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-May, 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.
By June 15th many restrictive measures currently in place should be removed. A positive epidemic outlook and a desperate attempt to salvage our struggling economy are the main reasons.
Public pools and theaters opened on May 18.
Last update: May 21st.
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.
Most hotels and camps are still closed. If you have a previous reservation, make sure it is still valid.
Most bars and restaurants are open. They need to go through extra precautions such as a set distance between tables, cleaning all tables and chairs after every customer, etc.
Shops are now closed on Sundays because it’s an election year.
Flights to Croatia
Most airlines do not have updated schedules yet, however we do have information for RyanAir. You can see their current 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
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 is a very small number. While 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 May 21st, we have 2,243 confirmed cases and 99 deaths. 2,011 people have recovered. Population wise, this is 546 cases and 24 deaths per million. You can check current stats on https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries.
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 nose and mouth when outside.
- Avoid using pubic 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 on 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.
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.
Healthy individuals generally don’t have serious complications due to corona virus. If you have preexisting conditions, a compromised immune system or are otherwise at risk, I’d recommend avoiding traveling anywhere 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.
However, make sure not to put your faith into Croatia’s corrupt institutions. It’s an election year and our economy is in the gutter. It apparently did not start that way, but most epidemic related decisions now are primarily motivated by politics.
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.