A total of 893 Croatians have been repatriated since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic and several hundred are due to return this weekend, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said on Saturday.
A total of 155 passengers, mostly Croatians as well as several citizens of Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, are arriving in Zagreb on Saturday evening aboard special Croatia Airlines flights from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Sweden, he said.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has sent protective masks and gloves for the passengers, who will need to observe social distancing rules. Upon arrival at the airport, they will be examined by doctors and will be ordered into quarantine or self-isolation if necessary, the minister said, noting that it was the government's obligation under the constitution to ensure the repatriation of Croatian nationals.
On Sunday, 37 Croatians are due to arrive in Zadar by catamaran from Ancona and more than a hundred are expected to arrive in several buses from Tyrol.
Grlic-Radman said that the governments of Slovenia, Hungary, Austria and Italy had helped the Croatian authorities with previous repatriations. "This situation has shown how solidary we can be and how much we can do together. When you act alone, you cannot do much but you need to work in cooperation with others."
A total of 893 Croatians have been repatriated to date, including 564 from third countries such as India, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Morocco and Peru. Last week, 13 Croatians returned by bus from Tyrol, and as many arrived in a six-car convoy last night, the minister said.