It has been just over a month since Croatias government imposed country-wide restrictions in response to the COVID-19 epidemic; as the first case emerged in late February, the country was ready to keep the spread of the virus under control.
At the time, the measures imposed appeared to be incredibly strict and many of us didn’t see that such action was warranted; according to the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, Croatia was implementing the strictest measures in the world. But, as the situation evolved, it became clear that the action taken was the right call.
I must say that the Croatian healthcare system and workers did a great job and made Croatia a safe country during these difficult times. Due to the proactive response, the number of infected persons in Croatia grew slowly, and the death rate is incomparably lower than in many other European countries.
Looking from the financial/economic perspective, unfortunately, there have been immense sacrifices and losses due to the fact that many businesses were in full lockdown for more than a month, and some will remain in lockdown even longer. Many jobs were lost and many small businesses might never recover.
But, things have started to change slowly for the better. After a month of quarantine and not being able to leave our homes, some restrictions have lifted and, since Monday, April 20th, we are able to venture outside the city limits to enjoy our great outdoors without special permits — still, keeping in mind all precautionary measures and social distancing.
On April 23rd, the Croatian government announced a plan for easing current restrictions in three phases:
1st phase, which started from Monday, April 27th:
- Most of the stores have reopened. Restrictions remain only for shops within malls or those which require “close human contact.”
- Public transportation within cities and ferries between the islands will resume.
- Museums will reopen.
- Elite athletes will be allowed to train again.
2nd phase, starting Monday, May 4th:
- Hairdressers, beauticians and similar businesses which require direct contact with clients can reopen, provided they continue implementing protective measures.
- A full-range of medical services in hospitals will be available again.
3rd phase is planned from Monday, May 11th (with the most significant relaxation of current measures):
- Bars and restaurants will be able to serve clients again, but only those who have open-air terraces; they will be required to follow government protective measures and guidelines.
- Restaurants and bars within hotels will be able to cater to guests staying at the hotel (no outside guests are permitted).
- Domestic flights will resume.
- Cross-county traveling and cross-counry public transportation will be possible again.
- National and nature parks will reopen to the public.
- Nurseries and elementary schools will reopen.
- Shopping malls will reopen.
- Group gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed.
New precautionary measures are being brought forward by the government for different segments of business to ensure the safety of clients and the community at large. If a business is not able to adapt to new measures, they will not be allowed to reopen.
At AndAdventure, we continue to take direction from government officials and are working diligently to adapt our health, safety and sanitization processes in order to ensure peace of mind for our guests.
If we continue on this path, I truly hope we will be able to welcome you all soon in our beautiful Croatia.