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Germany: All of Croatia is considered from 3 April 2021 as a risk area Istria vacationers must return to quarantine.

Germany classifies the whole of Croatia as a risk area, including Istria: Quarantine on entry and return respectively
From April 3, 2021, the whole of Croatia is considered a risk area. Istria, which held an exceptional position due to low incidence figures, is now also considered a coronavirus risk area despite a 7-day incidence of 53.6.


Warning, it’s not an April Fool’s joke, even if you might perceive it that way at first glance: Germany classifies today, on Maundy Thursday, April 1, 2021 the whole of Croatia as a coronavirus risk area, without taking into account that many Germans have planned or already started a vacation in Istria/Croatia because of the low 7-day incidence. Thereby, Istria with a 7-day incidence on today’s date of 53.6 permanently lies between 30 and 60 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last weeks, while the German 7-day incidence is 134.

The measures will come into force with effect from April 3.

Surprise classification of Istria (Croatia) as a risk area by Germany

For vacationers from Germany who want to enjoy the first rays of sunshine on the Adriatic over Easter, this sudden, logically hardly comprehensible decision has drastic consequences, as shown on the Internet site of the Federal Ministry of Health is written:

  • If you have been in a risk area, you must go home – or to other lodging at your destination – immediately upon arrival and seclude yourself for ten days (domestic quarantine). The federal and state governments have agreed on these regulations. Note: The quarantine regulations are implemented by legal ordinances of the federal states. Ultimately binding is the law of the state in which you enter or in which you stay.
  • During the quarantine it is not allowed to leave the house or apartment and receive visitors. Violations of the quarantine rules can be punished with fines!
  • The domestic quarantine can usually be terminated with a negative test result at the earliest after five days. Please refer to the regulations of your state for quarantine regulations.

Litigation against quarantine order could have a chance of success

A vacationer in Spain had already successfully sued the state of NRW last year, arguing that a quarantine was not justified when returning from an area with a lower incidence than in his home country. As a result, the state of NRW had to suspend the quarantine regulation. SeaHelp reported on the proceedings at the time. Here is the link to the ruling.

Spain ruling of the OVG Münster provides arguments

Since the facts of the case at hand are likely to be similar, the arguments from the NRW ruling could well remain valid. The ruling states, among other things: “The risk of infection emanating from the returnees is, however, at least with comparable incidence values, no different than if they had stayed at home.” The ruling goes on to state: The assumption that the infection risks emanating from these travelers are therefore to be evaluated higher than those emanating from travelers within the federal territory or from persons who have not traveled is not correct in this generality.

Unforeseeable quarantine obligation with drastic consequences

What does the sudden declaration of a risk area for the whole of Croatia, which also includes Istria from April 3, 2021, now mean in concrete terms for travelers returning from Easter vacations in Istria?

  1. There is the obligation of a digital entry registration which has to be shown at border controls at the German-Austrian border. At the same time, the responsible health office is obviously informed about the entry from a coronavirus risk area and can check whether the quarantine obligation is met.
  2. According to the quarantine regulation of the respective residence federal state results in the obligation to quarantine at home, after which you can freitesten after the 5th day at the earliest.

Responsibility is borne by health ministers, interior ministers and foreign ministers

From the point of view of most holidaymakers, the classification of Istria as a coronavirus risk area is incomprehensible and was not foreseeable in this way, certainly not in the short time. Many Istrian vacationers were surprised by the decision on their way to Croatia or in Croatia and must now prepare for a quarantine after returning home, which is also likely to cause problems with employers. Who is responsible for this should not remain unmentioned. As it says on the website of the RKI: “The classification as a risk area is made after joint analysis and decision by the Federal Ministry of Health (Health Minister Jens Spahn), the Foreign Office (Foreign Minister Heiko Maas) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home (Interior Minister Horst Seehofer).”

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