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31 Mar 2020 | 01:18 PM UTC

Croatia: Croatia Airlines suspends most flights from March 31 to curb spread of COVID-19 /update 2

Croatia Airlines suspends most flights from March 31 to curb spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19); further spread of COVID-19 to be expected over near term



Croatia Airlines announced that it will temporarily suspend the majority of its routes from Tuesday, March 31, to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The carrier will only continue flying from Zagreb Airport (ZAG) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), Brussels Airport (BRU), Frankfurt Airport (FRA), and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) until at least Sunday, April 19. The airline stated that maintaining these links would enable Croatian nationals to return home, as well as foreigners to travel to their native countries.

Croatia recently banned its nationals from leaving their place of residence, which has had a further impact on Croatia Airlines' operations and has caused a significant decrease in air travel demand.

Other restrictions to air travel imposed by the government include the closure of Dubrovnik International Airport (DBV) to all passengers until further notice. In general, while other airports remain open across Croatia, flight cancelations have become more frequent. Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.