Tourism has been almost non-existent ever since corona virus started spreading throughout Europe in early 2020. All countries closed their borders and started enforcing various measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Croatia had one of the most restrictive measures out of all the countries in the world. This resulted in a bit over 2,000 total infected by mid-June and less than 4,000 by mid-July, which is a very manageable situation despite Croatia being a small country.
This page will be continuously updated with latest information to give you an idea of what to expect if you plan on visiting Split and Dubrovnik regions this year.
Many international flights are getting canceled, but many have been canceled indefinitely. Look below for more info!
Most of the restrictive measures that were in place have been suspended. A very good epidemic outlook and a desperate attempt to salvage our struggling economy are the main reasons why our tourist season is ramping up quickly.
New measures introduced on July 13: wearing masks required in convenience stores, negative COVID-19 tests no older than 2 days required upon entry into Croatia for visitors from non-EU countries. Look below!
Currently and as objectively as possible,
Croatia does seem to be a very safe tourist destination to visit. We had several days without any new cases recorded. We now have around 100 new cases every day. A lot of them are in Dubrovnik and Split counties. Around 100 new confirmed infections almost every day in July means COVID-19 is back!
Record 210 new infections on August 14. We desperately need tourist money and do not care about anything else. Italy now has mandatory quarantine for visitors from Croatia. More and more countries are talking about doing the same. All we’re doing to combat the outbreak is restricting bars and restaurants from working past midnight, because COVID obviously strikes only after midnight. 79 of those 210 cases are in Split county, making it our new hotspot!
Croatia is recording over 300 daily confirmed infections as of early September.
Current restrictions and measures:
Last update: September 5th.
If you travel for business purposes you need to provide some sort of proof of your reason for traveling at border crossings.
Tourists need to provide proof of reservation of accommodation at border. A print-out of your booking receipt should be sufficient. You will not be able to enter the country without this. You will also need to provide your phone number to authorities.
Foreigners who travel to their own property in Croatia must show proof of ownership to border police.
Foreigners entering Croatia do not have to go through a mandatory quarantine anymore. Tourists entering from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo need to go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Travelers from countries not part of the EU must now provide a negative COVID-19 test no older than 48 hours. Alternatively you can go into a 14-day quarantine, or 7 days if you pay for COVID-19 testing upon arrival.
Visitors from Netherlands must now enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon coming back to their country. On the other end Croatia was added on Germany’s safe destinations list on July 24th. Check with your country institutions to make sure there are no restrictions!
On August 20 Germany’s public health agency declared Split county a coronavirus risk region. Our bordering Slovenia added our entire country to the “red” list, meaning their citizens must go into quarantine upon return. Austria is expected to do the same within the next few days. Switzerland added us on September 7.
Many hotels and camps are still closed. If you have a long-standing reservation, make sure it is still valid.
All bars and restaurants are open. These businesses need to go through extra precautions such as a set distance between tables, cleaning all tables and chairs after every customer, etc.
Tourists entering Croatia can fill out this form on entercroatia.mup.hr to provide details of their visit. This will save some time since you won’t need to fill out the form again while entering the country.
Tourists from the following countries no longer need to provide a reason for entering: Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany.
Wearing a face mask is now required in all shops, stores, government bureaus, and services such as hair salons. Masks are not mandatory for customers in bars and restaurants. More below!
Face masks and disinformation
Face masks are mandatory for employees and passengers in public transport, employees and customers in stores and shops, and employees in restaurants and bars. Customers in bars and restaurants do not need to wear face masks.
An interesting observation. Foreign media is increasingly “shocked” and “appalled” how Croats don’t wear face masks at all while outside. I have seen literally one person walking with a facemask during my 5-day stay in Istria’s Porec (avoid it!) just days ago. It was an older gentleman, and he took it off as soon as he sat down in a restaurant.
Croats are traditionally stubborn and reckless so there’s no surprise we are not wearing masks all the time. Not something easily done in 32°C either. I’m not sure what everyone else’s excuse is, but the fact is tourists don’t care about wearing masks either.
There’s a lot of disinformation and fearmongering in foreign media right now. Countries like Austria are actively running marketing campaigns telling their residents not to visit Croatia, but instead stay (and more importantly spend money) in their own country. Their media is literally posting fake news: one year old news about polluted sea is being presented as last week’s.
Yes, our sea got polluted too many times last year. Yes, Croats do not wear face masks unless mandatory. You should not trust our corrupt and lying government and institutions and their official number of COVID-19 infections.
You should stay at home if you are truly concerned about COVID-19. However there is likely not a greater chance of getting infected in Croatia compared to many other countries.
Flights to Croatia
Cross-border air travel is close to resuming fully. Foreigners can travel to Croatia via car or ferries from Italy. Most flights have been resumed by mid July as our tourist season ramped up. Many of these flights are now getting canceled in September due to lesser demand and due many countries adding Croatia to their “risk” zones.
Some airlines do not have updated schedules yet, but we are slowly getting information from many.
Croatia Airlines runs flights from Zagreb to Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Zürich already. On June 15th CA started flights from Zagreb to Brussels, Munich, Sarajevo, London, plus a line from Zagreb – Split – Rome. Zagreb to Dublin and Zagreb to Vienna flights begun on June 16th.
Croatia Airlines is currently flying to 11 international destinations as of June 15, along with domestic flights to Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Pula.
You can see current RyanAir flight schedule here. They have significantly fewer flights planned for this season. Main routes this summer will be:
- Split – Stuttgart route: from July 5th 1 per week
- Split – Dublin route: from July 4th 2 per week
- Dubrovnik – Vienna route: from July 2nd 4 per week
- Dubrovnik – Dublin route: from July 1st 2 per week
Air Baltik is even introducing a new flight this year between Vilnius in Lithuania and Dubrovnik. This is the first time these two cities are connected with a direct flight.
British Airways is introducing new flights in July from London’s Heathrow to Zagreb and Split, and Gatwick to Dubrovnik. United Kingdom still has mandatory 14-day quarantine when coming back into the country. These measures are expected to be relaxed by the time these flights become available.
Norwegian established their direct flights to Split and Dubrovnik from Oslo and Stockholm. These flights begin on July 4th to Split and July 28th to Dubrovnik. More flights are expected to begin in later half of July.
FlyDubai has canceled their Dubai to Dubrovnik route this year.
EasyJet has dozens of flights to Split and Dubrovnik. To Split you can fly from Amsterdam, Basel, Berlin, Geneva, London, Lyon, Manchester, Naples and Paris, and newly introduced Bristol and Glasgow. EasyJet can take you to Dubrovnik from Edinburgh, London, Basel, Belfast, Bristol, Geneva, and Paris. Update: all EasyJet flights are canceled since September.
Most flights to Croatia which were available in previous years are back since July, but many are getting canceled in September. You can look up live flights from the embedded search below:
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Croatia was doing quite well managing the outbreak compared to many other countries. For a country of less than 4 million, having 2,000 infected before July is a very small number. Our neighbor Italy has struggled a lot in containing the COVID-19 outbreak and was one of the most seriously affected countries in the world. Our public health services were not nearly as overwhelmed.
As of September 5, we have 11,739 confirmed cases and 197 deaths. 8,771 people have recovered. Population wise, this is 2,863 cases and 48 deaths per million. You can check current stats on https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries.
It’s somewhat questionable how accurate these numbers are. We had an election campaign where it was in the leading party’s best interest to produce lower numbers and make the voters feel like they are doing a good job battling the epidemic. We have only 35,000 tests done per million population which is among Europe’s lowest.
Croatian institute of Public Health has the following recommendations and instructions for travelers. See if you can spot which of their advice we changed with our own honest views.
- Practice good hygiene, keep a 1.5 meter physical distance from others, and wear a mask covering both your nose and mouth when outside.
- Avoid using public transport.
- Avoid grouping and public gatherings.
- Prepare your own food, or use delivery services.
- Avoid using cash – use online services or credit card payments when possible.
- It’s recommended to stay at home or your accommodation if your body temperature exceeds 37.2 degrees.
- If you have any coronavirus symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, you should stay at your accommodation. They also recommend contacting your local epidemiologist, but even if you can manage to get them to answer the phone they will likely be of no help.
- If you have sudden onset of life-threatening symptoms, you should contact emergency medical services. Make sure to avoid telling them if you suspect the corona virus, otherwise they are likely to ignore your call and never come. This is not a joke.
Split COVID-19 testing locations
Map below will show you where to get COVID-19 test in Croatia:
COVID-19 test in Split can be done in three different locations:
Split General Hospital (KBC Split):
- Address: Spinčićeva ul. 1, 21 000 Split
- Phone: +38521 556 111
- Results can be provided within 12 hours
Split-Dalmatia County Public Health Institute (NZJZ Splitsko-dalmatinske županije):
- Address: Vukovarska ul. 46, 21 000 Split
- Working hours: 7:30h – 15:30h
- Drive-in testing available, results in 24-48 hours
Mertojak Health Center (Dom zdravlja Mertojak):
- Address: Doverska Ul. 2, 21000 Split
- Phone: +38521 669 264
- Working hours: 7h – 15h
- Drive-in testing available. No information available on wait time.
Prices of coronavirus testing at these locations in Split Croatia range from 500-700kn (€66 – €93). I highly recommend bringing cash and Croatian Kunas.
Dubrovnik COVID-19 testing locations also has three different sites:
Dubrovnik-neretva county Public Health Institute (ZJZ Dubrovačko-neretvanske županije):
- Address: Ul. dr. Ante Šercera 4a, 20 000 Dubrovnik
- Phone: +385 20 341 000
- No drive-in testing available, results within 6 hours.
Dubrovnik General Hospital (Opća bolnica Dubrovnik):
- Address: Dr. Roka Mišetića 2, 20 000 Dubrovnik
- Working hours: 8h – 9h
- Phone: +38520 431 731
- Results can be provided within 12 hours
Dubrovnik Health Center (Dom zdravlja Dubrovnik):
- Address: Dr. Ante Starčevića 1, 20 000 Dubrovnik
- Working hours: 8h – 20h
- Phone: +385 99 52 91 888, +385 20 641613
- Testing will not be done if you just show up on this location. Drive-in testing is done on a different location. Mandatory call and appointment is required here!
Coronavirus testing in Dubrovnik is priced at €200.
Generally you shouldn’t expect your COVID testing results the same day so plan accordingly.
Should you travel in 2020?
The question is, should you even travel to Split or Dubrovnik while corona is still posing a threat. The truth is, many people will be traveling regardless. Tourism will resume as soon as borders open and restrictions loosen. The numbers will be significantly different and we will certainly not see yet another record season, but a vacation is exactly what many need in this rough year.
In June overnight stays dropped 76% compared to last year. July was around 50% of last year’s results. August is usually our biggest month and we saw a 30% drop in tourist numbers. Visitors are coming but it also means there is greater risk in traveling.
Healthy individuals in most cases do not get serious complications due to corona virus. If you have preexisting conditions, a compromised immune system or are otherwise at risk it might be best to avoid travel this year.
For everyone else, Croatia should be just as safe as any other country.
Based on current trends the pandemic appears to be slowly disappearing, but there’s always a risk. Visit Croatia at your own risk, and never put any faith in our corrupt government institutions.
Regardless of what our public health or interior affairs officials say, be cautious and understand that up until the point where we get a vaccine for this virus we are all still at risk.
That being said, initially extremely restrictive measures did result in a fairly good epidemic outlook in Croatia. But our recent election campaign, reckless government and corrupt institutions with politically motivated decisions means we are slowly being added to many countries’ do-not-visit lists. COVID-19 infections are on the rise and Croatia is becoming riskier to visit every day.
One bright side of the epidemic is that the streets of Split and Dubrovnik are relatively empty compared to previous years. Normally these cities would be packed with tourists, but with so few traveling these days you might get to enjoy your visit even more.
- United States Embassy in Croatia – COVID-19 Information
- UK Government- Coronavirus travel advice
- Koronavirus.hr – Official government website for coronavirus
- Croatian National Tourist Board – COVID-19 Q&A
- With more than 600.000 foreigners in Croatia, why is the number of infected so low?