Authorities in Croatia have tightened entry requirements for travelers arriving from the UK and South Africa effective Jan. 13 due to new variants of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) active in those countries. Permitted travelers from these countries must undergo a mandatory 14 day self-isolation period on arrival in addition to possessing proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival. The isolation period can be reduced to seven days if a subsequent PCR test confirms a negative result.
Only travelers arriving from designated "green areas" in the EU and Schengen area may enter Croatia without restrictions; as of Jan. 7, only Greenland, Agder in Norway, and the Ionian Islands, Crete, and the Epirus and South Aegean regions of Greece are designated as green regions. Travelers arriving from all other parts of the EU and Schengen area must present proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a PCR test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival or self-isolate in Croatia until they are tested. Seafarers and transport workers, diplomats, staff of international organizations, persons traveling for urgent reasons, passengers in transit, and patients traveling for necessary health reasons may enter without a PCR test. Border workers, health workers, and students who travel to Croatia daily are also exempt from producing PCR test results, provided they spend no more than 12 hours in the country. EU citizens and permanent residents may enter Croatia from any third country as long as they possess a negative PCR test. Travelers from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay, and China are also allowed to enter per guidelines issued by the EU. Individuals from all other countries remain barred from entry except for those traveling for personal, family, or business reasons, as well as diplomats and students; such travelers must also comply with the PCR test result requirement.
Domestic restrictions remain in place. Public gatherings are limited to 25 people, while private gatherings are limited to 10 people. However, weddings and funerals are limited to 15 and 25 attendees, respectively. Catering establishments must close 2200-0600, while entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, and casinos must remain completely closed. All businesses and establishments permitted to remain open must adhere to social distancing requirements. Employers must introduce work-from-home policies where possible. Facemasks remain mandatory indoors and in all outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be observed.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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.