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Press conference of the Croatian Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović: Croatia wants to open borders for business travellers for urgent personal and economic reasons after the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 as of 11 May

COVID-19 Pandemie: Kroatien plant Grenzöffnung
In den kroatischen Marinas schaltet man nach der durch SARS-CoV-2 verursachten COVID-19 Pandemie langsam wieder auf „Normalbetrieb“ um.
After the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2: The borders with Croatia are opening, slowly but surely, as Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović announced at the press conference on Saturday at the regular press conference of the national civil protection. Croats are allowed to travel abroad again, if possible, and to enter without restrictions. Foreign citizens may enter for urgent personal, business and other economic reasons. As things stand at present, they do not have to go into quarantine afterwards, nor do they need a corona test because of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. Further details are expected at a further press conference on Sunday.

For foreigners for urgent business reasons

“Croatian citizens may enter and leave Croatia. If there are business reasons and other economic interests, foreign citizens as well as foreign citizens travelling for urgent personal reasons may enter Croatia”, said the Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister according to the Internet portal RTL Croatia. It was striking, however, that the examples otherwise cited by Interior Minister Davor Božinović were missing from his speech, as observers have reported. Experience has shown that more detailed explanations will therefore follow on Sunday.

Question of yacht and real estate ownership not yet clarified

Of particular interest to yacht owners is whether the concern for their own ship is an urgent personal reason in the sense of the pandemic restrictions or whether business or economic interests can be linked to the ownership of a yacht. This question still needs to be clarified, as does the implementation of the new measures at border crossings.

Support for yacht service companies after the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2

But what does the situation really look like? Many yacht owners have made use of the services of local repair shops in the past few weeks. Payment is often only made after personal acceptance of the work on site in order to make possible complaints in due time. However, since nobody can travel to Croatia at the moment, often no acceptance and thus no payment is made. This means that many Croatian repair companies are currently sitting on a multitude of claims which they cannot collect in times of pandemic. A regulation, as now announced by the government, would be of great help to companies and also to employees.

Clarification of the details to follow

In a similar situation there are many foreigners who own and rent real estate in Croatia. To prepare for the season, which is likely to start in the foreseeable future, they need to be on site to carry out urgently needed work.

How the respective groups of people will ultimately have to enter the country has not yet been explained in detail. However, according to the Minister of the Interior, clear instructions are to be given at the border crossings.

Yacht owners should wait for further information

Nevertheless, the SeaHelp editorial team would like to emphasize at this point that the final word on immigration has not yet been spoken. All those who are already literally sitting on packed suitcases, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to enter the country are advised to be patient. Only after further explanations and a corresponding confirmation from a Croatian mission abroad or the Croatian government should further travel plans be made. We will report on this at this point.

What is certain, however, is that most café bars and restaurants will reopen on Monday, 11 May. Waiters will have to wear face masks and gloves, and the distance between tables should be increased considerably. As part of the relaxation measures, it is now also possible again to take food in closed rooms, as long as sufficient natural ventilation is available. The operation of air conditioning systems in restaurants should be completely avoided. Already on Friday, the first restaurants that intend to open were inspected accordingly by the authorities.

Talks with Germany and Austria about opening borders are underway…

When Croatia will reopen for general tourism, Davor Božinović did not want to talk about yet. He only let himself be drawn out so much: “…special bilateral talks with individual countries are possible. When we talk about tourism, especially with those that are important and have a favourable epidemiological situation (such as Austria or Germany, editor’s note), this facilitates agreements and enables us to start an important economic activity for the Republic of Croatia”.

German travel warning probably not the last word

The travel warning extended by Germany until mid-June is probably deliberately not mentioned in order not to unnecessarily disturb the negotiations with the individual countries. At present, both Germany and Austria are not ruling out early opening of borders, as can be seen from the statements made by the respective government representatives. And the current gradual easing of travel restrictions to Croatia is, after all, obvious, even if it is only a small step. However, this is probably also primarily due to the cautious and responsible handling of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2.


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