Tuesday, 02 June 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

President Zoran Milanovic announced today that the parliamentary elections will be held on July 5 this year, according to a decision sent from the Office of the President.

According to the decision on calling elections for members of the Croatian Parliament, elections at polling stations in the Republic of Croatia will be held on Sunday, July 5, 2020, and elections at polling stations at the headquarters of diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Croatia will be held on Saturday July 4 and Sunday, July 5, 2020.

 

Croatia can expect around a 70 percent drop in tourism revenues in 2020 compared to last year, according to the Croatian Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli. He has stated that based on bookings, communication with travel operators and partners as well as the borders opening and the positive epidemiological situation that interest in holidaying in Croatia is increasing. However, a realistic expectation is about a third of last year’s tourism revenue, or about 4 billion Euros.

He added that by the end of May "borders will be opened with four or five more countries from the immediate vicinity, and then in mid-June with Germany and then further with more countries,” said Cappelli, who expressed expectations and announcements for this tourist season as a guest on Nova TV.

When asked about intensified campaigns and competition marketing, especially Greece, which is being promoted as the corona-free country, he answered with a graph on tourist demand from a survey in Germany, according to which Croatia is the most sought after among the four Mediterranean countries (Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia).

He also noted that there is great interest in setting up airlines with Israel and other countries.

He also referred to Dubrovnik, which as a mostly tourist air destination with 90 percent of tourists coming by plane is now suffering a lot because there are no flights, saying that they recently had a very serious conversation with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković about resolving the issue of ports, tourism and air traffic. It has been decided that, if nothing else is possible, Croatia Airlines flights to Dubrovnik will be operated with a special joint advertising program with the Croatia National Tourist Board.

"I spoke with the Mayor of Dubrovnik about the initiative to start bookings in Luxembourg on June 1, and that epidemiologists will agree on the details of accepting these flights from Luxembourg and some other countries where there is interest," the minister revealed.

 

The Czech Republic is planning to ease travel between the central European country and other countries, including Croatia, deemed safe from risks of coronavirus from June 8, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said on Monday, reports the Ministry of Tourism. 

The Reuters news agency recalls that "the Czech Republic was among the first countries in Europe to ban entry by foreigners and even banned most Czechs from travelling abroad to keep the spread of the infection under control in March."

Some restrictions have been eased but the country is still not open for foreign tourism and Czechs are required to present a negative coronavirus test upon return or go into quarantine.

Discussions have been underway to open borders with neighbours such as Austria and Slovakia, which have also taken steps to relax their border regimes.

Vojtech was quoted by Reuters as saying "he had proposed that as of June 8, travel to and from a list of risky countries - to be determined but currently likely to include Spain, Italy or France - would be subject to the current requirements while others deemed safe - such as Austria, Slovakia or Croatia - would be exempt."

Vojtech said the list of risky countries would be updated continuously. Prime Minister Andrej Babis said last week that borders with Slovakia and Austria could be fully opened from June 8.

In mid-April, Babis and his Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic held a telephone conversation on the arrival of Czech tourists in Croatia this summer.

Plenkovic said on Twitter then that they agreed the two countries' tourism ministers should propose models for the arrival of Czech tourists in Croatia this year.

 

Eurowings, the budget sister airline of Lufthansa, has announced it will restart flights from Hamburg and Dusseldorf to Rijeka, from Dusseldorf to Pula and from Cologne to Zadar from the 20th of June this year.

The low-cost airline will run a weekly service between these German and Croatian destinations, reports Ex-Yu Aviation. Although it is so far a reduced flight schedule, when compared with 2019, this news will certainly be a boost for Croatia’s tourism industry. Eurowings has also announced that they will continue to operate flights between Cologne and Zagreb.

Eurowings’ CEO, Jens Bischof, commented that “We can feel the growing desire of people to travel again and relax and enjoy their holidays after a long period of travel bans. This is exactly what we are now making possible with our extended summer schedule – reliably, safely and with all due caution. Travelling, whether private or professional, will be possible again”.

 

It isn’t only the travel industry and the real estate market in Croatia that have seen prices tumbling since the Covid-19 pandemic began but so has the car market. Demand for new cars across Europe in April pretty much collapsed, and according to new figures the decline in Croatia was higher than the European average.

A report by the ACEA manufacturer's association showed on Tuesday that a massive 76 percent less new cars were registered in the 26 countries of the European union in April, a heavy blow for Europe’s car manufacturers.

April is the first month in which Covid-19 measures have been in place from the first day to the last day from governments trying to curb the spread of Covida-19, the ACEA explains the biggest drop in demand since they began publishing reports.

Among the leading European markets, demand sank the most in Italy and Spain, by 97.6 and 96.5 percent, respectively. The pandemic hit these two European countries the hardest. Demand fell 61.1 percent in Germany and 88.8 percent in France.

According to ACEA data, a total of 1,077 new cars were registered in Croatia in April, 87.5 percent less than in the same month last year. In March, demand for cars fell 46.2 percent.

A total of 11,078 new cars were registered in Croatia in the first four months of this year, which is 46.8 percent less than in the same period last year, the ACEA report showed.

 

Over the past 24 hours in Croatia four new cases of Covid-19 have been detected bringing the total number of people who have been infected since the coronavirus pandemic began to 2,232. The National Headquarters also confirmed that one patient has died in the past 24 hours, meaning that 96 people have died since the outbreak began. In total 1,967 people have made a full recovery from Covid-19 in Croatia.

The four new Covid-19 patients are from the Brod-Posavina County.

So far, 55,800 people have been tested up and down the country, of which 980 were tested over the last 24 hours.

There are also 2 fewer people hospitalized, which means that 120 people are in hospital. Out of that, 10 patients are on a ventilator, announced Civil Protection Directorate.

As always comprehensive information on the Covid-19 situation is available at the official website - https://www.koronavirus.hr/

 

 

12 days have passed and there are no new cases of Covid-19 in the entire Dubrovnik – Neretva County. According to currently available data in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, no new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours. Out of a total of 53 samples sent for analysis on Monday, 14 were negative and the rest are being processed.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in Croatia a total of 118 people have been infected in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County, of which 97 people have made a full recovery and unfortunately 8 people have passed away. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,729 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis.

As of today, 2 positive patients are hospitalized in the Infectious Diseases Department Dubrovnik General Hospital.

A total of 14 citizens are in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure has been established.

 

The Slovenian government has made a decision according to which, due to the similarity of the epidemiological situation related to Covid-19, there is currently no need for previous restrictions when entering the country from Croatia, writes Jutarnji list.

"The government is well acquainted with the epidemiological situation in the Republic of Croatia prepared by the National Institute of Public Health, which shows that the risk of spreading Covid-19 infection in both countries is similar, and that there is currently no need for special restrictions on movement between the two countries, or for carrying out quarantine or self-isolation when crossing the border," the Slovenian government said in a press release on Monday night.

After announcing the end of the Covid-19 epidemic at the end of last week and announcing that it would in principle reopen the borders for citizens of EU member states and the Common European Economic Area, but with a preliminary assessment of the epidemiological situation in each country, Slovenia is working to reach similar agreements with other neighbouring countries.

The Slovenian Economic Minister, Zdravko Pocivalsek, said the goal was to agree with neighbouring countries with a similar epidemiological picture to reopen borders by early June, and on Monday he discussed the issue with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjart.

According to the Slovenian minister, the goal is to determine the protocols for the border crossing regime and ensure all the conditions so that there is no threat to health, i.e. the possibility of the spread of coronavirus. Slovenia has also started talks on such a protocol with Austria.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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