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 Interior Minister and head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Davor Bozinovic, on Thursday referred to the possibility of sanctioning those who do not respect the measure of wearing a mask, saying that "it is not a point to punish someone, but a point to change behaviour".
Regarding the obligatory wearing of a mask and the proposal of the Zagreb Headquarters to introduce the obligation to wear it in shopping malls, he says that this should be considered, but it is certain that epidemiologists will point out the justification of these measures given the mode of infection. He went onto say that he is not sure that there has been a larger increase in infections in shopping malls and stores, but wherever a mask can be worn, it certainly does not hurt.
However, wearing a facemask on public transport in Croatia is now an obligation.
"The point is not in restrictive behaviours, but for all people to accept the recommendations as an integral part of life that will last until we solve this situation with either a vaccine or a medicine, we have to get used to that life," Bozinovic told N1.
Regarding mandatory self-isolation for all who come from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia, he said that new infections came from those countries and that is why they decided on such measures. He added, however, that there are "personal reasons or of a humanitarian nature, even if it is a justified urgent business reason, for which one does not have to isolate oneself".
Although Croatia has recorded 95 new infections in the last 24 hours, the second largest number in a single day since the coronavirus appeared in Croatia, Bozinovic said "measures will not be as strict as before".
"The whole of Europe is opening up with certain measures. We are now, in this situation, making decisions and measures that will no longer last as long as they did in the first phase. We are ready to change decisions on a daily basis. In the first phase, it was easier to just close everything. and now we need to be more structured,” the minister concluded.
The National Headquarters confirmed today that there have been 95 new cases of Covid-19 recorded across Croatia in the past 24 hours, the second highest number of new cases since the pandemic began.
A total of 2,483 people have been infected with Covid-19 in Croatia since the pandemic first hit.
One newly ill person is from Brod-Posavina County, one from Šibenik-Knin County, one from Virovitica-Podravina County, one from Split-Dalmatia County and one from Varaždin County, two newly ill people are from the Istria County, two from Sisak-Moslavina County, five newly ill persons are from Zadar County, seven from Zagreb County, nine from Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, 25 newly ill persons are from the City of Zagreb, and 40 newly ill persons are from Osijek-Baranja County.
There are currently no patients on a respirator, and 42 people are being treated in hospital.
So far, 74,657 people have been tested, of which 919 were tested in the last 24 hours.
There have been no new cases of Covid-19 infection in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and all samples previously sent for analysis have been processed. Since the beginning of the pandemic a total of 3,604 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis.
In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, there are currently 48 people in self-isolation and no patients in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.
The headquarters of the Civil Protection of the County continues to appeal to citizens to adhere to all prescribed measures by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.
The Polish airline LOT has announced 13 new flight connections to Croatia for this summer, with flights to Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.
The company previously announced the return of lines from Warsaw to Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik, but now it has announced a completely new set of lines that have not been in operation before, reports Croatian Aviation.
The new flights to Dubrovnik are the Wroclaw - Dubrovnik starting on July 4 and running once a week. And Gdansk – Dubrovnik, again once a week starting from July 7 and Krakow – Dubrovnik, once a week, every Friday, from July 3. And making up the quartet of new Polish destinations is a new flight connection from Poznan – Dubrovnik, once a week, every Saturday, from July 5.
The new flights from LOT to Split include Lublin, Katowice, Poznan and Gdansk with flights starting on July 3. And to Zadar LOT will fly from Gdansk, Szczecin, Rzeszow, Krakow and Bydgoszcz, with all flights landing once a week.
In 2020, online gambling is more popular than ever before and is set to continue to grow at a record rate in Europe. Statistics show that more of us are using online platforms to gamble than ever, as the ease of access for consumers continues to catapult gambling profits into the stratosphere. The numbers suggest that the industry will continue to grow faster than ever before in the coming years. The question is, how did it happen?
How online gambling exploded in popularity
The development of technology has eradicated the need to leave the house in order to gamble, and this ease of access has been a gamechanger for the profits of the gambling industry. Gone are the days when a gambler would have to visit a casino to place a bet on sports or a casino game. Now, it only takes a tap on a smartphone or a click on a laptop to place a bet.
The options available to gamblers in the present day are also more plentiful than ever. Traditional casino games like poker, blackjack and roulette are available on most betting websites, and sports betting on football and other games is very profitable. Many iGaming websites, such as https://games.paddypower.com/c/jackpot-king, now have a wide range of arcade-style, themed video slots, which have attracted the attention of a host of consumers that might never have considered gambling previously.
No signs of slowing down
According to European Gaming and Betting Association data available at https://www.egba.eu/eu-market/#:~:text=The%20EU%20online%20gambling%20market,%E2%82%AC29.3%20billion%20in%202022., the EU online gambling market is expected to rise from €22.2 billion in 2018 to €29.3 billion in 2022. That market is growing by 10% every single year and is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. In fact, in 2018 the EU held a 49.2% share of the overall global online gambling market. This means that almost half of the money spent gambling online across the whole planet was in EU states. Europe has rapidly established itself as the biggest online gambling hub in the world, taking advantage of the regulations in place in some states in the USA.
The power of sports betting
Photo - Unsplash
Casino games and arcade-style games are very popular at the moment, but sports betting has been the real money-maker for major betting companies recently. Football is perhaps the most important cultural phenomenon on the planet, with Croatia's Football Federation website offering fans a wealth of information at https://hns-cff.hr/en/, and many fans have taken to betting on games to further the excitement. Sports betting reportedly accounts for as much as 42.5% of gross gaming revenue, dwarfing the worth of casino games (32.4%) and poker (5%). Football’s influence is here to stay, and sports like tennis and boxing are also the subject of thousands of bets every day.
Online gambling has taken hold in Europe like nowhere else and is rapidly becoming one of the fastest-growing industries around. It is now so easy to bet that many consumers that historically might not have considered gambling are getting involved. With sports betting and online casinos both becoming more and more profitable, it is easy to see how online gambling has become such a huge deal in recent years.
Tickets for most music, drama and dance programs in the 71st Dubrovnik Summer Festival, from July 10 to August 25 this year, are on sale online today at up to 50 percent reduced prices than previous festivals.
This year, there is no active 30 percent discount for residents of Dubrovnik-Neretva County or for students, but ticket prices have been significantly reduced, adapting to the current situation, so for example the cheapest ticket is only 50 Kuna, and the most expensive 300 Kuna, while other prices depend on the performance and the chosen seat in the venue. By purchasing tickets for three music performances, you also get a free ticket for one more musical performance of your choice.
Local ticket sales start on Wednesday, July 1, when the box office at the Festival Palace, Od Sigurate 1, will open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets will also be available at program locations, two hours before the start of the performance.
The National Civil Protection Headquarters announced that there have been 22 new cases of Covid-19 in Croatia over the past 24 hours, meaning a total of 2,388 people have been infected since the pandemic began.
“So far, 73,738 people have been tested. There are 18 people in hospital and no one is on a ventilator. A total of 107 people have passed away due to Covid-19. Three patients were discharged from the hospital. 139 people are actively ill,” commented Maja Grba Bujević, the Director of the Croatian Institute of Emergency Medicine.
"We are actively monitoring the situation, not only in Croatia but also in the neighbouring countries and in Europe in order to adopt the best possible measures to protect the health of citizens. Today a decision will be made on a temporary ban on crossing the border, by establishing a special entry regime for people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and North Macedonia,” said Interior Minister, Davor Božinović.
This new border regulation effectively means that any citizen entering Croatia from the four countries mentioned will have to serve a mandatory two-week quarantine in Croatia.
"A special regime of entry into Croatia for persons coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia and Northern Macedonia is being established. These persons will be obliged to stay in self-isolation for 14 days upon entering Croatia. The isolation obligation does not apply to passengers transiting through Croatia," empathized Božinović, at today’s press conference.
And another new regulation regards passengers on public transport. And passenger who does not have a mask will not be able to enter the vehicle, basically the driver will not be allowed to drive unless everyone has a mask. The decision takes effect at midnight tonight.
Božinović added that "We will continue to monitor what is happening. At this stage, we will be ready to make decisions faster, and we can change them if the need arises."
There are no new cases of coronavirus infection in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and of the samples sent for analysis on Tuesday, 38 are negative, the remaining are in processing. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,534 samples have been sent for analysis.
In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, there are 33 people in self-isolation.
The headquarters of the Civil Protection for the County continues to appeal to citizens to adhere to all prescribed measures by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.