Saturday, 27 November 2021
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

Light Snowfall May Pose Lurking Risks – What to Know Before You Go

Snow Fall on the Green Grassland

Before the heavy snowfall begins, it’s easy to feel a sense of continued safety. This is often true even when the casual, light snow arrives. After all, it is seemingly innocuous, not blocking roadways and not causing a disruption in visibility. However, even light snow poses risks to vehicles, and to drivers. It can melt quickly and then refreeze, creating dangerous black ice, and total loss of traction. 

Prepare yourself for every type of freezing precipitation with proper vehicle maintenance. Spend some time researching car insurance quotes online to make sure you have the coverage your state requires, and possibly, more than that to keep yourself and your family safe and protected while traveling in winter weather. As well, consider these tips.

Car Maintenance

With snow and ice ready to fall, your car is in need of some TLC. See to it that it can handle light to treacherous winter conditions.

  • Test the battery.
  • Check the windshield wipers, make sure they are free of damage and not ripped.
  • Put on snow tires if you live in a very snowy clime. If all-season tires will do, check that there’s good tread.
  • Check the tire pressure weekly – cold temperatures and potholes lead to underinflated tires, which in turn, don’t gain easy traction on snow or icy roads.
  • Protect the paint job with a coat of wax.
  • Be sure the gas tank is always at least half-full.
  • Keep a winter emergency kit in your car. This should consist of a flashlight with extra batteries, ice scraper, kitty litter or sand (for traction), snacks, extra blankets, hats, gloves, jumper cables, shovel, and first aid kit.

Preparing Yourself & Your Loved Ones

Once your car is optimized for winter conditions, remember that you need to protect yourself and your loved ones as well!

  • Dress in layers when venturing outside, whether for a walk or a car ride (you never know if you’ll break down or be stranded).
  • Always wear a hat. Mom was right! You lose most of your body heat through your head, so conserve it by wearing a hat. You can always fix your hair when you get to where you need to be.
  • Stay hydrated. Your body needs hydration in any kind of weather, and believe it or not, some winter climates can be as dry as a desert, so you’ll need to drink up and keep yourself well watered!
  • Listen to your body. If you’re outside walking around, throwing snowballs or in the car traveling, listen to what your body is telling you about how it is processing the cold. If you’re shivering and your teeth are chattering, your body temperature has dropped too low. You’ll want to turn on more heat or go inside.
  • Watch out for the children. Kids tend to acclimatize to the cold weather much better than their adult counterparts. They likely won’t be listening to their body so check them frequently for shivering, teeth chattering or their lips turning blue.
  • Watch for frostbite. It only takes 30 minutes in sub-zero temperatures for skin to develop frostbite, and with just a small bit of wind, 15 minutes. Frequently wiggle your fingers and toes to be sure you can still feel them. If not, get inside.

Familiarize Yourself with Winter Driving Techniques

It’s easy to assume that after a few years of driving, you know exactly what you’re doing and are prepared for every circumstance. The truth is, while the experience is there, you could be reinforcing bad habits that you’ve developed throughout your years on the road.

  • Drive slower in the winter time and allow at least 8 to 10 seconds of time between you and the car in front of you.
  • Keep an eye on the pavement. If the roadway looks like it’s brand-new asphalt, like it’s wet or dark, it could be a patch of black ice. Black ice is most common on elevated roadways like bridges and overpasses. Do your best to coast over the ice without braking or accelerating.
  • Avoid stopping on hills. Whether you’re going up or down a hill, if you brake, you’re likely to lose traction and also lose the ability to start back up again. If you’re going downhill and need to brake, do it slowly, and always leave a minimum of three to four car lengths between you and the car in front of you.
  • Turn on your hazards in low visibility conditions. During times of heavy precipitation or fog, use your headlights, fog lights, and hazards to make yourself as visible to other drivers as possible.

Don’t take any type of precipitation for granted. Be prepared for any winter possibility by adapting yourself and your car to the most intense conditions.

“We are pleased to announce our headline shows in Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia and the Czech Republic in August 2022,” tweeted the Artic Monkeys announcing a spectacular concert in the Pula Arena.

Tickets for this one-off concert by this mega popular band will go on sale on the 24th of November and are sure to sell out quickly.

The Artic Monkeys will play in Pula Arena on the 16th of August, in the height of the summer season, next year in Croatia.

This will be the first time the Artic Monkeys have toured since 2019.

Tickets can be purchased on this link

 

 

Croatia Airlines is the only airline offering flights between Croatia and one of the most important UK airports after British Airways cancelled all flights until the end of this month.

This important flight connection to one of the busiest hubs in Europe, Heathrow, will now only have flights via the Croatian national airline.

The UK’s flagship airline stated that due to lack of interest all flights in November would be cancelled, reports Croatian Aviation. And although there are some flights planned between Zagreb and Heathrow for December these flights are also hanging in the balance. British Airways seems to blaming the pandemic for the current situation, as pre-pandemic this line was extremely popular.

However, since the beginning of the pandemic, the Zagreb line has not been functioning well, thanks in part to the strict measures in place in the UK. British Airways operated to Zagreb until the beginning of November, and then all flights were cancelled until the end of this month. It is planned to return in December with a smaller number of flights, but the realization of the same is currently still in question.

Dubrovnik with only three international connections this winter 

Croatia Airlines remains operating on the route between Heathrow and Zagreb four times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Meaning that one more flight per week is available compared to the summer months.

And if you were looking for a cheaper alternative to reach the English capital then the budget airline Ryanair operates between Zagreb and Stanstead on a daily basis. Although bear in mind that Stanstead is around 65 kilometres away from the centre of London.

Unfortunately, there is no direct air connection between Dubrovnik and London. In fact, Croatia’s southernmost airport has only three international routes planned for this winter, to Istanbul, Barcelona and Moscow, highlighting the seasonal nature of the airport. Passengers looking to fly to other world or European destination will have to pass through Zagreb airport, and there are three flights a day on this route.

 

Yesterday was the first day that all employees and visitors to state institutions were required to show a Covid-19 certificate before being allowed to enter buildings. Apart from those who didn’t have a Covid certificate a test was mandatory. And this very testing, of over 54,000 people, revealed that nearly 1,300 people were infected with Covid-19. These were, presumably, people who didn’t have symptoms of the virus.

On Tuesday, the Dubrovnik Health Centre tested about 300 people without a Covid certificate, for whom this is a condition for coming to work.

The first day of compulsory Covid certificates went relatively smoothly, although a few institutions, including a school in Slano, had employees who refused to get tested and didn’t have a Covid certificate.

The interest in getting vaccinated against the virus has never been higher, Yesterday almost 20,000 people were vaccinated, including 12,000 people who got the first dose.

Reactions to Covid-19 certificates divided 

Without a Covid-19 certificate it is becoming harder to function and to go about normal business. For example, with the certificate you can’t get a new ID card, passport, driver's license, etc. And this has caused somewhat of a split in society, reactions are certainly divided. Some say they don’t believe in either testing or certifications, while others believe Covid-19 certifications are a step in the right direction. And there were protests outside the Croatian parliament in Zagreb last night.

And the reasons for getting vaccinated in recent days have ranged from fear of not being able to drink a coffee in a café bar to needing to go to work in a police station.

 

Prices of goods and services for personal consumption, measured by the consumer price index, increased by 3.8 percent in October compared to the same month last year, which is the highest growth rate since February 2013, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) published Tuesday.

Compared to September, consumer prices are on average one percent higher.

The largest contribution to the rise in the consumer price index in October compared to September was made by the prices of clothing and footwear (by 0.59 percent), and the biggest contribution to the fall of the index had the prices of recreation and culture (by -0.02 percent).

 

In the last 24 hours, 4,443 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 33,760. Among them, 2,378 people are in hospital, of which 289 are on ventilators.

Unfortunately, a further 50 people died in the past 24 hours.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 544,330 people have been infected, of which 9,986 have died, a total of 500,584 people have recovered, of which 4,695 recovered in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 24,144 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 3,288,144 people have been tested, of which 12,911 were tested in the last 24 hours.

As of 15.11.2021 3,871,196 doses of vaccine had been used, and 50.76 percent of the total population and 60.66 percent of the adult population had been vaccinated. On 15.11.2021, 19,884 doses of vaccine were used, of which 12,149 persons were vaccinated with the first dose.

 

In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 115 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

These new cases are 50 males and 65 females: 54 from Dubrovnik, 13 from Konavle, 10 each from Metković, Ploče and Župa dubrovačka, 6 from Opuzen, 5 from Ston, 4 from Korčula, 2 from Kula Norinska and one person from Zažablje.

One male person from Dubrovnik died (1994).

139 people made a recovery: 45 from Dubrovnik, 24 from Metković, 23 from Konavle, 19 from Župa dubrovačka, 7 from Vela Luka, four people each from Blato, Opuzen and Ston, 3 from Orebić and one person each from Dubrovačko Primorje, Korčula, Kula Norinska, Lumbarda, from Mljet and from Ploče.

In the last 24 hours, 673 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 162,014 samples have been analysed.

55 people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital, eight patients required intensive care and were on ventilators.

There are 1,452 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours there have been two violations of the self-isolation measure.

 

The action to raise enough signatures across Croatia to bring about a referendum on the introduction of the Euros as the official currency in Croatia has failed. The political party, Croatian Sovereigntists, organised the action to collect signatures but have failed to raise enough to force a referendum.

Just over 334,582 signatures were collected in the action, which missed the goal of 500,000 to bring about a referendum.

"Unfortunately, we have not reached half a million," said the party at a press conference.

"We thank everyone, both citizens and volunteers. We will continue our struggle through the institutions, but we emphasize that Croatia is not yet ready for the euro", said the Croatian Sovereigntists. Croatia is on course to introduce the Euro as the official currency in early 2023. 

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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