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 index, released on Tuesday, based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides data on what level of access each passport offers and what visas are required.
The Japanese passport provides access to most of the world's destinations without a visa, according to the passport index published by the British law firm Henley & Partners.
Persons holding a Japanese passport can enter 191 countries without a visa, or obtain it upon entry. The Singapore passport ranked second, offering visa-free entry into 190 countries. It is followed by Germany and South Korea, which allow entry into 189 countries. Having a Japanese passport has always been helpful, it used to be ranked in second place. And according to the Japanese government, this reflects the good international image of the country, the third largest economy and one of the safest countries in the world.
When ranking passports, current travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic were not taken into account. While Japanese tourists are among those from 14 countries who can travel to the EU again from July 1, entry restrictions remain in place for, say, the United States, whose passport ranks seventh.
The Croatian passport is in 19th place and can be used to travel without a visa to 170 countries. According to this index, Croatia was in 20th place last year, that is, with a Croatian passport it was possible to travel to 169 countries without a visa.
In fact, it is noticeable that the passport of the Republic of Croatia has been gaining in "value" in recent years. In 2018, Croatia was the worst in the EU according to this index. It was possible to travel without a visa to 155 countries. In two years, the citizens of the Republic of Croatia have received 15 new countries of the world for which they do not need a visa if they have the money, time and will to travel.
Croatia has 53 new recorded cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the National Headquarters announced. Currently, the number of active cases is 934, and among them 91 patients are in hospital. Four patients are on a ventilator.
One person has passed away due to Covid-19. From the beginning of the epidemic until today a total of 3,325 people have been infected with coronavirus, of which 114 have died and 2,277 have recovered.
There are currently 4539 people in self-isolation across the country.
To date, a total of 88,235 people have been tested, of which 1,375 were tested in the last 24 hours.
First Rod Stewart and now a star of the MMA world, Alistair Cees Overeem, is taking a break in Dubrovnik. The 40-year-old Dutch veteran, with over 19-years as a kick boxer and MMA fighter is currently the sixth highest ranked MMA fighter in the world.
Overeem arrived in Dubrovnik with his fiancée, former Dutch model Danielle Toele. The pair enjoyed a stroll through the streets of the Old City of Dubrovnik and a coffee on the Stradun.
The renowned American newspaper, whose website is visited by over 400 million readers a month, The New York Times, has included Croatia on the list of open countries for American citizens, reports Ina Rodin, the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Office in New York.
“Members of European Union countries can enter Croatia for any reason, but American tourists may visit only with proof of paid accommodation,” writes The New York Times on Croatia in the article.
In the article entitled "I am an American citizen, where in the world can I travel?", Croatia was highlighted as the only one of the few countries in the Mediterranean currently open to Americans, who can enter the country unhindered upon presentation of a reservation for accommodation.
“Any positive announcement coming from reputable and reliable sources like The New York Times increases the visibility of our country on the tourist map of the world. It is important that American travellers and all other guests from distant markets know that we are an open and safe destination in which tourist traffic takes place in compliance with all prescribed epidemiological measures and protocols," said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Stanicic.
Also, the American news portal The Daily Beast, which records over 35 million monthly visits, in an article highlights Croatia as a breath-taking Mediterranean hot spot, which is open to the arrival of American citizens.
However, with American Airlines announcing that direct flights between the US and Dubrovnik are cancelled for the foreseeable future it will be more challenging for US tourists to visit Croatia. In Dubrovnik for the past couple of years’ American tourists have been the second most numerous, directly behind UK tourists, and undoubtedly the American Airlines flights motivated more travellers to choose Dubrovnik and Croatia. The filming of the HBO serial, Game of Thrones, is also an added benefit to US fans as they flocked to see the set of King’s Landing, which was largely filmed in and around the historic Old City of Dubrovnik.
"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.