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 National Civil Protection Headquarters has published new data on coronavirus situation in Croatia to start the week. Yesterday was the 600th day since the Covid-19 pandemic began in Croatia.
In the last 24 hours, 319 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 9,299.
Among them, 945 people are in hospital, of which 119 people are on ventilators.
Unfortunately, over the past 24 hours a further eleven people passed away due to the virus.
Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 428,233 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 8,907 have died, a total of 410,027 people have recovered, of which 1,293 recovered in the last 24 hours.
There are currently 18,660 people in self-isolation.
To date, a total of 2,974,167 people have been tested, of which 2,815 were tested in the last 24 hours.
As of October 17, 2021, 3,520,417 doses of vaccine have been used, and 46.09 percent of the total population and 55.25 percent of the adult population have been vaccinated. On October 17, 2021, 379 doses of vaccine were used, of which 253 people were vaccinated with the first dose.
In the last 24 hours, four new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
These are three males and one female: two from Dubrovnik and one from Konavle and Župa dubrovačka.
17 people made a full recovery: eight from Dubrovnik, four from Konavle, two from Ploče and one from Blato, Metković and Župa dubrovačka.
In the last 24 hours, 94 samples were processed, and a total of 147,118 samples have been analyzed since the beginning of the pandemic.
In the Dubrovnik General Hospital, 26 people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized, and three patients require intensive care and are on ventilators.
There are 785 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no case of violation of the self-isolation measure has been determined.
The National Civil Protection Headquarters announced today's numbers of newly infected, it what is the 600th day of the Covid-19 pandemic in Croatia.
In the last 24 hours, 1,301 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 10,284.
Among them, 903 people are in hospital, of which 116 are on ventilators.
Unfortunately, a further 19 people died in the past 24 hours.
Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 427,914 people have been infected, of which 8,896 have died, a total of 408,734 people have recovered, of which 1,329 recovered in the last 24 hours.
There are currently 19591 people in self-isolation
To date just over 2.9 million people have been tested, of which 8,054 were tested in the last 24 hours.
In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 35 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours.
These are 20 males and 15 females: 16 from Dubrovnik, eight from Vela Luka, five from Orebic, four from Trpanj and one from Konavle and Korcula.
30 people made a full recovery: 13 from Dubrovnik, eight from Ploče, two from Konavle, Metković, Vela Luka and Župa dubrovačka and one from Lumbarda.
In the last 24 hours, 427 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 147,024 samples have been analyzed.
In the Dubrovnik General Hospital, 24 people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized, and three patients require intensive care and are on ventilators.
774 people are in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no case of violation of the self-isolation measure has been determined.
While fuel prices in Croatia are breaking records, owners of petrol stations across the border in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and rubbing their hands in glee. One man’s loss is another man’s profit. And as petrol prices started to soar in Croatia many drivers made their way across the border to make the most of cheaper fuel prices. Of course, petrol prices in neighbouring BiH are slowly rising but they are still considerably lower than in Croatia. Figures suggest that a litre of petrol is on average two and a half Kuna cheaper in BiH, which if you are filling the tank is a considerable saving.
As the world market fluctuates like a bucking bronco so fuel prices around the globe rise. This week diesel prices in Croatia broke the 11 Kuna a litre mark, the most expensive a litre has been in the past seven years. The Croatian government also decided to react, and to stabilize prices for a period of 30 days, which limits the price of gasoline to about 11 Kuna per litre. And in reaction to this the main oil company INA stated that they will only sell premium fuel until stocks run out. The government passed a decree according to which traders in petroleum products can sell petrol for a maximum of 11.10 per litre for the next 30 days, and diesel for 11 Kuna. "I believe that in the next 30 days there will be a stabilization of prices on the market and that after that period we will continue to function normally as an economy," said the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Tomislav Ćorić.
So whilst the government locks horns with the main fuel company many citizens have decided to take their business elsewhere and save some hard-earned cash. And it isn’t only petrol companies in BiH that are enjoying the windfall, supermarkets and restaurants have also seen a jump in customer numbers. As drivers go to fill up their tanks so they stop off to do some shopping or have a meal, the knock-on effect of rising petrol prices. And as winter comes drivers are also stocking up on anti-freeze, winter tyres and de-icer across the border.
This could be in a strange but true section, or even in a pub quiz. Even though the German Mark (DM) has not been in circulation since 1 January 2002, it is still accepted as payment for misdemeanour fines in the Republic of Croatia.
Yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, a currency that has been out of circulation for almost 20 two decades can still be used to pay fines in Croatia. Or at least it could be. Due to the introduction of the euro, the Ministry of the Interior has planned to change almost 30 regulations for next year, and one of them is the law on misdemeanour fines.
"Amendments to these laws will mean converting from German marks to kuna will no longer be used, and when the entire package enters into force, regarding of Croatia's expected entry into the EU monetary mechanism, all penalties will be set in euros," said the Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović.
Croatia’s path, however popular or unpopular it my be, to adopt the Euro as the official currency will at the very least change this out-of-date law.
We went from swimming to shivering! It is the same every year. It’s as if there somebody presses a light switch and we go from short sleeves to scarves. Dubrovnik doesn’t really do seasons. It’s either bright, sunny and hot or windy grey and cold. There is no middle ground, no happy medium. Those long colourful autumn days they have in New England, or even middle Croatia, are only something that we can see on screensavers.
So as October marches on the Indian Summer has been blasted out to sea by the whistling northerly wind our thoughts turn to the long winter ahead of us and looking back over our shoulders at what turned out to be a positive (no not that positive!) season.
So what will the winter bring? Well there will certainly be much fewer conferences than a usual season. I feel it will be a winter of planning, of rethinking and reorganisation. With two years of a pandemic behind us we are (or at least should be) wiser and more equipped to understand what we can and can’t do.
I am predicting that we will still be divided into two groups, the pro and anti-vaccine. If we can just get to a percentage that herd immunity kicks in, then I’d be happy and the anti-vaxxers can protest as much as they want. They are basically protesting about something that isn’t compulsory. It’s a bit like protesting that you don’t want to eat ice-cream. The rest of society is silently screaming “Don’t eat f***ing ice-cream then you imbeciles.”
As we slowly start the hibernation process, the central heating gets turned on and the winter wardrobe is uncovered we should really pat ourselves on the back for a successful tourist season. In spite of the flood of pessimism at the start of the year the season, or more importantly the earnings from tourism, were much higher than anyone expected.
How can Dubrovnik learn from Split?
Although some people were calling to “shut down the country” and to lock ourselves away in a New Zealand approach to fighting Covid they were proved wrong. From around the middle of July to the end of September we were full, completely full.
I do have one question though. How is it that Split Airport has so many more flights and passengers than Dubrovnik? I have actually heard this same sentence amongst business meetings all year. In fact, Split Airport set to be the most frequented airport in Croatia in 2021, taking the title away from Zagreb. For a coastal destination to have more passengers than the capital is unusual.
So what are Split doing than we aren’t? 330,000 passengers used Split in September, Dubrovnik came in at around 208,000. And this winter Zagreb will be connected to a whole range of destinations with the budget airline Ryanair. We, on the other hand, will be in our long winter sleep, busy congratulating ourselves on how clever and how lucky we were that the season ended up being positive.
I gave up on the idea of winter tourism in Dubrovnik a long time ago. It’s just not possible. The problem isn’t that we don’t have the conditions or the offer, the problem is that in our heads we really don’t want to work in the winter.
It isn’t so much a lack of creativity more a lack of need. Earnings in the summer more than cover our winter needs, well in most cases, and we just can’t be bothered, we’re lazy. We won’t have flights in the winter because no airline wants to fly here, we’ll have no flights because we don’t want them to fly here and spoil our sleep.
Do you think that the airport would be empty if it were named Hamburg, Belfast or Manchester, no! But that “all work no play” attitude isn’t our style. It’s a characteristic that starts at school when a pass is seen as all you need, rather than striving for excellent.
We seem all happy with a pass, to be average. But being average in a world-class destination seems a little ironic. “Most people are happy being average. Most are happy being faceless in a sea of faces,” wrote Robert Kiyosaki.
Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to
The Tourist Board of Orebić have reported that they are satisfied with the number of tourists in the first half of October, and stated that there are around 650 guests are still staying on the Pelješac Riviera.
It is also encouraging that as of October 15, the number of 800,000 overnight stays this year was reached and exceeded. This number means that there were more than 270,000 more overnight stays over that period than the same period from 2020. And even more encouraging is the fact that tourism numbers reached an impressive 86 percent of the record breaking year of 2019.
The majority of guests in Orebić are staying in the larger hotels, such as Aminess Grand Azur. Several camps are still open as well as a large number of private apartments and villas.