Croatian borders are open for EU & UK tourists
We get a lot of messages from fans, hoping they will not have to cancel their summer holidays in Croatia. Although tourism, as all other aspects of our lives, is not going to be as we used to know it, Croatia has been very good at keeping the coronavirus crisis under control. To date (May 13), we have had a total of 2213 cases (from which over 1808 are already cured) and 94 unfortunate deaths.
We are trying to put together the information we have, in the hope that it might be useful to you. Of, course, please only plan your travel after double checking everything, since the volatility of this crisis can mean the situation can change all the time.
UPDATE ON 26.05: You can now download and fill out a form (with your personal details and the address and contact info of the accommodation you booked in Croatia) to show at the border, to speed up your crossing. Read more and get the form from this Total Croatia News article.
As for us, we cannot wait to welcome you in Split! Weather is already warming up nicely, the Adriatic Sea is getting close to summer temperatures and our flagship store in Zadarska 1 Split is open, with cool 20% discounted prices and free engraving!
OK, so here is what we know:
What do the Croatian authorities say?
Croatian authorities basically announced the opening of borders last weekend, mainly for EU citizens coming to Croatia, either if they own a property of a boat, or for business purposes or stringent personal reasons. However, both the Croatian Tourism minister and the head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters and Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic explicitly said that any and all EU citizens with valid accommodation bookings are welcomed in. And no, no tests required - at least for now.
"It is a very clear thing - you can come to a hotel, camp, private accommodation, you can eat in restaurants and inside and outside. You can rent a boat and go sailing, marinas are open. Croatia from today breathes tourism", said Croatian tourism minister as a guest on HRT's show Together for Health, on May 11th, 2020.
So people in Croatia can now go to hotels, camps, rent rooms, boats, go sailing....was asked the interior minister on RTL Direkt on May 12:
"Yes, Croats can, but also foreigners, EU citizens, if they have reservations in hotels and with the application of all measures. This is a situation of normalization; this is not the old normal, this is the new normal. We will have to get used to a new way of life. They must have no symptoms; it is important that they have an invitation if it is a meeting or a reservation if they are coming on vacation," Bozinovic said. Read more about it on the Total Croatia News portal, here and here.
On the other hand, he director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), Krunoslav Capak said - according to Index.hr - that the borders are not open for tourists yet.
"It is decided by the border police, it has nothing to do with us. But as far as I know, there should be greater economic interest in Croatia so that a tourist can enter the country, and not for him to rent private accommodation and come, so as far as I know about We are only now talking to Slovenes about how this could be organized." Capak said.
Since it is an election year in Croatia and there is still no clear info if this is actually accurate that anyone from EU with a booking will be allowed in, we are taking all these statements with a grain of salt and would recommend - in case you are anxious to come over (which we get, dream beaches and sunshine) - to send an email to the Border Administration, since they have created an e-mail address where foreigners can ask if they meet the conditions for entry into Croatia: firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far, since the borders were opened less than four days ago, 700 to 800 foreigners entered Croatia already, according to Croatian authorities.
What is the EU saying?
The European Commission today (May 13, 2020) recommended the gradual and coordinated lifting of travel restrictions between Member States or regions within them that have a similar epidemiological situation in order to save as much as possible from this year's tourist season.
"Freedom of movement and cross-border travel are key to tourism. As Member States manage to restrict the circulation of viruses, general restrictions on freedom of movement must be replaced by targeted measures. If the health situation does not justify a general lifting of restrictions, the Commission proposes a between regions or Member States that have sufficiently similar epidemiological situations".
The Commission has published guidelines and recommendations, which are not binding on Member States, but which can help to coordinate the lifting of travel restrictions and the gradual activation of tourism after several months of complete standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the new EU recommendations,Croatian interior minister Bozinovic had this to say, during Wednesday's (13.05) regular 2 pm coronavirus status update:
"Everyone's goal is to continue tourism, but not to minimize measures. As far as Croatia is concerned, we are also in contact with European institutions, but also with neighboring countries from which tourists come. At this moment, Croatia can be entered under the conditions we have set out. When someone has a reservation for a hotel or accommodation, we will let them go. There are a number of other reasons and conditions under which entry into Croatia can be allowed, and the European document is actually the basis for starting this sector of the economy this year".
What is your own country saying?
Well, that might be the tricky part. Make sure to contact the authorities in your country for information regarding not only the up-to-date policy in letting people out, but also - more importantly - in letting people in. Some countries still have a mandatory 7 to 14 days of self-isolation for anyone entering, and that can include own citizens returning home.
Once you made sure you have all the relevant information, Split will here to welcome you with instagrammable views on each turn!
For more up-to-date info, follow these links:
The official Croatian government website dedicated to Covid-19 (it also has a section in English): www.koronavirus.hr
Total Croatia News (best English news portal in Croatia): https://www.total-croatia-news.com/tag/coronavirus
Chasing the Donkey (best travel blog in Croatia): https://www.chasingthedonkey.com/