Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Croatian authorities announced on April 23 a gradual three-phase easing of COVID-19-related restrictions; phase one to start on April 27.

This alert affects Croatia

This alert began 23 Apr 2020 22:14 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 4
  • Impact: Severe business and transport disruptions; increased security

Summary
Croatian authorities announced on April 23 a gradual three-phase easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. Authorities indicated that phase one will start on April 27 and will include the opening of all stores that do not operate in shopping centers, the opening of all libraries, museums, and galleries, as well as the reopening of public city and suburban transport; this also includes fast-speed boat lines for islands that are not connected by ferry. In addition to the new measures, athletes in individual and group sports will be allowed to continue training.

A second phase encompassing the full operation of the health care system as well as the reopening of hairdressers and barbers is expected to begin around May 4 and is contingent on the successful implementation of measures included in the first phase.

The following measures will remain in place in Croatia after April 27

  • Ban on public gatherings of more than five people
  • Entry into Croatia limited to returning citizens and permanent residents, travelers in transit to their home countries, diplomats, law enforcement officers, and medical workers;
  • 14-day quarantine for persons arriving in Croatia from most countries;
  • Strict social distancing mandate with fines and/or jail terms for violations.


Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman Airport (ZAG) is the only airport that remains open in the country, albeit operating with a severely reduced schedule of flights.

The government has recently passed legislation to allow foreign nationals to continue using their existing Croatian permanent resident permits to live and work in Croatia with no interruptions, even if the permits have expired. Further changes to COVID-19-related measures are possible in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures the government has taken are similar to actions taken by other European governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official directives. Abide by national health and safety measures. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Prepare for freight delivery disruptions. Consider delaying or detouring goods.

Resources
Government of Croatia - vlada.gov.hr

Croatian Government Coronavirus Information Portal - koronavirus.hr

World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int