Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Croatia maintaining international travel restrictions as of Sept. 11. Many domestic restrictions eased, regional measures regularly updated.

Alert Begins 11 Sep 2020 11:33 AM UTC
Alert Expires 25 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions likely

Summary
Croatian authorities are maintaining international travel restrictions as of Sept. 11 in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, and the UK, as well as permanent EU/EEA residents, are permitted to enter Croatia without restrictions. Other foreign nationals can enter Croatia for commercial, touristic, or pressing personal reasons without quarantine if they provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival; arrivals without such evidence will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, which can be reduced to seven days on receipt of a negative COVID-19 test result.

Nonessential businesses are operating, provided they adhere to social-distancing requirements, and public transport has resumed. Authorities are mandating 1.5-meter (5-foot) social distancing between people from different households. Facemasks are mandatory on public transport and many enclosed public spaces; the government strongly advises their use in other public places. Public gatherings are limited to 300 people in closed spaces and 500 people in open spaces. Authorities regularly update directives and recommendations for specific counties and cities in response to increases in local infection rates. These measures vary by location and typically tighten restrictions on public gatherings and business operations for at least two weeks.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures undertaken by the Croatian government is similar to actions taken by other European governments due to changing COVID-19 infection rates. As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could begin to reintroduce sporadic, targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Such measures could apply to districts, neighborhoods, or even specific facilities, including schools, factories, or accommodation and office blocks. Mandatory social distancing procedures in public places and on public transport, as well as widespread voluntary "self-policing" by residents, will assist in reducing the potential for contagion, likely reducing the necessity for a large-scale, blanket reintroduction of widespread restrictions.

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.

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.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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