Tuesday, 04 August 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

It is a city that has inspired poets and authors to write the most romantic prose, to motivate painters to fill canvases with dreamy images and musicians to echo melodies off the stone façades. And today Dubrovnik proved that it still has the loving touch as the destination of a marriage proposal.

It was all done by the book, down on one knee, the look of love from his soon to be wife, this young Polish couple will remember Dubrovnik forever.

We wish the happy couple all the best for the future and know that Dubrovnik will stay in their hearts forever.

say yes in du


In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County one new case of Covid-19 infection was recorded in the past 24 hours. This latest patient is an elderly woman from the island of Korčula, and epidemiological processing is underway.

Yesterday it was reported that an employee of a nursing home in Blato has tested positive for Covid-19 after she returned to work from her holidays. Now all the remaining employees and users of the home in Blato have been tested and all 64 results have come back negative.

A total of 6,430 samples have been analysed since the beginning of the pandemic.

As of today, there are no hospitalized people positive for Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. There are 184 people in self-isolation across the county, and in the last 24 hours there were no violations of self-isolation measures.



Since the Covid-19 pandemic first hit the Dubrovnik region on the 18th of March this year there has been a total of 190 positive cases in the entire county, from which 169 people have made a full recovery and unfortunately 8 people have passed away. The largest number of cases in the county have been in Dubrovnik itself, which has seen 77 cases and 3 deaths, Ploce which has had 34 cases and 4 deaths and Konavle with 27 cases and 1 death.

How has tourism effected new Covid-19 cases in Dubrovnik 

Over the past month, from the 4th of July to the 4th of August, there have been 56 new cases of Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. However, the number of new Covid-19 would appear to be dropping as in the last 7 days there have been 7 new cases.

The influx of tourists into the region, there were 132,000 tourists in the county in July alone which is more than the actual population of the county, doesn’t seem to have had an effect on the number of new cases. Since the European Union opened internal borders on the 15th of June 2020 and tourists started to arrive in the county there has been a total of 72 new cases recorded.

In other words, in 50 days of heightened tourism the number of new Covid-19 cases has remained at an average of 1.4 per day. If you compare this figure with the first 50 days of the pandemic in the county, starting from the 18th of March, there were 115 positive cases, or an average of 2.3 cases a day. It must also be mentioned that the levels of testing has actually increased in the past 60 days.

Construction works on one of the most popular walkways in the Dubrovnik region look like finally coming to an end. The panoramic pathway that leads from the Bay of Lapad to the series of hotels on Babin Kuk follows the coastline of the Adriatic and is extremely popular and soon it will have a new look.

In addition to the installation of public lighting, stone cladding and a protective fence, have been installed. The promenade has been widened in the narrowest part and is now 2.40 metres wide with an additional 20 centimetres to accommodate the fence.

The length of time that it actually took is revealing. The Chinese construction company will finish the Peljesac Bridge, a bridge that is roughly 2.4 kilometres long as opposed to a 600 metre stretch of walkway, in a shorter time period than this walkway. In fact, this reconstruction of this relatively short walkway was started in 2013, a full seven years ago.

Finally, the Lapad walkway is finished, well almost finished.


Due to the rather bad epidemiological situation in the country, Croatian citizens cannot travel as freely as most other citizens of the European Union. But that is why anyone from the EU can come to Croatia.

Although the number of infected people in Croatia is not nearly as dramatic as in some other countries, in terms of the cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period, Croatia is among the worst countries in the European Union. Only Luxembourg, Romania, Bulgaria, Andorra, Sweden, Portugal and Spain are worse than us. That is why some EU countries do not allow people from Croatia to travel to them, reports 24 Sata.

On the other hand, residents of all 26 EU member states and residents of Great Britain, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland can travel freely to Croatia. Apart from the citizens of these countries, all foreign citizens who are permanently settled in these 30 countries can travel freely to Croatia. So, regardless of whether someone is Iranian, Afghan, American, Serb or Chinese, if they live in one of these countries, they can travel freely to Croatia as a tourist or for any other reason.



Citizens living in other countries are currently not allowed in Croatia. But there are many exceptions. Free entry into Croatia is provided to citizens of ‘third countries’ who are health professionals, health researchers and associates, care professionals for the elderly and people who require urgent medical treatment. Also, cross-border workers, regardless of where they live, can enter Croatia. Exceptions also apply to diplomats, police officers on duty, civil protection services and teams, staff of international organizations and international military personnel in the performance of their functions.

However, if we look at the Decision on the temporary ban on crossing the border crossings of the Republic of Croatia in even more detail, it turns out that anyone can actually come to Croatia. Namely, point (clause) 2f states that persons traveling for tourist or other business reasons or who have another economic interest and persons traveling for education are also exempted from the ban. So, if someone wants to come to Croatia as a tourist, in theory he can do it freely, regardless of where he or she comes from. Also, entry is allowed due to transit through Croatia, but also for urgent personal reasons, and such a reason under point (clause) 2g can be the ownership of real estate in the Republic of Croatia, writes 24 Sata.

In short, in theory, everyone can go to Croatia, but Croatians cannot travel freely from Croatia wherever we want. Free tourist entry or entry for other reasons is currently provided by 20 countries that are members of the EU or the Schengen area. Nine countries ban Croatian residents from free entry. These are Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Slovenia. The rules vary from country to country, so some of these countries require quarantine for passengers from Croatia, while others require testing for Covid-19. Also some states only allow travel for business reasons. In some countries the situation changes from day to day, so it is necessary to study the rules and restrictions in detail before traveling. This is easiest to do on the EU Re-open page, where detailed information is available for all EU and Schengen countries.

In the past 24 hours, 34 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Croatia and unfortunately there have been four fatalities.

The number of currently infected (active cases) in Croatia today is a total of 703, and among them, 130 patients are in hospital, of which 6 are on a ventilator.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 5,294 people have been infected with Covid-19, of whom 153 have died and 4,438 have recovered.

There are currently 2,520 people in self-isolation. To date, a total of 122,083 people have been tested, of which 763 were tested in the last 24 hours.


In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County one new case of Covid-19 infection was recorded in the last 24 hours. According to the Civil Protection for the Dubrovnik-Neretva-County this latest patient is a female from Blato, who is an employee of the Home for the elderly and severely ill, Mother Marija Petković in Blato, she was tested before returning to work from vacation.

A total of 6,262 samples have been analysed since the beginning of the pandemic.

As of today, there are no hospitalized persons positive for Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

There are 176 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours there were no violations of self-isolation measures.


Just before 12 o'clock on the part of the road between Pločice and Molunat in Konavle, a car with Zagreb registration plates caught fire while driving.

Firefighters were quickly on the scene and succeeded in putting out the blazing car, and according to the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department, fortunately no one was injured, only material damage was caused.

So far no official reason as to how the car caught fire has been announced. Fortunately, the burning vehicle didn’t cause any forest fires in the dry grassland nearby.

burning car konavle


Zagrebačka bank is rated the best bank in Croatia in a global ranking of 1000 of the world’s quoted banks in the inaugural issue of THE STATEMENT, a new banking magazine launched by the London-based Lafferty Group. Zagrebačka bank scores particularly highly for Financial Inclusion.

The banks in Croatia are on average rated higher than those of Ukraine and the US, but lagging behind Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Russia and the UK.

The research is generated from the LAFFERTY 1000 global banking database, which scores the one thousand banks for quality across 21 metrics and rates them from 1-star for the weakest to 5-stars for the best. Other findings include - 

- Only 5 of the 1000 banks receive 5-star ratings and all are based in emerging markets

- With three exceptions, the mainly universal banking giants of Europe, North America, Japan and China that are designated as “globally significant” by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) are rated from poor to average at best.

- Italy’s UniCredit comes bottom of the group, with a 1-star rating.

These findings contradict the view, long held in the financial industry that the UK and the US are the leading countries for industry achievement.



THE STATEMENT is a new Lafferty Group digital banking magazine. It is being established at the height of the economic, financial and human crises caused by the global coronavirus pandemic in order to help progressive banks and bankers find a new way ahead for the industry.

The magazine takes as its starting point the current state of 1000 of the world’s largest quoted banks and rates each of them for their quality and sustainability using 21 metrics – from financial performance to how they treat a range of stakeholders including staff, customers, the unbanked, regulators, the environment – and not least shareholders.

The bank quality rating system on which the database is anchored uses a heuristic methodology to analyse the signals that banks are sending out in their annual reports – intentionally or otherwise – and combines them to score the overall bank. It uses the annual report because of its unique status as the primary vehicle for management of a bank to communicate and account to shareholders and other stakeholders.

Michael Lafferty, Chief Executive of Lafferty Group said, “Banks from emerging markets are now setting the pace in world banking. They are more focused and unfettered by the mistakes that have done so much damage to Western banks. These mistakes include a misguided love affair with universal banking and the destructive ideology of shareholder value”.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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