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 latest airline to announce their 2020 summer flight schedule to Dubrovnik is the Spanish low-cost airline, Volotea. The first flights to Dubrovnik will commence in June with Volotea connecting Dubrovnik to a total of 11 European destinations. And the airline is currently offering special discounted tickets, with a single ticket around 29 Euros.
This summer Volotea, according to their official website, will connect Dubrovnik to Venice, Strasbourg, Nantes, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Marseille, Bari, Palermo, Athens and Mykonos.
With the Croatian borders slowly opening the first guests came to Croatian marinas this weekend. These are Slovenes, Austrians and Germans, who had come to check on their vessels and to see what condition they were in. Although the marinas operated throughout the coronavirus epidemic, it was only with the easing of measures that the first guests began to arrive. According to the epidemiologist, there are no restrictions on guests coming to marinas.
“Croatian marinas are open to receive guests and boat owners with close family members can visit their boats without restrictions. Also, there are no restrictions for the entry and departure of ships within Croatian territorial waters, and vessel servicers work without restrictions", commented Kristijan Pavić, the President of the Management Board of ACI. Restrictions apply in marinas, shops, restaurants and cafes as well as in other facilities and purposes outside marinas. Pavić notes that with the gradual opening of the borders, the arrival of sailors who rent boats is beginning. Admittedly, in a negligible number, but this is also the beginning, writes Novac.hr.
At the moment, ships longer than 24 meters can enter Croatia freely from international waters and moor in marinas, although cruise ships are prohibited from entering Croatian waters and ports until the epidemic regulations concerning cruise ships are lifted.
Nautical tourism is one of the tourist branches for which an enormous drop in guest demand is predicted. In France, Spain and Italy, they predict a drop of as much as 80 percent. Croatia will not be exempt from that either. But, the announcements say that this year, thanks to the impressive fight against Covid-19 and the excellent epidemiological situation, Croatia could profit in the mega yacht segment. Maritime agent Andrija Šimić from the company Simmor reveals for Jutarnji list that this summer Croatia, along with Montenegro and Greece, could be a hit in the Mediterranean for owners and renters of mega yachts, ie yachts longer than 24 meters.
According to him, the "migration" of these vessels to Croatia has just begun. “The corona situation has made tectonic shifts in yachting. The owners of mega yachts that are moored in Italy have a plan to start their season from Croatia because they cannot wait for Italy to fully open and become operational,” he says. According to him, "in the next 30 days, the arrival of about 70 mega yachts from France and Italy is expected." These are yachts intended for charter, but also those in private ownership. Although Spain is quite far away, a dozen yachts have already arrived in Croatia from that country. Apart from the arrival of mega yachts from Mediterranean ports to Croatia, our coast should be the first destination for mega yachts from the Caribbean. Namely, the hurricane season begins in the Caribbean and now these vessels are moving towards the Mediterranean.
A large number of mega yacht owners decided to come to Croatia first because on May 3 we sent clear messages that mega yachts were welcome. I think that the entire Mediterranean season will concentrate on the triangle Croatia - Montenegro - Greece, where the situation with the Covid-19 is approximately the same", emphasizes Šimić.
This optimism is also confirmed by the director of ACI, Kristijan Pavić, who points out that soon they expect the arrival of larger ships in their marinas, and they receive daily inquiries from guests about the working conditions of marinas and renting boats.
The most popular budget airline in the world, Ryanair, has announced a new flight schedule for Dubrovnik for this summer season. In fact, Ryanair is restoring around 40 percent of its flights across Europe from the 1st of July, meaning they will be operating almost 1,000 flights a day.
Ryanair will start flying to Dubrovnik on the 1st of July from Dublin and will operate this route twice a week. Then on the 2nd of July the low-cost airline will open another route to Dubrovnik from Vienna. This Austrian line will land four times a week in Dubrovnik.
Both of these connections had already been planned for Dubrovnik for 2020, although the frequency and start dates have been altered. The Dublin connection was planned to operate four times a week.
Ryanair has also announced flights, although on somewhat of a reduced schedule, for this summer to Zadar, Pula, Rijeka and Split.
German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, said after a meeting with colleagues from countries bordering Germany that he believes a summer holiday in Europe will be possible this year but with certain limitations.
"In this year of the corona crisis, we want to enable a European summer holiday, but we must act responsibly. In order to succeed, the holiday must be predictable and, above all, safe," Heiko Maas said after meeting with foreign ministers.
He said security concerns two aspects: the first is to allow German tourists to return home safely, which requires the gradual opening of borders and the lifting of quarantine rules.
Another aspect, Maas said, concerns measures against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We need to be sure that we do not pay for summer tourism with the second wave of contagion. That is why we need to agree on health and hygiene standards in tourist centres," the German foreign minister said.
He stressed that Germany as a “world champion when it comes to travel” feels particularly responsible when it comes to reopening the travel season.
He stressed that he hoped the German government's recommendations not to travel abroad, at least as far as European countries were concerned, would be repealed on June 14.
"Today's talks on Monday brought us closer to that goal. We must continue this harmonization of positions and measures in the coming days," Maas said.
The German Foreign Minister also discussed the reopening of the tourist season on Monday with the foreign ministers of countries known as tourist destinations of German citizens, including Croatia.
In this technological era, where perfection is the utmost priority of everyone out there, one cannot deal with web code full of errors or mistakes. Therefore, it becomes highly indispensable for web developers to beautify their code. Moreover, the availability of the JSON beautifier has proved to be one of the most prodigious utilities. No one could deny the inevitability of this tool. Now the compound formation of code could be formatted by arranging the code is expeditious. The complex structure of code could be easily transformed into a better and simple formation with a JSON beautifier.
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As the Covid-19 situation in Croatia slowly stabilises and the number of new cases continues to fall the country is opening up and strict restriction measures are being lifted.
Here is information taken directly from the government’s official coronavirus update website – koronavirus.hr – and offers correct advice for foreigners entering the country. The article is entitled "Recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health for Croatian and foreign nationals who are crossing the state border and entering the Republic of Croatia."
Here are the instructions in full -
The Decision on the Temporary Ban of Transit through Border Crossings of the Republic of Croatia (“Official Gazette” number 32/20 and 48/20), and the Decision on the Amendment of the aforementioned Decision from 9 May 2020, allows
• Croatian citizens to enter into Republic of Croatia and go abroad.
• The return to the country of residence for citizens of EU Member Countries, namely citizens of Schengen Countries and Schengen Associated Countries as well as their family members, and third-country nationals who are long-term residents pursuant to the Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents and persons who have the right of residence on the basis of other EU Directives or national law or who have national long-term visas, and entry into the Republic of Croatia under special conditions.
• The same decision also prescribes exceptions for the application of abovementioned provisions, and they apply to the following
o healthcare professionals, healthcare researchers and associates, senior care professionals, and those requiring urgent medical treatment
o cross-border workers
o freight carriers and other transport personnel to the extent necessary
o diplomats, police officers in the performance of their duties, civil protection services and teams, personnel of international organizations and international military personnel in the performance of their functions,
o transit passengers, and for:
o persons who have a business reason or who have some other economic interest
o persons who are traveling due to urgent personal reasons (i.e. they own real estate in the Republic of Croatia or who have some other urgent personal reason).
Entry into the Republic of Croatia for Croatian citizens. The self-isolation measure in the duration of 14 days from article II. of the Decision is no longer implemented for Croatian citizens, instead upon entry into the Republic of Croatia they are given a leaflet by the border police in which they are notified that they are obligated to adhere to general and special recommendations and instructions by the Croatian Institute of Public Health, which recommend that they should limit their interaction with other persons from their area and only carry out the most urgent tasks outside of their homes during the 14-day period from the date they entered into the Republic of Croatia. The abovementioned also applies to foreign nationals who are allowed entry into the Republic of Croatia under special conditions.
Entry into the Republic of Croatia for foreign nationals. If the foreign national intends to cross the state border he has to meet one of the following conditions
• Possesses documentation with which he can prove ownership of real estate located in the Republic of Croatia, or vessel (lessee is also permitted), or is attending a funeral in the Republic of Croatia (possesses appropriate documentation which proves this). After meeting the conditions, such foreign nationals are allowed to cross the state border, they are registered and the location/address where they will stay, or where the real estate/vessel is located, is entered as well as the contact telephone number and duration of stay-when they plan leaving the Republic of Croatia.
• They possess documentation with which they prove that they were invited to the Republic of Croatia by an economic operator, the economic operator’s interest for them to enter into Republic of Croatia, or a business meeting invite. For these passengers, it is necessary to enter the place / address where they will stay and the contact phone number and duration of stay - when they plan to leave the Republic of Croatia.
Epidemiological measures. All of the abovementioned Croatian and foreign nationals have to be instructed regarding the epidemiological measures that they are obliged to adhere to, and they are as follows
• Persons from these categories are obligated to reduce contact with other persons to a minimum and adhere to instructions on reducing the risk of disease transmission (avoid physical contact, maintain a distance of at least 1.5 m during face-to-face contact; wash or disinfect hands often,
• handshakes; avoid touching your face, and it is recommended that they wear a face mask or surgical mask indoors, or outside of their home or accommodation).During the 14-day period from the date of entry into the Republic of Croatia, the persons measure their body temperature during the morning hours and if the body temperature reading is higher than 37.2 °C, if the person feels sick or has any signs of the disease, he should contact the chosen family physician, if he has one, or a territorially competent epidemiologist. The property owner or his representative or host, i.e. the organizer of their arrival, may assist the foreign nationals in contacting the epidemiological service.
• Occurrence of symptoms of the disease during the stay in the Republic of Croatia. If the persons cross the state border and develop symptoms of the disease after entering into the Republic of Croatia, they will stay in their accommodation and contact their host, i.e. organizer of their arrival, via telephone, who will notify the epidemiologist on standby or the competent primary healthcare physician. Outside of the working hours of the competent primary healthcare physician, the host of the foreign (official) person, who is exhibiting pronounced symptoms of the disease, calls the emergency medical services or contacts the closest COVID infirmary via telephone.
Entry into the Republic of Croatia for persons exhibiting signs of the disease. If a person is exhibiting signs of the disease when entering the Republic of Croatia, the border police shall inform the border sanitary inspector and / or the sanitary inspector of the Regional or Central Office of the State Inspectorate. Such persons are recommended not to enter the Republic of Croatia, and if they have to cross the state border due to urgent reasons, they are sent to the competent health institution for testing and treatment by the shortest possible route, that is, they are sent to be tested and undergo isolation.
Recommendation not to travel. Persons who have an elevated body temperature and/or acute respiratory infection symptoms should postpone their trip to the Republic of Croatia. Before traveling, foreign nationals are advised to measure their morning body temperature. If the person’s body temperature, which was measured in the morning hours, is higher than 37.2 °C, if the person feels sick or is exhibiting any signs of the disease (relates to all symptoms and signs of the diseases, not just respiratory diseases), it is recommended that that person should not travel.
Recommendations and instructions by the Croatian Institute of Public Health. Croatian and foreign nationals who are entering the Republic of Croatia are obligated to adhere to these instructions for a duration of 14 days from the date of crossing the border, in the following manner
• During the first 14 days after entering the Republic of Croatia, leaving the accommodation is limited to the following: for work, if the entry into the Republic of Croatia was due to business reasons, performing necessary activities while continuously adhering to hygienic measures.
• When leaving the accommodation due to necessary reasons, it is recommended to use a face mask or a nose and mouth cover, maintain physical distance from other people (no less than 1.5 m) and maintain hand hygiene.
• Wash hands as often as possible with warm water and soap, and/or use hand disinfectant which should be thoroughly rubbed between the palms. Avoid touching the face, mouth, nose and eyes.
• Avoid using public transportation. In a means of transport, it is preferable for the person to be alone or exclusively with persons who are sharing the accommodation.
• Consistently avoid groups and public gatherings.
• Meet as few people as possible during business meetings, ensure a physical distance of 1.5 meters with disinfectant being readily available, avoid unnecessary meetings.
• During their stay at the accommodation, such persons prepare their own food, or use food and beverage delivery services.
• Payment is done by contactless payment or through on-line services.
• The body temperature has to be measured each morning, if it is higher than 37.2 C° it has to be measured again after 10 minutes, and if it is still higher than 37.2 C°, they should stay at home/accommodation and notify the chosen family physician, if they have one (Croatian citizens), or the territorially competent epidemiologist.
• In the event that symptoms of acute respiratory infection occur (cough, sore throat, elevated body temperature, shortness of breath/trouble breathing, loss of smell and taste) it is necessary to stay at home/accommodation and notify the chosen family physician, if they have one (Croatian citizens), or the territorially competent epidemiologist.
• In the event that severe, life-threatening symptoms suddenly occur, the person should contact the urgent medical services.In the event that symptoms of respiratory disease occur. If you develop respiratory disease symptoms (elevated body temperature, cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, sore throat, weakness) call your chosen physician, who will evaluate the need for testing for the novel coronavirus on the basis of your health condition. If you require medical assistance for reasons other than respiratory diseases, call your chosen physician or have one of your household members contact him for a consultation and to arrange a house visit. Do not go to a healthcare facility alone without notifying them over the telephone beforehand. You can read more information about the coronavirus disease and measures for reducing the risk of spreading the disease on the CIPH website, as well as from your chosen doctor and territorially competent epidemiologist.
Today, two new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the whole of Croatia. A total of 2,234 patients have contracted the virus since the pandemic began and 1,978 people have made a total recovery.
The new patients are from Vukovar-Srijem and Koprivnica-Križevci counties. So far, 57,021 people have been tested, of which 1,221 were tested in the past 24 hours.
There are 3 fewer people in hospital, meaning that up and down the country there are 117 people in hospital, of these, 8 patients are on a ventilator, the Civil Protection Headquarters said in a press release.
So far, 96 people have died in Croatia due to Covid-19.
In the past 24 hours in the whole of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County there have been no new cases of Covid-19 detected. Today is the thirteenth day in a row that the county has been corona-free.
According to a press release from the Dubrovnik – Neretva County the remaining findings sent for analysis on Monday were all negative, and 44 samples were taken for processing on Tuesday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,773 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis.
As of today, 2 positive patients are hospitalized in the Infectious Diseases Department of Dubrovnik General Hospital. Since the Covid-19 pandemic first struck the Dubrovnik – Neretva County a total of 118 people contracted the Covid-19 virus with the first case uncovered on the 18th of March in Konavle.
For over a month the spread of the virus has been well under control across the county, with only 8 new cases recorded since the 17th of April.
In total 8 people have died from Covid-19 in the county and 97 patients have made a full recovery. A total of 10 citizens are currently in self-isolation in the county, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure has been established.
And after all three main phases of the Civil Protection Headquarters easing of Covid-19 measures have been in effect for some time now the numbers of new cases haven’t increased, both in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County and across the rest of Croatia, quite the contrary numbers have continued to decrease. And as life slowly returns to normal, albeit a Covid-19 normal, the message of “stay at home” has transformed into “stay responsible.” It has to be said that in the main this message is being followed and social distancing is still in effect. Thanks to strict and swift regulations from the government and a well-disciplined population the spread of the virus has been exceptionally well combated across Croatia. As experts from Oxford University pointed out – Croatia had the strictest Covid-19 measures in the world – and these measures certainly paid dividends.
The only measure that is still waiting, although not for much longer, is the complete opening of borders to tourists and the regulations and special conditions that they will face.