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.


The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, commented for Nova TV about the National Staff's plan if the numbers of new cases do not start falling after the measures are tightened.

"We have taken a strategy to continuously discuss measures. If we spot a source or hotspots we react immediately and measures are taken at the national level, but with the possibility of county headquarters and local headquarters adopting stricter measures at their location according to their situation," Capak said.

He claimed that the new measures did not education.

"Online classes are not decided by the Headquarters. If there is a need, it is discussed with the relevant departments," Capak said, adding that the Headquarters is against closing schools unless there is an urgent need.

“Online teaching is out of the question at the moment,” Capak said.


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Dubrovnik is a photographer’s dream, let’s face it you can throw a camera in the air and capture a stunning photo. And every day Instagram is filled to overflowing point with some absolutely blasting of the pearl of the Adriatic.

We have selected our top five “end your weekend in style” photos from Instagram. Check out our top five inspiring Dubrovnik Instagram photos from last week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region. We just love your feedback!

And don't forget to follow our Instagram page



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Hello, hello, are you receiving me? Croatia went dark last week, or really snowy, as thousands of people woke up to find that their TV’s had stopped broadcasting. Shock and horror! I can only imagine the screaming and shouting that was going on inside homes as grannies up and down the country tuned into their fav soap only to be greeted with a blizzard.

Yes, Digital Video Broadcasting — Second Generation Terrestrial, or DVB-T2, finally came to Croatia and it caused mayhem. Now firstly Croatia was slightly behind the curve as far as launching this new version of TV is concerned. Are you surprised? Afghanistan started using this technology in 2015. So better late than never.

This new system is supposed to make our programs better quality, or high-definition, but considering most people under the age of 30 don’t watch terrestrial TV anyway it could well be pointless in a few years’ time.

In spite of adverts and announcements for months leading up to change over it still took a lot of people by surprise, including my mother-in-law (but more about here later). “We could have paid our rent just by selling receivers,” said the salesperson in Pevex. I had decided to upgrade the TV in my bedroom and avoid the receiver issue. My old TV was so small I could hardly see it anyway; it was more like a radio with some vague moving colours.

And he was right. In the ten minutes that I spoke to him at least five people came up and asked “Have you got any receivers left,” and all with a look of hope. One lady even put her hands together in a praying motion. I guess she was hoping that God watched HRT1 and would feel sorry for her. “Why don’t you just get a “No Receivers Here” T-shirt and point to it when people ask you,” I joked.

People sent me photos of other shops with lines of shoppers waiting outside hoping to be one of the lucky ones. I was even standing in front of a Tisak kiosk when a car stopped in the middle of the road and the driver shouted to me “Please ask her if they have any left.” Receivers were like unicorns! 

The receiver pandemic touched close to home. “We’ve bought a receiver and if we can’t fix it I’m going to call you,” said my mother-in-law. I heard nothing. I presumed that she had managed. “Yes. It is working, although the picture quality doesn’t seem any better,” she answered after a few days. “Do you have any extra programs?” I asked. “No, everything looks the same as before,” she said. And added that spending 250 Kunas was a waste of money.

She has actually pulled some strings to get a receiver before ahead of the queue. And then a couple of days later I went to visit her. “Here is my new TV and super picture,” she said proudly pointing at the TV. Something was strange. “How are you watching TV then,” I asked and not without reason. “Through the 250 Kuna receiver,” came the answer. The receiver was indeed connected to the TV.

It was actually positioned under a plant pot. Possibly raising the plant enough so that she could see the flowers. I grabbed the TV’s remote and flicked through the channels. “So where is the remote for the receiver?” I asked. “I don’t know, somewhere,” she replied. The plant pot holder (or receiver) had a little red light, meaning off. I unplugged the receiver from the wall. Yes, thousands of people couldn’t watch TV because they didn’t have a receiver, and my mother-in-law had a receiver but didn’t even need one.

A few swear words, including dogs and aunt’s vaginas, filled the room. “I just spent 250 Kunas on a plant pot stand,” she said. Well, yes she had. But it did have a nice little red light on the front. “I’m going to sell this to someone,” she was determined to get rid of the black box. I wanted to say “And will you advertise it on eBay as a digital TV receiver or as a plant holder?” Instead I said “Well at least you can say it’s never been used.”


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One of the largest airlines in the world has started a trail on testing all passengers for Covid-19. Lufthansa have announced that passengers on flights between Munich and Hamburg can take a rapid Covid-19 test free-of-charge.

Passengers that don’t wish to take the rapid test must present a negative PCR test, no older than 48 hours, or they will be transferred to another flight free of charge.

This pilot project from Lufthansa could well be a sign of things to come for the aviation industry and if they prove successful could be introduced by other airlines. Tourists flying to Croatia for their summer holidays next year could well see such measures in place.

According to Lufthansa's CEO Carsten Spohr, the company has purchased 250,000 antigen tests to study the processes. The airline hopes that the rapid tests will enable it to offer more flight connections again, especially overseas. "Successful testing of entire flights can be the key to reviving international air traffic," said Board member Christina Foerster.

After a challenging 2020 which saw many airlines and travel agencies forced into bankruptcy such a test and indeed safe measure of travel should help raise confidence for travel in 2021.

In the Lufthansa Group, the rapid tests have already been tested on flights of the subsidiary Austrian airlines between Berlin and Vienna.


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Following the latest epidemiological assessment of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Angela Merkel's government has expanded the list of regions in Europe that it considers to be at risk due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to the latest RKI report, the only country in Europe that Germany does not class as a risk is Iceland. RKI has recently declared the whole of Lithuania and Latvia, central Greece and the region in Finland, which includes Helsinki, as risky.

Unlike the situation during the summer and part of the autumn, as of November 1, Croatia is listed as an epidemiologically risky area. The same is true for Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina since June 15.

Also Slovenia is classed by RKI as a risk in its entire territory since November 1, as well as Croatia.


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In the last 24 hours, 2,958 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 18,193.

Unfortunately, over the past 24 hours Croatia saw the highest daily death rate, with 57 people passing away due to the Covid-19 virus.

There are currently 1,992 people in hospital across Croatia and 217 people on ventilators.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 96,837 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 1,257 have died, a total of 77,387 people have recovered, of which 2,522 recovered in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 43,265 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 657,872 people have been tested, of which 8,321 in the last 24 hours.


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In the last 24 hours, 48 new cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

These new Covid-19 cases include 23 people from Dubrovnik, ten from Konavle, six from the borough of Župa, three from Vela Luka, two from Metković and one person each from the Dubrovacko Primorje, Opuzen, Blato and Slivno.

A total of 28 males and 20 females were infected, and an epidemiological link was established for 26 of them.

Unfortunately, two more people have passed away, one male from Ploče (born 1931) and one female from Metković (born 1934).

On a positive note 30 people have made a full recovery - six from Metković, five from Blato, four from Župa dubrovačka, three from Orebić, two each from Konavle, Vela Luka, Lumbarda, Smokvica and Ploče, and one person from Korčula and Pojezerje.

51 people tested positive for coronavirus are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. Nine patients require intensive care, two patients are on non-invasive ventilation, seven are on invasive ventilation.

In the last 24 hours, 151 samples were processed, and a total of 22,971 samples have been analysed since the beginning of the pandemic.

There are 1,023 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours there was one violation of the measure of self-isolation.

The headquarters of the Civil Protection of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County continue to appeal to citizens to adhere to all prescribed measures by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.


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On Thursday, 3,164 new cases were recorded, so the number of people currently in infected in Croatia with Covid-19 is 17,814. Among them, 1,944 patients are in hospital, of which 204 are on ventilators.

"We have been discussing the situation all this week, the decision on the measures has been prepared and it will be discussed at the meeting today. I cannot say what the last measures will be, but they will be more rigorous,” commented the Assistant Minister of the Interior, Damir Trut, on HRT this morning.

He added that “Everything that is now in force only in a more rigorous form is being considered.”

Yesterday Croatia recorded the highest daily death rate from Covid-19 since the pandemic began. But despite the rising number of new Covid-19 cases, and indeed the mortality rate, the government continues to refuse to lockdown the country.

And when asked this morning about schools and universities closing and for online distance learning to be reintroduced Trut answered that the decision would be left to the Ministry of Science and Education.


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