued as deemed necessary, such as for medical and public service workers)
The current civilian roadway rules across Croatia:
- Intercity civilian travel by car has been banned as of March 23
Leaving one's city of residence is prohibited as of March 23, with the exception of individuals with permits including
Follow the website of the Croatian Automobile Club, aka HAK (Croatia's equivalent to the USA's AAA or UK's AA) for full traffic information in English here.
The current sea travel rules across Croatia:
Catamarans are not running. Certain ferry lines continue to operate under specific circumstances.
Jadrolinija, Croatia's most popular ferry company, put up a warning sign on March 23 on their website: 'According to the Decision of the National Civil Protection Headquarters on measures for limiting public transport in liner coastal transportation, we inform our passengers that regardless of their purchased tickets, only passengers with islander cards, permanent island residence certificates, public service employees and freight vehicles registered in Croatia can board the ferries or ships from mainland or from island to island. Those travelling from inlands to the mainland have no limitations, but return tickets can be bought only by the aforementioned categories. Passengers who do not meet these conditions and who have purchased tickets will be refunded according to Jadrolinija's General Terms and Conditions.'
Only the following eight ferry lines are still running
Ferry passengers should purchase tickets online or via mobile application, not in person.
For air travel information, check directly with airlines.
Croatia has nine civilian airports (see list below). Some airports offer information on their pages, but for specific air travel information (flight times, availability, cancellations, delays, refunds), check directly with airlines.
Dubrovnik Airport - closed as of March 19 due to a worker testing positive for COVID-19
Who can issue a special permit for people who are exceptions to certain travel regulations?
- Civil Protection staff members can issue permits for vital family reasons, such as providing care for children or the elderly, purchasing food and basic supplies, and buying food for and feeding animals
- Legal entities should make an assessment of necessary staff, and issue permits only to persons who are absolutely necessary for the functioning of the community
- Selected general practitioner medical doctors can arrange for the issuance of permits on the basis of medical records
Permits are provided as restrictively as possible, and only in truly urgent cases.
Issuance of permits should be organized electronically or by other appropriate means without social contact whenever possible.
Anyone who breaks restrictions is subject to fines and other potential punishment. Fines can reach up to 120,000 HRK for repeat offenders. Police forces across the country will be monitoring streets and public areas to make sure rules are being followed. Maja Grba Bujević, head of the Crisis Headquarters of the Ministry of Health, warned March 21 that stricter measures are ahead if citizens disobey rules, a warning that Davor Božinović, deputy prime minister, restated during a press conference March 23.
International bus and train lines have been stopped. International air travel is ongoing but varies from case to case, so check flight information directly with airlines.
Travel to and from other EU countries from Croatia:
On Tuesday, March 17, the European Union closed its borders to all non-European Union citizens for a 30-day period. Travel within the EU is permitted or restricted on a country-by-country basis.
Croatia is allowing EU citizens to return to their countries of citizenship. Croatian citizens are allowed entry back into Croatia. EU citizens will be allowed entry to Croatia only in special circumstances (for example, health workers, researchers, diplomats, police officers, civilian safety teams, military personnel), as determined by the Croatian Institute of Public Health. Additional information regarding Croatia and its bordering countries can be found on the Croatian Automobile's Club's website here.
Everyone (citizens and non-citizens) entering Croatia is subject to specific measures (which include isolation in a government facility or self-isolation), as required by the Croatian Institute of Public Health.
Non-EU travel to and from Croatia:
As of March 12, 2020, travellers to Croatia from specially-defined COVID-19-affected areas are required to spend 14 days in government quarantine facilities. The defined areas are
The Croatian Ministry of Health has also implemented monitoring and self-isolation measures for travellers from any COVID-19-affected countries including
* China (except region listed above)
* Costa Rica
* Czech Republic
* Hong Kong
* New Zealand
* North Macedonia
* San Marino
* South Korea (except region listed above)
* United Arab Emirates
* United Kingdom
* United States of America
Travellers from these countries (even if they show no COVID-19 symptoms) must self-isolate for 14 days and contact the nearest epidemiologist for further instructions (which may include hospitalization if they show symptoms).
A list of epidemiologist health institution contacts by Croatian county can be found here.
For non-EU citizens in Croatia, and for details about travelling in and out of the EU, consult your local embassies and specific government websites for travel and contact information.
The recommendation of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is to delay any and all travels if possible.
Time Out (In) Croatia wishes everyone health, hope and healing. We will get through this!