Sunday, 12 July 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Croatian tourism has taken another body blow with news that citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are allowed to visit Adriatic beaches on day excursions. These one-day excursions have been banned until further notice.

One agency says that they have a lot of inquiries regarding the organization of one-day trips to Croatia, writes the portal Klix.ba

"We addressed the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia and received a written answer stating that citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot cross the Croatian border for one-day trips until further notice," stated the Mostar travel agency.

The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia explained that it is allowed to stay only with at least one night booked in Croatia with proof of payment of a tourist arrangement in a travel agency or hotel.

"We hope that in the next seven days the Republic of Croatia will reconsider the decision to open the borders for Bosnian and Herzegovinian citizens, so that we can immediately start with one-day excursions that we have been doing for many years," the agency said.

 

What real purpose do the serve in the eco-system? When Noah took the animals two by two onto the Ark why would he decide to take a pair of these to save them? As far as I can see it they only have one mission in life, to wake me up, or indeed to stop me from falling asleep. Of course, I am talking about the absolute bane of my life in Dubrovnik summers, the diving bombing mosquito!

Is it me or have we been invaded by mosquitos this summer. Sure I am used to the whirling sound in my ear or the seemingly drunken flight of this horrible insect, but this year it feels like I am living in a black fog of mosquitos.

“I can hear one,” I whispered to me wife as we lay in bed. You know that sound, as if a tiny helicopter has just passed by your ear. And then the seconds of wait as you try to detect whether it has landed or is still on the hunt, or maybe didn’t see you at all. “Did you out the tablet in the wall?” she replied. I had. And it was right next to my head. It buzzed me again, filling my ear with that sound that makes you want to scratch all over. “It’s back,” I whispered. It was as if the mosquito was screaming “Here’s Johnny!” like Jack Nicholson from the movie The Shining.

After being bitten the previous night I had done some research on the pesky insects, trying to find their weak spot, their Achilles heel. I had made sure there was no laying water, I had a fan on (which presumably blew them off course) and we even had lemongrass near the house. I also found out, and I am not surprised, that it is only the females that actually drink blood. Whist the males live exclusively on a diet of fruit and vegetables, yes they are vegetarians, the females are the vampires. Not so much Count Dracula and Countess Dracula!

 

 

“I think it just bit me,” I whispered in the darkness. Maybe I should have said “she has bitten me.” And then after a few seconds the uncontrollable need to itch. Countess Dracula had found her victim. “I thought you put the tablets in,” mumbled my wife in the darkness. I had. And this is another annoying thing. It seems that my wife doesn’t need any anti-mosquito equipment when she is lying next to me. I am the bait! Either a) mosquitos prefer English blood, or b) females prefer to inflict pain and discomfort on males first. I guess both of these could be true. She had succeeded. I had multiple bites. My leg looked like it had measles. I didn’t know where to scratch first. And, as normal, in the meantime my wife had fallen asleep safe in the knowledge that my body was working as a beacon for all the mosquitoes in the neighbourhood.

I gave up. Got out of bed and tried to get my brain to forget the need to itch. Apparently this particular breed of mosquito was immune to the special tablets. “Can’t you sleep neighbour?” I heard as I walked around outside my house in the dead of night. “Bloody mosquitoes are killing me tonight,” I half-whispered. “Yes, they are really vicious tonight,” she answered. Tell me something I don’t know. It was 2 o’clock in the morning. I still hadn’t slept. I decided on plan B. Camouflage! It was a warm night but I had no option. I took a sheet. And covered myself like I was a murder victim on the streets of New York. Was it hot? Absolutely, but at least I felt my shield would offer me some respite and the chance of sleep. I did actually fall asleep, albeit in a pool of sweat, until the Apache helicopter of the insect world thundered its (sorry her) rotors in my ears again. Of course I has moved the “shield sheet” in my sleep.

The hunter had found a path to her prey again. How can something small be so terribly annoying? Dawn had broken. I gave up and got up, still scratching like a dog with fleas. The early morning sunshine filled the bedroom. I looked disgustedly at the anti-mosquito device in the wall. And then I saw it. The cause of my sleepless night. Whilst the actual electronic part of the device was in the wall and its little orange light shining, the small blue tablet was lying on the floor, unused. Clearly was pushing it into the wall in the dark bedroom I had tipped it to one side and the tablet had fallen out. The relationship between events or things, where one is the result of the other or others – cause and effect.

Needless to say I armed myself to the max the next night. There were so many aromas in my bedroom it felt like a Turkish baths. “The one thing that I cannot live without when I'm traveling is a small container of tea tree oil. It's not the most glamorous thing, but if you get a cut, a mosquito bite, a small breakout, no matter what it is, it's my little cure-all.” You’ll never guess who once said that. The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

 

In the last 24 hours, 2 new cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. These two new patients are a younger woman from the area of Dubrovnik who became infected in Zagreb and a younger woman from Smokvica who became infected in Split, and since June 25 she has been in self-isolation. Both have mild symptoms of the disease.

In the Dubrovnik-Neratva County, there are 72 people in self-isolation. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 38 cases of self-isolation violations have been identified.

 

England has published a full list of so-called safe countries to travel during the summer in the context of a coronavirus pandemic, and Croatia is on the list.

Those Britons returning home from the countries on the list will not have to undergo a prescribed two-week quarantine. The list of these countries includes, among others, Croatia, and neighbouring Serbia.

Apart from Croatia, there are Greece, Spain, France, Belgium and other countries, and this decision will take effect on July 10.

But some countries are not on the safe list, such as China, the United States, Sweden and Portugal, which means that Britons returning from travel from those countries will have to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine. That decision has infuriated airlines and passenger companies.

The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been debating the relaxation of these measures for days. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are pursuing their own health policies, have not announced plans to lift the measures. Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, commented that finalising the list of countries had been delayed due to the fact that there was a hope and belief that all four UK nations could reach a joint decision. This hasn’t happened and now each nation will take its own independent actions. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, commented for the BBC that “Scotland could not be dragged along by the UK government's "shambolic decision making". After the fallout over Brexit this latest decision from UK nations to take their own paths on travel regulations is being viewed by commenters as further distancing from each other.

The full list of countries on the English, so-called safe countries list, also includes Germany, New Zealand, Greece, Norway, Poland, Australia, Hong Kong, Hungary and Iceland. Ireland is already exempt as part of the common travel area, as are the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

 

In the past 24 hours there have been 96 new cases of Covid-19 across Croatia, meaning that the number of people currently infected with the virus has reached 728. Among this total there are 88 patients in hospital, of which 4 are on ventilators. Over the past 24 hours unfortunately two people have passed away due to Covid-19.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 3,008 people have been infected with Covid-19, of which unfortunately 112 have died and on a positive note 2,168 have recovered.

There are currently 4,943 people in self-isolation in Croatia. To date, a total of 82,902 people have been tested, of which 1,465 were tested in the last 24 hours.

 

Air Serbia, the national carrier of the Republic of Serbia, yesterday started with flights between the capital of Croatia and the Serbia capital. These new flights between Zagreb and Belgrade will operate once a day, every day, and is the first of a range of new connections with Air Serbia, reports Croatian Aviation.

Air Serbia re-establish connections between the two neighbouring capitals on an evening flight from Belgrade to Zagreb yesterday, although according to information there was little interest for this first flight and bookings were poor.

Air Serbia has already launched flights on the Belgrade-Split route. The company operated its first flight on Sunday, June 28, and flights will run twice a week through July, Fridays and Sundays.

The company will also launch flights to Dubrovnik. The Dubrovnik - Belgrade line will be in operation from today, July 3, with two weeks of flights, Fridays and Mondays, and from July 15, another flight will be added per week, every Wednesday.

The Belgrade - Zadar line is also being introduced. The company will operate on this line from July 11 with two flights a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The long-term seasonal line Belgrade - Pula will be in operation from July 10, with as many as three weeks of flight, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

In the past 24 hours, 81 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Croatia, and the number of currently infected (active cases) in Croatia today has reached a total of 647 people. Among that number of cases 84 patients are in hospital, of which 3 are on a ventilator. Unfortunately, in the past 24 hours two people have passed away due to Covid-19 in Croatia.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 2,912 people have been infected with Covid-19, of whom 110 have died and 2,155 have recovered. There are currently 4,065 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 81,437 people have been tested, of which 981 in the last 24 hours.

 

Croatian Minister of Health, Vili Beroš, said on Thursday morning during a working visit to the County Health Centre in Split that, according to current data, the increase in new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours will be at yesterday's level.

When asked about more and more tourists arriving in Croatia and the possibility of more imported Covid-19 cases Beroš stated that Croatia still has a favourable epidemiological situation that is under control. And that tourists have not contributed to the slight increase that has occurred recently, but other imported cases.

Croatia has certainly seen a spike in new Covid-19 cases in recent days and this has coincided with the opening of borders and a large influx of tourists in the country. However, Beroš states that these new cases have come from neighbouring countries and not from tourists.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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