Coronavirus: Croatia Prepares Autumn Epidemiological Measures

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of August, 2020, the daily increase in the number of coronavirus patients in Croatia raises more and more questions as to what the epidemiological measures for autumn will be, and when they’ll come into force in order to further reduce the chances of spreading the virus in the approaching colder days.

However, it seems that the future decisions of the National Civil Protection Headquarters will be looked into by the Constitutional Court, which should answer the question of whether the amendments to the Law on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases were constitutional. Specifically, some argue that these changes have enabled the Headquarters to enact measures that infringe ”upon constitutional rights”, and they’re therefore seeking a response from the Constitutional Court on the matter.

That is why every measure adopted by the Headquarters is constantly reviewed in public, and interpretations depend on who is affected, ie, who is harmed by them, and in the end it all ends with the same conclusion for some: “the Headquarters is illegal.”

It seems that this is what the Constitutional Court’s decision wants to put an end to, especially since a likely difficult life with coronavirus awaits us in autumn, and how much we manage to curb it will depend on the epidemiological measures that will have to be taken, whether some among us like it or not. That is why a verdict is awaited which will enable the decision-makers not to have to deal with this for every single decision they bring in. Otherwise, a nightmare scenario could happen.

Jutarnji list has learned that, if the Constitutional Court confirms the legitimacy of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, measures will soon follow that will try to reduce the chance of spreading the new coronavirus. Among other things, mandatory testing of all health and non-health workers working in the system before returning to work, either from annual leave or sick leave, is envisaged. The same is already being done in some homes for the elderly, and on several occasions, infected workers who didn’t have any symptoms have been “caught”. That measure would become mandatory for all.

It is certain that masks will have to be worn in all indoor spaces, including in the workplace if the work is taking place in open space spaces (no offices). The number of people at weddings will also be limited, probably at the beginning to thirty, but if it turns out that this type of gathering is still a source of infection, what is currently valid in Vukovar-Srijem County will happen, which means at the “wedding procession”, only the newlyweds and the immediate family will be present.

Gatherings in public places will also have to be limited, which means that those who want to organise an event with a larger number of people can only do so by expanding the area of ​​the event. For example, The beloved Advent in Zagreb will have to “occupy” more city space if it wants to get permission.

The new school year will also be organised in detail. There seems to be a consensus across almost all EU countries that children up to the age of ten should go to school, and older kids can continue to follow online. Decisions on the organisation of classes for the upcoming school year will depend on the capacity of the school.

Decisions on teaching in schools for younger age groups of students will also be based on some new, recently published studies, according to which children under the age of 10 don’t have the same ability to transmit coronavirus as adults do, so they are less dangerous for their family members. However, in the elderly, the ability to transmit the virus is identical to that of the rest of the adult population.

”The risk of becoming infected with the new coronavirus and transmitting it increases with age,” said Dr. Alasdair Munro, of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital of Southampton. This is precisely the reason why most experts believe that classes for older children should be held online, as they spread the infection faster.

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