As the bells sounded midday in the ancient Old City of Dubrovnik the chimes eerily echoed of the stone facades, not a soul, not a café chair or a restaurant table, only the pigeons paid any attention to the mark of twelve o’clock as they fluttered from roof to terracotta roof. These cobbled streets and squares would normally be slowly filling as the tourist season gently begins, but this is not a normal year.
Only a handful of locals skittered around the empty streets, mostly wearing gloves and masks, nobody stopped to chat and all social distancing regulations were being obeyed. It seems strange, almost unworldly, to see the heart of the pearl of the Adriatic as silent as it is, as it has been for the past week. Every footstep on stone reverberates as if walking in a cave.
And as the travel restrictions are now in full force the roads are as empty of traffic as the Stradun is of life. Citizens are following social distancing regulations and the message, that is bombarding us from all media outlets, of #stayathome seems to be working.
There was even some good news today as the authorities announced that there are no new cases of coronavirus in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County. In these challenging times we all need all the positive news we can get. And the Dubrovnik Airport, the southernmost airport in Croatia, has also announced that they will reopen their doors on the 15th of April. The first case of coronavirus infection was detected with an employee at the airport.
Dubrovnik might still be in lockdown, and will be in lockdown for a good few weeks yet, but at least the advice to the public seems to be working, small steps, but steps in the right direction. Keep following the guidelines, keep washing your hands and keep being creative at home.