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 first 14 days of July, more than 950,000 tourists stayed in Croatia, and achieved more than 6.6 million overnight stays, which is at the level of 55 percent of last year's results, which exceeded estimates, expectations and competition, the Croatian Association of Tourism (HUT) said on Wednesday.
HUT estimates that the July tourist results are "primarily the result of the best coastal epidemiological picture in the Mediterranean", adding that "Croatia still has one of the best epidemiological situations in the EU ".
From the beginning of this year to the middle of July, there were more than 2.6 million tourists in Croatia, who realized 14.3 million overnight stays, of which the most, or 5.1 million, were in private accommodation, followed by campsites with 2.6 million and hotels with 2.1 million overnight stays.
Most foreign guests were from Germany, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria and Hungary.
According to HUT data, 786 hotels and 395 campsites are currently open in Croatia, and other facilities and facilities in destinations are opened every day.
"Safety standards in all tourist facilities are high, and Croatian epidemiologists have made very detailed guidelines for all types of facilities and tourist services implemented across the country," states HUT.
The head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters and Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović was a guest on the RTL Danas show on Wednesday, in which he spoke about the measures introduced by the headquarters he manages due to the coronavirus epidemic.
“You know that our approach is oriented towards raising people's awareness. At the time when science confirms something, and science knows that the issue of masks, given that we know that it is a virus, initially the World Health Organization gave two interpretations, but now it is consensually accepted that masks protect, especially if they we all wear them indoors,” said the Minister.
He added that “Our goal is for citizens to accept this fact as something that can protect them and others from them when it comes to coronavirus transmission. We will do everything so that we do not have to come to a situation where people are being punished. However, if someone consciously does not want to wear a mask, which is obligatory and thus endangers people's health indoors, then the competent authorities would take some other actions,” said Božinović.
When asked how long he expects people to have to wear masks he answered that “Until a solution is found for this virus and if the scientific community does not change its opinion, then it would last until the end of the epidemic is declared.”
And commenting on the tourism season in Croatia the Minister stated that “There are more than 470,000 tourists in Croatia. I see that the Croatian Tourism Association is currently somewhere at 55 percent of overnight stays compared to 2019. I think that everyone who deals with tourism is doing their best to keep Croatia perceived as a safe country for tourism, and this is shown by the growing numbers of tourists,” he concluded.
The National Civil Protection Headquarters published new data on the number of people infected with Covid-19 in Croatia in the last 24 hours.
The number of new cases in 24 hours is 92, which means that the total number of people who have contracted the virus in the Republic of Croatia since the pandemic began is 3,953. From that total there are 1,204 active cases, and 2,639 people have made a full recovery.
So far, 97,724 people have been tested, of which 1,804 were tested in the last 24 hours. There are currently 132 people in hospital and five patients are on a ventilator.
“Today the number is higher than yesterday, but there are no new hotspots, everything is related to already known situations: gatherings, weddings, an event in Đakovo. The only slightly higher number is in the Karlovac County, and all cases are related to one family where most members became infected,” said Krunoslav Capak, the Director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.
Asked whether the schools would open in the fall or continue with online classes, Capak replied, “It's too early to talk about it. We have in mind this situation, the summer will pass quickly and at the beginning of September we will have to make that decision and it depends on what the situation will be like. From the experiences of other countries that have opened schools we can say that nothing bad has happened.”
Damir Trut, the Assistant Minister of the Interior for Civil Protection, announced the obligation to wear the mask in some other places, “A decision was made to supplement the decision on the necessary measure of mandatory use of a face mask. The decision added that masks must be worn by employees of companies, institutions and institutions that work with clients, and clients who come there. Also employees of service industries who come into close contact with customers. The decision takes effect today.”
In the last 24 hours, 5 new cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. These new Covid-19 cases are two males from Dubrovnik of younger and middle age, a male and female person from Župa of middle age, and a younger man from Metković.
An epidemiological link has been established for the three of them, and processing is underway for the remaining two.
A total of 6 people are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4,797 samples have been sent for analysis to Zagreb.
There are 183 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure has been established.
In the past 24 hours, we have 52 newly diagnosed patients in Croatia, announced the Minister of Health Vili Beroš at the conference of the National Civil Protection Headquarters. And one person has died.
EU member states decided on Tuesday to remove Montenegro and Serbia from the list of third countries from which it is possible to travel to the EU without restrictions, due to the increased number of people infected with the coronavirus, diplomatic sources have learned.
After the exclusion of Serbia-Montenegro, there are no more European countries on the list from which one can enter the EU without restrictions, except perhaps Georgia, a country on the border between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The list includes 13 countries: Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, China, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
Over the past 24 hours 53 new cases of Covid-19 have been detected across Croatia as the country seems to have found itself in the middle of a second wave of the virus. The last couple of days have seen the numbers of new cases continue to fall slightly after 140 cases were recorded a few days ago. So far in Croatia 3,775 people have been infected with Covid-19, stated the Minister of Heath, Vili Beros.
He added that as of yesterday there have been no deaths, there are 4 patients on a ventilator, and that at the current time Croatia has 132 people in hospital and 1,145 active cases.
“We continue to coexist with the virus, it is among us, we must be careful. We witnessed the easing of measures, the results were more than excellent, but since June 18 there has been an increase in the number of patients. We try to react by selectively prescribing measures that are consistent with events on the ground,” said Beros.
As of today protective face masks are obligatory in stores.
And at today’s press conference the Minister of the Interior, Davor Bozinovic, commented on the wearing of face masks that, “At the global level, we are faced with a new dynamic of virus spread, which is also felt in Croatia. The fact that we are extinguishing local hotspots is gratifying. There are measures that will have to be applied, such as the obligation to wear masks indoors, catering facilities, shops, in public transport. In the fall, they could face bigger challenges, perhaps more severe symptoms. We must use this period so that everyone acquires the necessary habits. In that sense, we decided to repeat these press conferences, which were very successful because they also serve to educate the public. The issue of wearing masks is an integral part of that education. Our basic approach is to keep the public informed. Big stores and shopping malls have their own security guards, so the enforcement of the face mask regulation isn’t a problem. Smaller shops are not allowed to serve anyone without a mask, there are not so many police or inspectors who can cover everything, that is why we appeal to the consciousness of citizens.”
He added that “Traders and caterers can call 112 or the police if a problem occurs. We have to get used to the new normal. Day by day, we will repeat everything that is important for citizens in order to reduce the number of patients, slow down the spread of the virus, all with the goal of keeping people healthy and to be as ready as possible for the autumn.”
World Cup winning German goalkeeper, a member of the national team of Germany and Bayern Munich, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, is spending his summers in Dalmatia these days.
He was again a guest of his long-time friend Toni Topalović, who is the goalkeeper coach in Germany. How strong their friendship is also shown by the fact that during his transfer from Schalke to Bayern Munich, Neuer did not want to go if his Croatian friend did not move with him to the new environment.
Neuer hang out yesterday on the island of Sipan on the Prijezba beach and clearly enjoyed the Adriatic and a break in the sunshine.
Recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of public Health for passengers crossing the state border of the Republic of Croatia.
The Decision on temporary prohibition of crossing the border crossings of the Republic of Croatia (NN 74/20) prohibits or restricts the crossing of passengers through border crossings, of which are exempt
1. EU nationals (irrespective of their place of residence), the Schengen area and Schengen associated countries, as well as members of their families and third-country nationals who are long-term residents under Council Directive 2003/109/EZ of 25 November 2003 on the status of long-term nationals of third countries and persons entitled to stay under other EU or national Directives or having national long-term visas.
2. The temporary prohibition on entry into the Republic of Croatia from third countries, with the exception of passengers referred to in point 1, shall not apply to
2a) Health care professionals, health researchers and associates, nursing professionals and persons requiring urgent medical treatment
2b) Cross-border workers
2c) Carriers of goods and other transport personnel to the extent necessary
2d) Diplomats, police officers in the performance of their duties, civil protection services and teams, staff of international organisations and international military personnel in the performance of their functions
2e) Transit passengers
2f) Passengers travelling for tourism or other business reasons or having other economic interest, and passengers travelling for the purpose of education
2g) Passengers travelling for urgent personal reasons (e.g. they own a property in the Republic of Croatia) or have any other immediate personal reason
Instructions for the health supervision of passengers entering the Republic of Croatia from third countries
a) For all passengers entering the Republic of Croatia from third countries, under exemption from the prohibition to cross the border referred to in point 2g, health supervision with 14 days quarantine/self-isolation is mandatory.
Quarantine/self-isolation can be shortened to seven days if a passenger does a nasal and pharynx swab at his/her expense seven days after entering Croatia and gets a negative PCR test result for SARS-CoV-2.
b) The obligation of self-isolation for passengers entering the Republic of Croatia from third countries does not apply to passengers referred to in points 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, and
2e) Transit passengers
• For transit passengers, the border police will, after they have been granted entry, check whether they have left the territory of the Republic of Croatia within 12 hours
• This rule can only be applied if the departure from the Republic of Croatia to a neighbouring country enables it to enter.
2f) – Passengers entering the Republic of Croatia for tourism or other business reasons or having other economic interest, as well as persons travelling for educational purposes.
These passengers may enter Croatia without the obligation of self-isolation upon presentation of a negative nasal and pharynx swab test for SARS-CoV-2, not older than 48 hours (starting from the time of taking the swab until arrival at the border crossing), or with the obligation of 14 days quarantine/self-isolation if they do not have a negative PCR test.
Passengers entering Croatia without the obligation of self-isolation shall comply with the following measures during the first two weeks of their stay in Croatia
• During the first 14 days after entering the Republic of Croatia, exits from accommodation are limited only to the necessary ones: performance of work if it is a business reason for entering the Republic of Croatia, performance of necessary activities with continuous intensified implementation of hygiene measures.
• During the necessary exit from accommodation it is recommended to use a mask or covers for the nose and mouth, maintain physical distance from other persons (minimum 1.5 meters) and conduct hand hygiene.
• Hands wash as often as possible with warm water and soap and/or use a hand disinfectant that needs to be rubbed in the palms. Avoid touching the face, mouth, nose and eyes.
• Avoid the use of public transport. In a means of transport, it is desirable that a person is alone or exclusively with persons sharing a common accommodation.
• Gatherings should be consistently avoided
• During business meetings it is necessary to meet as few people as possible, ensure a physical distance of 1.5 meters and availability of disinfectants, and avoid unnecessary meetings.
• Payment services are performed by non-cash card payments or on-line services.
• Every morning it is necessary to measure the body temperature if it is higher than 37.2C, the measurement should be repeated after 10 minutes, and if the temperature is higher than 37.2 C it is necessary to stay at home/in accommodation and contact a doctor in a tourist or COVID-19 infirmary or a territorially responsible epidemiologist.
• In case of symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, sore throat, fever, short breathing/difficulty or loss of smell), it is necessary to stay at home/in accommodation and contact a doctor in a tourist or A COVID-19 infirmary or a territorially responsible epidemiologist.
• In case of sudden onset of severe, life-threatening symptoms, contact emergency medical service at 194.