Friday, 03 July 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

England has published a full list of so-called safe countries to travel during the summer in the context of a coronavirus pandemic, and Croatia is on the list.

Those Britons returning home from the countries on the list will not have to undergo a prescribed two-week quarantine. The list of these countries includes, among others, Croatia, and neighbouring Serbia.

Apart from Croatia, there are Greece, Spain, France, Belgium and other countries, and this decision will take effect on July 10.

But some countries are not on the safe list, such as China, the United States, Sweden and Portugal, which means that Britons returning from travel from those countries will have to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine. That decision has infuriated airlines and passenger companies.

The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been debating the relaxation of these measures for days. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are pursuing their own health policies, have not announced plans to lift the measures. Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, commented that finalising the list of countries had been delayed due to the fact that there was a hope and belief that all four UK nations could reach a joint decision. This hasn’t happened and now each nation will take its own independent actions. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, commented for the BBC that “Scotland could not be dragged along by the UK government's "shambolic decision making". After the fallout over Brexit this latest decision from UK nations to take their own paths on travel regulations is being viewed by commenters as further distancing from each other.

The full list of countries on the English, so-called safe countries list, also includes Germany, New Zealand, Greece, Norway, Poland, Australia, Hong Kong, Hungary and Iceland. Ireland is already exempt as part of the common travel area, as are the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

 

In the past 24 hours there have been 96 new cases of Covid-19 across Croatia, meaning that the number of people currently infected with the virus has reached 728. Among this total there are 88 patients in hospital, of which 4 are on ventilators. Over the past 24 hours unfortunately two people have passed away due to Covid-19.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 3,008 people have been infected with Covid-19, of which unfortunately 112 have died and on a positive note 2,168 have recovered.

There are currently 4,943 people in self-isolation in Croatia. To date, a total of 82,902 people have been tested, of which 1,465 were tested in the last 24 hours.

 

Air Serbia, the national carrier of the Republic of Serbia, yesterday started with flights between the capital of Croatia and the Serbia capital. These new flights between Zagreb and Belgrade will operate once a day, every day, and is the first of a range of new connections with Air Serbia, reports Croatian Aviation.

Air Serbia re-establish connections between the two neighbouring capitals on an evening flight from Belgrade to Zagreb yesterday, although according to information there was little interest for this first flight and bookings were poor.

Air Serbia has already launched flights on the Belgrade-Split route. The company operated its first flight on Sunday, June 28, and flights will run twice a week through July, Fridays and Sundays.

The company will also launch flights to Dubrovnik. The Dubrovnik - Belgrade line will be in operation from today, July 3, with two weeks of flights, Fridays and Mondays, and from July 15, another flight will be added per week, every Wednesday.

The Belgrade - Zadar line is also being introduced. The company will operate on this line from July 11 with two flights a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The long-term seasonal line Belgrade - Pula will be in operation from July 10, with as many as three weeks of flight, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

In the past 24 hours, 81 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Croatia, and the number of currently infected (active cases) in Croatia today has reached a total of 647 people. Among that number of cases 84 patients are in hospital, of which 3 are on a ventilator. Unfortunately, in the past 24 hours two people have passed away due to Covid-19 in Croatia.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 2,912 people have been infected with Covid-19, of whom 110 have died and 2,155 have recovered. There are currently 4,065 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 81,437 people have been tested, of which 981 in the last 24 hours.

 

Croatian Minister of Health, Vili Beroš, said on Thursday morning during a working visit to the County Health Centre in Split that, according to current data, the increase in new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours will be at yesterday's level.

When asked about more and more tourists arriving in Croatia and the possibility of more imported Covid-19 cases Beroš stated that Croatia still has a favourable epidemiological situation that is under control. And that tourists have not contributed to the slight increase that has occurred recently, but other imported cases.

Croatia has certainly seen a spike in new Covid-19 cases in recent days and this has coincided with the opening of borders and a large influx of tourists in the country. However, Beroš states that these new cases have come from neighbouring countries and not from tourists.

 

World tourism could lose more than 1,200 billion US dollars or 1.5 percent of global GDP after almost four months of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and among the 15 countries whose GDP could suffer the most due to tourism losses, is Croatia, in fact Croatia is third on the list, according to a new report by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

In the new report on the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism, published this week, the UNCTAD also estimates losses in three 'scenarios' given the length of tourism disruptions - four, eight and 12 months.

"If the disruption of international tourism continues for eight months, the global loss in that sector could rise to 2,200 billion dollars, which is about 2.8 percent of global GDP, while in the most pessimistic scenario, if the interruption lasts 12 months, the losses could exceed $ 3.3 trillion, or 4.2 percent of GDP,” UNCTAD estimates.

They recall the great importance of the share of the travel and tourism sector in global GDP, as well as that tourism is the backbone of the economies of many countries and the 'life' of millions of people in the world.

"Covid19 has halted long-standing positive trends in world tourism, causing serious economic consequences around the world. Although tourism is slowly restarting in a growing number of countries, it is still stagnant in many, and for many, such as small islands and developing countries, a collapse in tourism also means a collapse in their development prospects,” Pamela Coke-Hamilton, UNCTAD’s director of international trade, warned in a report.

Analysing the impacts of tourism losses on its share of national GDP, UNCTAD estimates that Jamaica and Thailand could suffer the largest loss of tourism’s share of GDP, at 11 and 9 percent, respectively. In Croatia, that loss, according to their, as they say, moderate estimates, could be 8 percent, followed by Portugal with a loss of 6 percent, and the Dominican Republic with a loss of 5 percent.

Among the 15 most affected countries are Kenya, Morocco, Greece, Mauritius, Senegal, Ireland, Egypt, South Africa, Malaysia and Spain, and UNCTAD warns that the tourism sector will also feel pressure in many rich countries. They mention, they say, popular European and North American destinations, including France, Italy and the United States, which are also forecast to lose billions of dollars due to the dramatic decline in international tourism.

 

In May 2020, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County is in second place in terms of the jump in the number of unemployed people, an incredible 82 percent more when compared with May last year, reports Dubrovacki Vjesnik.

As the fear of virus began to weaken due to the improving epidemiological situation in the country, so the fear of recession began to grow. The service sector has been hit hardest, and as Dubrovnik depends on tourism, the crisis affecting the sector will obviously spill over to everyone else, from the wine industry to the retail business. The biggest burden is being borne by the private sector, and the smallest by the public sector. This can be seen in the reduction of salaries, in the private sector this has been up to 40 percent, whilst in the public sector it’s mostly been around 10 percent.

Looking at the different professions throughout the country the largest number of unemployed worked in the provision of accommodation, food preparation and serving, followed by the processing industry, trade, etc.

At the end of May, 6,838 people were registered as unemployed at the Croatian Employment Service - Dubrovnik Regional Office, which is an increase of 82 percent compared to May 2019, when 3,757 persons were unemployed.

The latest data from the CES regional office show that more than 4,500 employers applied for financial support from the Dubrovnik area in April to preserve jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and compensation was paid to a total of 16,000 employees.

There are 32,429 pensioners in the county who live on an average pension of 2,548 Kuna per month. The average pension of 2,326 pensioners of Croatian veterans and members of their families is on average of 5,569 Kuna per month.

 

At the end of last week, after several hours of talks between the representatives of the member states, the European Union made a list of 15 countries outside the Union whose citizens will be able to travel freely to the Union.

The head of the Office for Neighbouring Countries in the Border Administration, Tomislav Kufner, commented for HRT that these are only non-binding recommendations, and that each EU member state will make a decision at the national level.

"Yesterday, the Civil Protection Headquarters made a decision that EU citizens are allowed to enter Croatia without proving the purpose of entry, while countries outside the European Union, the so-called third countries at border crossings, must prove the purpose of entry," Kufner said.

When it comes to citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kufner said that when they enter the Republic of Croatia, they must prove the reasons for their arrival.

He added that the measure of self-isolation had been abolished, and that no country was covered by self-isolation, reports N1.

In order to reduce congestion and waiting time at the border, tourists can fill out a form on the internet that is designed to help when crossing the border - https://entercroatia.mup.hr

Kufner pointed out that this morning the magic number of one million announcements via this online system was broken, and that Slovenians, Germans and Austrians participated the most. He added that the form is valid for 90 days.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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