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.
"We are thinking intensively and seriously about banning weddings in the Republic of Croatia, because the latest positive figures for Covid-19 clearly show that a large number of positive ones come from such family celebrations and gatherings. When Covid-19 started spreading in nightclubs, we did not close them, but we have strengthened the controls in them and that has brought good results," commented the Croatian Minister of Health, Vili Beros, to Slobodna Dalmacija.
This information announced by the Minister in the light of the latest figures and coronavirus infections coming from Split, which say that 12 people have been infected with coronavirus at a recent wedding in Split. The new cases of Covid-19 in Split directly connected to this wedding include bride, three musicians and one photographer.
The wedding party was held about ten days ago in Split, in a closed space of one of Split's restaurants. Also among the infected is an employee of the Teaching Institute for Public Health (Hygiene), who was also at the wedding and in contact with people who were already infected without even knowing it.
The National Civil Protection Headquarters has released data on the number of new Covid-19 cases coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours. In the past 24 hours, 52 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded across Croatia, meaning that the number of currently infected (active cases) in Croatia today is a total of 930, the National Civil Protection Headquarters announced.
Among them, 89 patients are in hospital, of which 5 are on a ventilator, over the past 24 hours there were no new fatalities due to Covid-19.
Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 3,272 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 113 have died and 2,229 have recovered.
There are currently 4,709 people in self-isolation.
To date, a total of 86,860 people have been tested, of which 866 were tested in the last 24 hours.
In the past 24 hours no new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County. Of the samples sent for analysis, 33 have arrived and all were negative.
4 people are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4,097 samples have been sent for analysis to Zagreb.
There are 114 people currently in self-isolation, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 38 cases of self-isolation violations have been determined.
The headquarters of the Civil Protection of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County continues 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.
Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the heavily reduced demand, the Scandinavian airline SAS will not launch numerous seasonal routes to Croatia in this year's summer flight schedule.
In the summer flight schedule, Scandinavian Airlines had planned to operate from numerous airports in Scandinavia to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik. Due to the impact of the pandemic, the company has decided not to launch numerous lines to Croatia, reports Croatian Aviation.
SAS has no plans to launch flights to Dubrovnik in July, and it is almost certain that many other routes will also not be in this year's summer flight schedule. In the summer flight schedule, SAS had operated from as many as 9 destinations towards Split, while this year only 3 destinations will be run.
The company does not plan to launch flights from Tromso, Harstad, Alesund, Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Aarhus and Gothenburg to Split this year. However, from most of the mentioned destinations it is possible to travel with one transfer via Copenhagen, Oslo or Stockholm, also with SAS.
Lines from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm to Dubrovnik are also not on sale and will most likely not be available this year.
Pula had been connected to Bergen, Oslo, Stavanger, Gothenburg and Copenhagen in previous summer seasons, but SAS will operate only on the line from Copenhagen to Pula and does not plan to launch other lines this summer.
This summer, the company planned to introduce the Copenhagen - Zadar route and thus add another Croatian airport to its destination network. Flights were originally planned twice a week, but have been completely withdrawn from sale for this year.
An earthquake shook at 11.45 this morning with an epicentre in Blagaj, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, around 69 kilometres north of Dubrovnik.
According to reports this morning’s earthquake measured 4.2 on the Richter Scale and was at a depth of 10 kilometres. The epicentre was 76 kilometres south-west of Sarajevo.
There are reports that some citizens in Dubrovnik felt the tremors.
Because of the hectic modern lifestyle, most people want to just relax and sleep more on holidays. Rest is, indeed, essential for health and regeneration. However, people also need to have fun and enjoy unforgettable adventures. At the end of a passive holiday, you may feel more relaxed, but your life won’t be enriched.
On the other hand, active vacations have numerous benefits and, at the end of a great outdoor adventure, you will feel more energized, accomplished, and even more fit.
The benefits of outdoor adventures
Going on an outdoor adventure is mostly about spending more quality time in nature, in a way that is much more intimate and challenging than regular interactions with nature. Active holidays are a great way to discover and explore forests, lakes, rivers, or national parks. Being out in nature, where you can enjoy the fresh air and natural sunlight, is important for good health.
Being more in touch with nature also helps you calm down, it uplifts you, and it can even change your perspective on life for the better. More and more people acknowledge the importance of mindfulness, and there is nothing like an outdoor adventure to begin to experience it. When all of the current distractions disappear and it’s just you and nature, you are totally in the moment.
Active holidays also give you an amazing boost of confidence, which is why they are highly recommended for children as well. Whether you are practicing some type of outdoor activity, like fishing, kayaking, or bungee jumping, or learning survival skills in the woods, you will feel not only excited by the sense of adventure but also proud of yourself because you’ve succeeded.
An active holiday can actually be one of the greatest adventures of your life, instead of passive holidays that are just part of the routine. Forget about old patterns and try new ways of planning and enjoying a vacation with friends or with your family. People who participate together in an outdoor adventure feel much closer at the end of it, and it’s an excellent way for people to reconnect.
Photo by Darren Lawrence from Pexels
How to stay active and fit on vacation
If you want to stay fit this summer, the best thing you can do is to go for an outdoor adventure. Not only will you have tons of fun, but you will also notice a big difference in your health, fitness, and overall well-being. You can relax and have a good time on your holiday while also maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The first step is to plan an active holiday from the beginning. This means including various outdoor activities or sports throughout your vacation. Choose a holiday destination that offers outdoor adventures and take advantage of them. Don’t be afraid to try new things and go for biking instead of driving, for example.
Another important step is to prepare for maintaining a healthy diet. If you are not prepared, you will most likely end up choosing unhealthy options. Try to cook some of your food yourself. If you travel a short distance, make sure to bring along a grill that is perfect for road trips. Depending on your travel destinations, go for the local cuisine instead of junk food.
If you currently have a fitness routine, you don’t need to give it up when you go on vacation. You can find a safe and quiet place where to practice your routine almost everywhere. Even airports are starting to include special gym areas for passengers who are waiting for their flights. You can have a stretching or yoga session at the pool, at the beach, or in nearby parks.
Active holidays give you the chance to learn a new sport and practice it with your friends or family members, which makes it even more fun for everybody. For amazing results, you can even combine your regular fitness routine with outdoor activities that are specific to your chosen holiday destination, such as mountain biking, surfing, or kayaking.
As long as you take care of your diet, practice a simple fitness routine, and explore outdoor activities, you will return from your active holiday feeling full of energy, accomplished, and in better shape than before.
Croatia will face even more severe consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic than previously thought. According to the latest forecasts published yesterday by the European Commission, the decline in GDP in Croatia this year will be as much as 10.8 percent, and next year the recovery will begin and growth will be 7.5 percent of GDP.
Only Italy with a drop of 11.2 percent and Spain with 10.9 percent will have a bigger drop than Croatia. A similar category includes France, which is expected to fall by 10.6 percent, and Greece, which is down by 9 percent. From this it is evident that the countries for which tourism is one of the key branches will be the hardest hit. Poland, which should have a 4.6 percent drop, and Sweden, 5.3 percent, will feel the least.
The latest report of the European Commission, along with summer forecasts, states that the Croatian economy was more resilient before the outbreak of the crisis than before the global financial crisis in 2008.
“Private consumption should recover quickly after the opening of the economy because it seems that mass layoffs have been avoided thanks to government support. Current and new EU-funded projects and several liquidity grants for companies should help recover investments,” the European Commission said.
They predict that tourism will be in trouble next year due to the continuation of disruptions in international traffic.
After almost three months of isolation and social distancing, restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have started to be gradually lifted, and one of the major questions that many of us have regards how traveling and tourism are affected this year.
If you’re anxious to go somewhere this summer and beyond, there are additional safety measures to take in order to lower your risk of getting sick. Since traveling by car is somewhat safer as you are exposed to fewer people you don’t know, driving trips are likely to gain greater attention in the next few months.
To make sure that you and the people you travel with are less exposed to the new coronavirus, it is best to stick to a few simple recommendations coming from experts.
Choosing your route
This year, many of us will have to choose a destination that involves less exposure and that is accessible, considering the various tourism-related restrictions each country will come up with. Before you get on the road, you will have to do a bit of research to learn more about the restrictions and travel and traffic advisories in the regions or states you’d like to visit.
Mapping out the roadways you intend to take and the states you want to pass through is thus compulsory if you want to avoid unpleasant situations. Check out the official websites of the authorities in your state or the states you want to visit. Depending on what you find out and the latest changes, you might need to adjust your initial plan depending on the ongoing restrictions.
What to pack
Besides the things you’d usually pack when going for a road trip, this year, greater attention should be paid to the sanitizing products you pack. Start by including essentials, such as bottled water, meds, food, and various other supplies, including pet supplies such as drops for flea if you intend to take your pet with you.
Then add a hygiene kit that includes hand sanitizers, disposable gloves and face masks, disinfecting wet wipes, as well as plastic bags that are sealable so that you can dispose of the gloves and masks you use safely and properly.
Washing your hands when on the road calls for additional vigilance since public bathrooms and roadside stops are involved. For example, when using a public restroom, it is recommended not to touch door handles, faucets, or various other items after you’ve washed your hands. Shielding your hands against such surfaces with a paper towel or tissue is a simple and easy safety step to take.
Using your card instead of cash to pay for gas or various other things you need to buy has become a norm in the last few months. Going on with this payment method is another easy thing to do in the following months in order to avoid direct contact with other people and lower your risk of getting sick. Follow the travel precautions coming from the World Health Organization and health experts to boost your safety.
All the hotels and restaurants that will be open for business will be required to operate according to the latest cleaning and safety changes. Social distancing will still be an important part of the way such businesses work.
Make sure that you book the room of interest and call ahead for confirmation. For additional safety, it is also recommended to use the sanitizing supplies you’ve packed on surfaces that are highly touched, such as door handles, the TV remote, and faucets once you’ve checked in.
As far as dining is regarded, many restaurants might only offer drive-through or takeout services. If restaurants offer sit-down meals, expect restrictions regarding the number of people allowed to sit at a table and other such changes.
Tourism has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the consequences won’t go away too soon. However, if you still want to travel, you can at least lower the risk of getting sick by taking the safety measures health organizations and experts recommend. Plus, stay up to date with the latest news regarding the new coronavirus and restriction changes to make informed and safe decisions.