In Croatia, a significant increase in COVID-19 cases caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been observed in recent days. The Slovenian government has therefore already threatened to close the borders again if the number of new infections in Croatia increases further.
Istrias: Masks are mandatory in shops
In Istria, where most foreign tourists are currently staying, the reaction was immediate: On 24 June, the health authority responsible for the region still ordered precautionary measures to protect the citizens, but also the safety of the tourists present. Thus, the wearing of protective masks will be obligatory in all shops in Istria, and extensive hygiene measures, including hand disinfection, will apply before entering a shop.
restrictions in front of supermarkets
In addition, the number of visitors is limited: only 15 customers are allowed to enter the supermarket per 100 square metres of sales area. At weekly markets that take place in the open air, 20 visitors per 100 square metres of sales area are allowed. Here too, the wearing of trademarks is now mandatory. Market stands are also set up with considerably more distance between them. Masks must also be worn in public transport. From now on, drivers will only be allowed to take up the ride if all passengers also wear masks in accordance with the new regulation for the Istrian region.
Prevent new infections with COVID-19
From now on, the regulations will be strictly controlled by the authorities and any violations will be punished immediately. Obviously, the aim is to prevent new outbreaks of the COVID 19 pandemic, after the “Adria Tour”, a tennis tournament in Zadar with well-known players, caused some new infections that did not even stop at players and supporters. There was also strong criticism of a party of the players, which, according to media reports, was probably quite out of control in terms of hygiene and distance rules.
COVID-19 infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 in Croatia
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quarantine obligation for foreign seasonal workers
The authorities see the reason for the renewed increase in COVID-19 infections In Istria, the reaction was not limited to the tennis tournament. Rather, many seasonal workers are currently flocking to Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia and Northern Macedonia, in order to serve the Croatian companies, especially in the service sector, as they do every year with the start of the tourist season. However, as the epidemiological situation in these countries is significantly worse than in Croatia, the state has decided with immediate effect to place travellers from these countries under 14-day quarantine.
Croatia: tourists and locals too carefree
In Istria itself, however, representatives of the tourism industry are rocking the boat. Obviously, the measures were taken because the situation threatened to get out of hand with the arrival of the numerous tourists: “Tourists and locals no longer observed the rules of distance, there was a crowd at the supermarket checkouts as if Corona had never existed”, it is said. At least most of them welcome the precautionary measure, which should guarantee a safe stay in Istria also in the future under the given circumstances.
Pull out the number before entering the supermarket
How exactly this is to be done is reported from Medulin: In front of the supermarket you get a number and are called if you enter the market wearing a mask only. Then the hand disinfection takes place under supervision. Inside, the employees attach importance to the observance of the distance rules. Special precautions are also taken on the beach: The deckchairs are further apart and are disinfected before use, excessive crowding is to be avoided. The restaurants also follow suit: Waiters wear face masks, the tables are further apart.
Lax holiday mood – risk of infection underestimated
Obviously, the danger has been recognized. In a relaxed holiday mood, precautions are disregarded; when beer and wine flow in streams, holidaymakers are only too happy to suppress the fear of coronavirus infections. But this is exactly what Croatia, which is economically dependent on tourism, cannot afford. A new seasonal lockdown or subsequent quarantine after an Adriatic holiday in Austria or Germany would have unforeseeable financial consequences for the still young EU member.
Water sports enthusiasts can feel safe
However, the new measures only affect water sports enthusiasts to a very limited extent. At sea or in the marinas, as well as when eating in open-air restaurants, the virus has little chance of spreading. New corona hotspots, especially in German slaughterhouses, are proof of this: In poorly ventilated rooms and at additionally low temperatures the dangerous viruses can spread excellently, but only very limited (if at all) on ships. And UV rays, which the sun produces in abundance in the Adriatic, should kill these viruses quickly anyway.
More articles on the topic can be found here.
Thursday, 25 June 2020, 8.00 pm
According to the Croatian Civil Defence, a total of 95 new infections were registered in the last 24 hours. However, these are said to be localised outbreaks in a monastery in Djakovo in eastern Croatia. According to initial reports, nuns from Kosovo had been infected with the virus there. The second major source of infection is in a psychiatric clinic in Zagreb. Tourist destinations in the coastal region are not affected.