The Austrian travel warning for Croatia in connection with an order to leave the country of Croatia immediately probably came as such a surprise even for some government offices that the press spokesmen at official inquiries on Friday at 11:00 a.m. did not yet know what the Austrian government would communicate shortly afterwards. But before holidaymakers in Croatia start to panic, we should first take a look at the regulation that applies to German holidaymakers in Croatia. The SeaHelp editorship abstains against this background any evaluation, which should meet the holiday-makers for itself.
Valid for Germans: Cabinet decision of 3 June 2020
For German holidaymakers, the Federal Cabinet passed a resolution on 3 June 2020 that conclusively regulates the issue of travel warnings to date. In order to obtain additional confirmation of the correctness of the interpretation, the SeaHelp editorial team asked the press office of the German Foreign Office in Germany on August 14, 2020 and received the following answer to the question of whether a travel warning for Croatia could be expected from the German side as well The answer is:
Clear guidelines for travel warnings
“We are also monitoring developments in Croatia very closely. As for all countries within Europe, based on the decision of the Federal Cabinet of 03.06.2020, protective measures will be taken for Croatia if the respective country or individual regions cumulatively exceed the number of newly infected cases in relation to the population of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 7 days. The type and scope of these protective measures depend on the development of the pandemic; loosening and tightening up are also possible at short notice. Decisions are based on actual trends, not snapshots.
Travel warning no travel ban
Travel warnings are by their nature an urgent appeal by the Federal Foreign Office, not a travel ban. In any case, travellers decide on their own responsibility whether to travel. However, the existence of a travel warning can have further legal consequences, for example for the validity of travel health insurance. For this purpose, travellers should contact their insurance provider”.
German travel warning for 2100 new infections in 7 days
We have converted the facts once for Croatia: With an assumed population of 4.2 million inhabitants and 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, 2,100 inhabitants would have become newly infected in Croatia in the last 7 days. Here is the calculation method: 4,200,000 divided by 100,000 gives 42. From this follows 42 x 50 cases equals 2100 cases within 7 days. Croatia had exactly 792 new infections within the last seven days until the travel warning from Austria. Since the devil is sometimes in the details, especially when formulating regulations, the editors had this calculation explicitly confirmed by the German Foreign Office on 15 August.
Last 7 days Croatia before travel warning Austria: Only 792 new infections
In plain language this means: Germany issues a travel warning for Croatia if 2100 new infections occur within seven days and makes this binding, so that every holidaymaker who informs himself about the development of the new infections can see whether a travel warning is issued. Austria decides simply times with 792 new infections in Croatia to issue a travel warning and asks even still its citizens on Fridays to return immediately home, because otherwise starting from Monday a COVID 19 test, probably liable to pay costs except in Tyrol, threatens, connected with quarantine. By the way: German returnees from Croatia can be tested free of charge without quarantine measures. So much for “coordinated action within the EU” and the comparison of country-specific measures.
Travel warning – criteria of the Robert Koch Institute
For the sake of order, we would like to refer you to the detailed description of the handling of the topic “travel warning” on the homepage of the German Robert Koch Institute:
“Classification as a risk area is made after joint analysis and decision by the Federal Ministry of Health, the Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Homeland. Classification as a risk area is based on a two-stage evaluation. First, it is determined in which states/regions there have been more than 50 newly infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days.
In a second step, qualitative criteria are used to determine whether states/regions that nominally fall below the above-mentioned limit value are nevertheless at risk of an increased risk of infection. For evaluation step 2, the Federal Foreign Office in particular provides qualitative reports on the situation on site based on the reports of the German missions abroad and, if applicable, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and Homeland Affairs, which also illuminate the measures taken to contain the corona pandemic. Decisive for the evaluation are in particular the infection figures and the type of outbreak (local or nationwide), test capacities and tests carried out per inhabitant as well as measures taken in the states to contain the infection (hygiene regulations, contact tracing, etc.). Consideration is also given if no reliable information is available for certain states”.
Leave the assessment of the situation to individual holidaymakers
Against this fact-based background, confirmed by the official authorities in Germany, each individual may judge the Austrian measure of the travel warning for himself. German holidaymakers in Croatia can breathe a sigh of relief: for them there is currently no travel warning regarding a holiday in Croatia. And with the openly communicated figures, they can follow developments accordingly.