Wednesday, 02 December 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.


In the last 24 hours, 4,009 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today has reached a total of 21,725.

These new figures represent the highest daily increase of new Covid-19 cases in Croatia since the pandemic began, and the first time that more than 4,000 new cases have been reported in a 24-hour period.

There are currently 2,171 people in hospital and 252 people on a ventilator.

Unfortunately, over the last 24-hour period 51 people have passed away due to the virus in Croatia.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 115,626 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 1,552 have passed away, a total of 92,349 people have recovered, of which 2,924 recovered in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 50,165 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 713,729 people have been tested, of which 11,487 in the last 24 hours.


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In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 92 new cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the last 24 hours. This represents the joint third worse day for new Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.

These new cases include - 41 people from Metković, 21 from Dubrovnik, six from Konavle (of which four from the Home for the Elderly Konavle), six from Ploče, four from Zažablje, three from the borough of Župa, Korčula, Opuzen and Kula Norinska, and one person each from Dubrovacko Primorje and Orebić.

A total of 44 males and 48 females were infected, and an epidemiological link was found for 51 individuals.

31 people have made a full recovery - 11 from Dubrovnik, eight from Metković, four from Konavle, three from Župa dubrovačka, two from Opuzen and one person each from Kula Noinrska, Ploče and Pojezerje.

51 people tested positive for coronavirus are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. Six patients require intensive care, one patient is on oxygen, and five are on invasive ventilation.

In the last 24 hours, 259 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 24,215 samples have been analysed.

There are 759 people in self-isolation, and no violation of the self-isolation measure has been recorded in the last 24 hours.


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It’s that time of year when we get cosy on the couch, ready to binge our favourite shows. With more time on our hands than ever, it’s no surprise that Netflix viewership has doubled during 2020 with an extra 55.89 million subscribers.

With all this in mind, wanted to find out once and for all what is the most popular genre on Netflix!

Through collecting data from across the globe via IMDb ratings, Google Trend averages, Instagram hashtags and a survey of 3,587 participants, OnBuy was able to establish a ‘popularity score’ for each of the 12 headline genres on Netflix. *

And the winner is ….

Documentaries claiming a staggering overall score of 650 – revealing a global thirst for knowledge. With 19,986 Instagram hashtags contributing 128 points for popularity, and a Google Trends search average of 56 equating to 192 points, it seems the world’s gone wild for Blue Planet and Tiger King.

OnBuy can also confirm that we all love a bit of Drama, with this genre ranking second. Though rivalling Documentaries with an IMDb average rating of 7.4 scoring 254 points, and a Google Trends average of 44 scoring 142 points, it’s a close call with Drama reaching a grand total of 591 points.

Despite holding the highest IMDb average rating of 7.6 equating to 300 points, Anime stands in third place with an overall popularity score of 416, dragged down by ranking low in OnBuy’s survey and having an overall Instagram hashtag score of just 2 points – proving it to be a guilty pleasure with many binge watching in secret.

Comedies (393) and Sports (354) are fourth and fifth. Both genres claim identical IMBb ratings and similar Google Trend averages, however Comedies outshines with 4,994 Instagram hashtags compared to Sports acquiring only 33 causing a 32-point difference for this category.

FINALLY, OnBuy can reveal that Netflix Thrillers aren’t as thrilling as we’d expect, with the genre scoring a measly 59 popularity points - standing as the world’s LEAST favourite Netflix genre. Falling 91 points behind Children and Family in 11th place, it is a clear-cut loss!

study shows this is the most popular genre on netflix

*Methodology - 

1. OnBuy selected the 12 Netflix headline genres to analyse: Action & Adventure, Anime, Children & Family, Comedies, Documentaries, Dramas, Horror, Music, Romance, Sci-fi & Fantasy, Sports, and Thrillers.

2. Used to calculate the increase of Netflix subscribers between 2019 and 2020.

3. Used to calculate the average IMDb rating for the top 50 most popular films and TV shows for each genre on Netflix.

4. Searched “Netflix + genre” for each genre in to find the average. Results were filtered to ‘worldwide’ and over the ‘past five years’ to establish a consistent average.

5. Searched variations of “Netflix + genre” for each genre on Instagram. Added together the number of hashtags for each variation to get a total number of hashtags for all 12 headline genres.

6. Surveyed 3,587 participants asking them to select their favourite from the 12 headline genres on Netflix.

7. The factors used have varying units of measurement. To resolve this, the measurements were normalised using min-max normalisation, transforming the values into a decimal between 0 and 1 from this OnBuy applied an index score to each category before calculating a sum for the genres.


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As you will be aware, UK nationals who are living in Croatia or move there permanently before the end of 2020, will see their rights to access healthcare in Croatia stay the same from 1 January 2021 for as long as they remain resident.

We strongly encourage those who haven’t yet registered for healthcare as a resident in Croatia to do so. UK nationals can find further guidance on how to register correctly on our page on

From 1 January 2021, the current UK European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) may no longer be valid. Visitors and other groups travelling to the EU are already being advised to check their situation and make changes to their travel insurance cover.

However, there are a number of groups living and working in the EU and EFTA countries, such as those claiming state pensions, students and others who, under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA), will continue to be covered as they are now, including the receipt of a UK issued EHIC.

These groups will need to apply for a new EHIC to replace their existing card.

We attach a FAQ document which gives further details about the new EHIC, who is eligible to apply and how they can do so.
Your help and support in ensuring UK citizens living in Croatia know who is eligible for ongoing healthcare and how to register correctly is vital to our efforts. We hope you, and your contacts, find this information useful.

Should you have any further queries relating to the new EHIC Portal, or any other healthcare related queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Please find below a list of potential questions that could be raised by UK Nationals around the new EHIC, online portal and processes.

From 01 January 2021, the current UK European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) may no longer be valid. Visitors and other groups travelling to the EU/EEA are already being advised to check their situation and make changes to their travel insurance cover.

However, there are a number of groups living and working in the EU/EEA, such as those claiming state pensions, students and others who, under the Withdrawal Agreement, will continue to receive their healthcare benefits and will need to register for a new EHIC. The cohorts listed below will be invited to apply for a new EHIC via an online portal in phases before the end of the Transition Period - 

- UK state pensioners living in the EEA or Switzerland at the end of Transition Period

- Individuals who are frontier workers at the end of the Transition Period, for as long as they continue to be covered by the Agreement

- UK students studying in the EEA or Switzerland at the end of Transition Period

- EEA or Swiss nationals residing in the UK by the end of the Transition Period

Supporting Q&A

Why is there a new EHIC?

The new EHIC is for UK-insured people in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) to demonstrate their continued entitlement to EHIC cover from 01 January 2021. A new card is required to make this status clear.

Who is eligible to receive it?

Those eligible to receive the new EHIC include -

- People with an S1 form receiving a UK qualifying pension or benefit (and their dependants).

- Frontier workers (those who live in the UK but work in an EU/EEA Member state) with an S1 form, for as long as they continue to be a frontier worker in their host state (and have started working there before 31 December 2020).

- EU Citizens living in the UK (including EFTA/Swiss nationals, EU Nationals who have successfully applied to the EU Settlement Scheme and some UK/EU Dual Nationals).

There are also people eligible to receive a time limited EHIC. This includes -

- Posted workers who are able to continue their posting under local immigration law for the duration of their posting.

- UK students studying in the EEA or Switzerland, for the duration of their study period abroad and limited to the country of study (for as long as they remain habitually resident in the UK).

When should I apply for my new card?

You can continue to use your current EHIC as normal until at least 31 December 2020, however it may not be valid after this date.

We’re opening applications to the new CRA EHIC portal in phases, ensuring everyone who is eligible receives one in a timely way -

November -

- S1 form holders: people receiving a UK qualifying pension or benefit and their dependant family members

- Frontier workers and their family members

- Students studying abroad for the duration of their study period abroad

December -

- Posted workers who are able to continue their posting under local immigration law for the duration of their posting. The exact date depends on decisions from MS about whether posted workers can remain in the MS as a posted worker

- EU Nationals living in the UK and their dependant family members

Is there a deadline to apply?

No, but we recommend that you apply early, especially if you’re planning to travel in EU/EEA countries over the end of the year or in early 2021, as your current EHIC may not be valid then.

Will the new card provide any different entitlements?

No, the new EHIC will provide exactly the same entitlements as it currently does. However, EHIC does not replace travel insurance, and you should have both if you are travelling to the EU/EEA.

How long will the new UK EHICs be issued for?

This depends on your circumstances. If you’re a student, it’s valid until the end of your study period abroad. If you’re a frontier worker, it’s typically valid for two years. Currently, standard EHICs for UK residents and S1 pensioners last five years.

How long will it take for me to receive the card after applying?

You will receive a response to your application within five working days. Provided you register early, your new EHIC will be sent to you for use by 01 January 2021.

When will my new card be valid from?

Your new EHIC will be valid to use from the date it arrives at your address. You do not need to wait until 01 January 2021 to begin to use the card.

Can I apply by phone?

Applications are currently only accepted online, but further methods will be available later in the year.

Can I keep my old card until the new one arrives?

Yes – current EHICs will be valid until at least 31 December 2020 (unless the expiry date is sooner). We also recommend that you keep your old card until your new card arrives, after which your old card should be safely disposed of.

What do I do if I need to travel before my new card arrives?

If you need to travel before your new EHIC arrives, you can use your current EHIC as long as it is in date and your trip concludes before 31 December 2020. If your current EHIC is not in date, or if you will be travelling next year when your current EHIC may no longer be valid, you can obtain a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) should you require medically necessary treatment whilst abroad if you are within the scope of the WA.

Please note that the PRC can only be requested at the point of requiring care; it is not possible to request a PRC in advance of your trip. Please contact NHSBSA on +44 (0)300 330 1350 should you require a PRC.

What do I do if my healthcare provider doesn’t recognise the new card?

Healthcare providers in EU/EEA member states have been informed of the new card design so should accept it. However, if you have trouble accessing your healthcare entitlements, you can contact the NHS Business Services Authority for further information or advice on +44 (0)300 330 1350.


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It’s getting more and more festive in Dubrovnik with the Christmas trees in the historic old City having their full seasonal shine with decorations.

The Christmas trees that were installed a couple of days ago have now been decorated and they look splendid. It doesn’t look like being a white Christmas this year as temperatures are still up in the high teens, and it was a little weird yesterday watching tourists walk past the decorated trees with shorts and T-shirts.

With the big day now less than a month away Dubrovnik is ready to celebrate.




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Residential property prices in the eurozone will come under pressure as the coronarecession puts people out of work and consumer confidence weakens, the European Central Bank (ECB) warned in a recent report on Wednesday.

Residential property prices were extremely resilient in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, rising five percent in the first half of the year thanks to government measures, including a moratorium on loan repayments and job preservation programs, the ECB said.

They warn, however, that forecasts are now less rosy as some of these measures are phased out and economic indicators signal a deterioration.

"Residential property prices could face adverse circumstances in the future resulting from a significant decline in gross domestic product (GDP) and a weakening of consumer confidence and employment expectations," the ECB warned in a financial stability report.

Observed by individual countries, residential property prices are most overstretched in Luxembourg and households are most indebted in the Netherlands.

Banks are already limiting the availability of credit and weakening demand, reminds Reuters of the results of the ECB's survey, published in October.

The ECB is also concerned about a potentially strong increase in public debt if governments, especially in southern Europe, are required to issue guarantees for corporate loans.

They estimate that in that case, the Spanish public debt could rise to eight percent, the French five, and the Italian three percent.

"Governments support the economy through safeguards, and the vulnerability of member states has increased in the medium term, but is still contained in the short term," the ECB concluded.

They also warn that banks may need to increase loan loss provisions, given frequent difficulties in paying off loan instalments and company bankruptcies.


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2020 has been a wipe-out for the cruise ship industry in Dubrovnik, however 2021 could see the new season start as early as January. At a press conference held yesterday to mark the Dubrovnik Winter Festival the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, commented that “Dubrovnik could start its tourist season in January."

Clearly after a year of heavy losses in Dubrovnik’s tourism industry the Mayor clearly wants to hit the ground running in 2021. “We are making great efforts to start the season in January. This Sunday, a meeting was held with Minister Davor Božinović and epidemiologist Krunoslav Capak, where we presented the idea of starting the arrival of cruisers in Dubrovnik on January 14, with the company Viking Cruises,” commented Frankovic.

It is hoped that Dubrovnik would be a “homeport” for Viking Cruises, meaning that passengers would land and take-off from Dubrovnik Airport, as their cruise would begin and end in the city. Frankovic stated that Viking Cruises plan to cruise along the Croatian Adriatic and visit cities such as Split, Šibenik and Zadar. He added that “The mayors of these cities participated in the meeting, we all agreed that we want to move ahead, while respecting the maximum safety measures, because we must not allow the health situation to deteriorate and burden the system.” He said he expects additional consultations with the Institute of Public Health.


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Not many industries have been hit by the coronavirus outbreak as the cruise industry. Cruise line revenues practically disappeared since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March, with all of the largest operators reporting double-digit sales drops.

According to data presented by, the entire cruise industry is expected to lose $19.6bn in revenue amid the coronavirus outbreak, a 71% plunge year-over-year.

After a massive outbreak on board of the Diamond Princess, the entire cruise industry was negatively associated with the pandemic. A total of 712 people was infected with Covid-19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, one-quarter of all passengers aboard.

A large number of vessels reporting positive cases on board in the following months have led industry critics to call cruise ships "floating Petri dishes," causing massive drops in sales and revenues of the companies operating in this market.

In 2017, the entire cruise industry generated $23.7bn in revenue, revealed the Statista data. Over the next twelve months, this figure jumped to $25.8bn and continued rising.

Statistics show the global cruise market's revenues hit $27.4bn in 2019, a 15% jump in three years. However, the Covid-19 triggered the worst market contraction in history, with cruise line revenues plummeting by almost $20bn in a year.

The Statista data indicate it will take years for the cruise industry to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, revenues are projected to grow by 116% YoY to $16.8bn, almost $7bn below 2017 levels. The year 2023 is forecast to witness $27.4bn in sales revenues, still $100 million less than in 2019. By the end of 2025, cruise line revenues are expected to rise to $33.7bn.

The United States, as the world's largest cruise industry, is expected to lose almost $10bn in revenue due to coronavirus outbreak, with revenues falling by 71.3% YoY to $3.8bn in 2020.

Revenues of the German cruise line market, the second-largest globally, are expected to plunge to $797 million, compared to $2.8bn last year. The United Kingdom cruise companies are forecast to generate $668 million in revenue in 2020, a 72.6% drop in a year. Chinese and Canadian market follow, with $537 million and $284 million in revenue, respectively.

Besides substantial financial losses, the coronavirus outbreak also caused considerable drops in the number of cruise line users. Three years ago, the number of people choosing cruise lines for their vacations amounted to almost 26.1 million worldwide. By the end of 2019, this figure rose to over 29 million.

Statista estimates the number of users in the cruises segment to plunge by 72% YoY to 8 million in 2020 and to remain under 2019 levels in the next four years.


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