Monday, 06 April 2020
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.


According to the latest data in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the total number patients infected with coronavirus is now 64, which means that there are two more confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.

The Civil Protection Staff of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County stated that the two new confirmed cases are both middle-aged patients, one from Neretva and one from Konavle. There are 42 people in home isolation.

14 positive are hospitalized and 8 of them are in the Dubrovnik General Hospital, and 6 are in the secondary hospital building, ie the student dormitory.

Two people have made a full recovery. To date, a total of 522 samples have been sent for analysis. On Sunday, 20 samples were sent and all were processed.


Over the past 24 hours a further 40 people have been infected with COVID-19 coronavirus bringing the total number of patients in the country 1,222. The Health Minister, Vili Beros, commented at the beginning of the daily press conference that unfortunately the virus had claimed another victim, meaning that sixteen people have now died due to COVID-19.

The Health Minister Vili Beros presented all the new data on the coronavirus epidemic in Croatia, adding that "One more patient has died due to coronavirus, he was a middle-aged man who was not previously ill.” The Minister also stated that 36 patients are on respirators, there are 372 hospitalized patients and 130 people have made a full recovery, which is five more than yesterday.

"In this infection, we do not save ourselves but others. And this is the essence of this solidarity. Our results are good, the line is still linear, but there is no room for relaxation. If we want this threat to last as short as possible, we must adhere to measures of protection," Beros said.


According to the latest information there are 1,182 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Croatia meaning that in the past 24 hours 56 new cases have been detected.

The Croatian Minister of Health, Vili Beros, commented at the daily press conference of the Civil Protection Directorate that across the country there are 39 people on respirators, and that unfortunately, today, three people have died, one in Zadar, Dubrovnik and Osijek. On the positive side 125 patients have made a full recovery.

"Our epidemiological line is still linear. Let's keep it that way and stick to the measures," emphasized Beros. He added that 10,840 tests have been done so far, 1,014 in the past 24 hours.


There are 62 cases of coronavirus in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County and unfortunately the first patient has passed away from the virus. At the daily press conference of the County Crisis Staff, the Prefect of the Dubrovnik-Nerevta County, Nikola Dobroslavic, expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased.



“It all shows that we are still in a serious and dangerous time and that we must continue with all the measures we have taken so far. We are fighting for the health of our fellow citizens and every life. By adhering to the measures, we enable our healthcare staff to be able to provide everyone with health care,” commented Dobroslavic.

So far we have sent 502 samples from the Dubrovnik – Neretva County to Zagreb for analysis, 62 are positive and we are waiting on the results of another one. Currently 14 people are hospitalised, with 8 actually in the hospital and 6 in the Student centre where we have prepared 250 beds,” stated Josko Cebalo.

The director of the hospital, Dr. Marijo Bekic, emphasized that the Dubrovnik General Hospital is looking after a total of 14 patients with coronavirus, 7 are in good general condition in the Infectious Diseases Department, one is on an intensive care respirator and 6 in a secondary institution in the Student Home centre.

“Unfortunately, we lost the fight for the life of an 85-year-old patient who was admitted around midnight on Friday,” added Bekic. Adding that there are no new patients from the medical staff at the Dubrovnik General Hospital, and that one doctor and one nurse are positive for COVID-19 and are in good condition in isolation.

Currently 32 men and 30 women are infected with coronavirus in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County, with an average age of 52. 25 are from Dubrovnik, 24 from Konavle, 5 from Trpanj, 3 from Kula Norinska, two each from Zupa Dubrovacka and Ploce, one from Vela Luka.

Coronavirus lockdown has certainly brought out the creative side of many people, but not many have got this creative! An absolutely brilliant video was published by Philipp Klein Herrero on his YouTube channel. If you can’t hit the ski slopes you can always ski at home.



“Just before the current health situation locked us in, I was about to go Freeriding with my family. It was supposed to be the big adventure of the year, the one I had been eagerly awaiting for a year. Therefore, the lockdown had me thinking about skiing the whole time, so I started to think how I could ski without leaving my living room,” commented Herrero with the video.

Now that’s how to creatively fill your time whilst stuck at home.

Check out the video below

Record breaking years after record breaking years, over two million tourists a year in a city with a population of 40,000, over 14,000 beds in private rentals, highlighted as one of the main victims of over tourism, and then came COVID-19 coronavirus. From riding the crest of a wave to crashing onto the pebbly beach. Dubrovnik had been for a few years the victim of its own success, or rather the victim of poor organisation and non-existent planning, and throw a few A-line film and TV productions into the mix and hey presto. However, surely it was always better to have over tourism than under tourism? We are finding out at first-hand what a lack of tourists means, we are all guinea pigs in a global experiment.



The latest blow to the tourism industry in Dubrovnik is the news that American Airlines has cancelled all flights between Philadelphia and Dubrovnik this year. Last year was a historic one, the first direct flight connection between Croatia and the US since the end of the Homeland War. And the flights proved extremely popular, so much so that a daily service was on the schedule this summer. Of course one of the reasons Americans loved to visit Dubrovnik was the fact that for many of them it was actually called King’s Landing. Game of Thrones brought not only the eyes of the world but also a new reason to visit the pearl of the Adriatic.

The second most numerous tourists in Dubrovnik last year, in terms of nationality, were travellers from the States.

Now, according to a report on the specialised website Ex-Yu Aviation, American Airlines have cut their entire schedule for Dubrovnik, flights that were supposed to arrive between June and October are now on cancelled until next year. It is a heavy blow for the city’s tourism industry, American Airlines not only carried almost 18,000 passengers to the southernmost airport in Croatia last summer, but this year had seriously upgraded their service. There were even rumours that in 2021 new flights from Chicago would be introduced.

all smiles as first american airlines flight lands in 2019

All smiles as first American Airlines plane to Croatia in 28 years lands at Dubrovnik Airport in 2019 - Photo Tonci Plazibat 


“Nobody is booking travel”, Vasu Raja, American’s Senior Vice President for Network Strategy said. “If we can reduce our capacity this summer, we can reduce our expenses”, added Raja.

2020 will be a year of challenges for Dubrovnik Airport, airlines have either postponed services that were due to kick-off in April and May to June and July, or they have cancelled altogether. The first case of coronavirus in the wider Dubrovnik region was detected at the airport, meaning that the airport has firmly closed its doors until the middle of this month, no commercial flights are landing.

And the year had started on the wrong foot, passenger figures in January were 22 percent down on the same month from the previous year, and unsurprisingly March was almost a total write-off, passenger numbers fell like a pebble in the Adriatic, down 66 percent.

A total of 893 Croatians have been repatriated since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic and several hundred are due to return this weekend, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said on Saturday.

A total of 155 passengers, mostly Croatians as well as several citizens of Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, are arriving in Zagreb on Saturday evening aboard special Croatia Airlines flights from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Sweden, he said.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has sent protective masks and gloves for the passengers, who will need to observe social distancing rules. Upon arrival at the airport, they will be examined by doctors and will be ordered into quarantine or self-isolation if necessary, the minister said, noting that it was the government's obligation under the constitution to ensure the repatriation of Croatian nationals.

On Sunday, 37 Croatians are due to arrive in Zadar by catamaran from Ancona and more than a hundred are expected to arrive in several buses from Tyrol.

Grlic-Radman said that the governments of Slovenia, Hungary, Austria and Italy had helped the Croatian authorities with previous repatriations. "This situation has shown how solidary we can be and how much we can do together. When you act alone, you cannot do much but you need to work in cooperation with others."

A total of 893 Croatians have been repatriated to date, including 564 from third countries such as India, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Morocco and Peru. Last week, 13 Croatians returned by bus from Tyrol, and as many arrived in a six-car convoy last night, the minister said.

Coronavirus lockdown might have stopped friend and family getting together for a coffee, as is the norm in Dubrovnik, people are finding creative ways to enjoy a caffeine blast.

The recently formed Facebook group “Corona Dubrovnik” has in a short time managed to get a great following and the members certainly have a sense of humour. This latest video was posted by Ivana Orlic and brought a smile to our faces.

Well done Ivana!

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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