Croatia Coronavirus COVID-19 Health, Stats & Travel Update: March 21, 2020

Total Croatia News


March 21, 2020 – There are 206 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Croatia and 78 new cases as of yesterday. Five patients have recovered. There are currently 201 active cases in Croatia.

  • Message to General Public: STAY HOME. Do not leave your house unless you have to go to work, store or hospital. That means not going for walks, bike rides, trips to the mountains, family gatherings, barbecues and similar gatherings.
  • Self-Isolation Violators: Over 100 people left self-isolation to go to pharmacies. Movement can be tracked by use of HZZO (Croatian Health Insurance) card. 
  • Children’s parks and playgrounds closed.
  • Bus and Train Stations Closed: All intercity transport lines abolished.
  • Ferry Passenger Traffic: Forbidden except for permanent residents. High-speed ferry service stopped. Ferries will deliver necessary supplies. More here.
  • Public Transportation to Shut Down Tomorrow: Local Buses, Trams, Rail and Cable cars etc.
  • New Funeral Guidelines: Only immediate family and religious community representatives may attend.
  • United Arab Emirates Donates Face Masks to Croatia: 11 million HRK (1.44 million EUR) donation.


Suspension of public transportation for 30 days. | Railway and bus stations closed. | Restrictions on public transport on ferry lines. | Restrictions on social interaction on streets.

Entry into Republic of Croatia

As of midnight on March 19, 2020; crossing the border of the Republic of Croatia is temporarily restricted. Croatian citizens and residents will be allowed to return to Croatia, which means that they may go to the country where they work and reside and must follow the instructions and measures of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) upon their return. These measures went into effect at 00:01 on March 19, 2020 and are valid for 30 days. More information and exceptions here.

Social Distancing Measures Implemented

Also as of March 19, 2020; it is compulsory to strictly adhere to anti-epidemic measures and strict social distance measures. A strict measure of social distance requires avoiding close personal contact at a distance of at least:

  • Two (2) meters indoors
  • One (1) meter outdoors

The anti-epidemic measures required according this decision include: a ban on holding all public events, gatherings of more than 5 people in one place and the suspension of all retail and trade activities. EXCEPTIONS and details can be found here. These measures were strengthened today March 21, 2020. Residents are being ordered not to leave home except to get food or medicine. 

206 Coronavirus Cases in Croatia

As of March 21, 2020; 206 coronavirus (COVID-19) patients have been reported in Croatia.

Note that is now mapping cases by county instead of town/city. Index continues to map coronavirus cases by city/town. Total Croatia News will share maps from both sources, and include the date/time of last map update. will update their map after the 9:00 and 16:00 CET daily press conferences. Index map updates occur on a regular basis.

A man in Istra who died was infected with the coronavirus, but his cause of death has not been confirmed (earlier maps showed his death as the first coronavirus casualty).

croatia_coronavirus_update_032120_04.jpg | Updated 16:00 CET


Index | Updated 17:00 CET

More than 12,964 people are dead from the virus, which originated in Wuhan City, China. Over 303,443 cases have been confirmed globally. There are 222,435 cases outside of mainland China. Italy has reported 53,578 cases and 4,825 deaths.

UPDATED: March 21, 2020 22:00 CET (Central European Time)

National Civil Protection Headquarters Evening Press Conference: 16:00 CET

  • Total of 206 patients, which is 78 more than yesterday.
  • Number of patients increasing in very short time period.
  • Crisis can be stopped by following guidelines of Civil Protection Staff.
  • OK to be outside if you must for food or medication, but not in close contact with others.
  • Trams suspended. Buses to be disinfected.
  • Inspectors had to close eight cafes today (after cafes were already ordered closed). This is unheard of, according to Minister Bozinovic.
  • Hundreds have violated self-isolation orders. They will be punished.
  • Police warning residents to stay home unless absolutely necessary.

A translation of the press conference can be found here.

National Civil Protection Headquarters Morning Press Conference: 9:00 CET

  • Main Problem: People not adhering to HQ guidelines. More rigorous measures will be introduced and enforced.
  • Message to General Public: Stay home. Do not leave your house unless you have to go to work, store or hospital (applies to those not in self-isolation/quarantine). 
  • Keep Social Distance: One meter outdoors. Two meters indoors. Don’t walk around in pairs or groups. Croatian police will enforce.
  • Bus and Train Stations Closed: All intercity transport lines abolished. 
  • Alemka Markotic: “This morning I saw senior citizens walking in public squares. If we want a Corona party, we’ll have it. What does a Corona party look like? More people will become seriously ill, on respirators, or worse…”
  • Do not go to clinic/hospital if you have mild symptoms.
  • Over 100 people left self-isolation to go to pharmacies. Movement can be tracked by use of HZZO (Croatian Health Insurance) card. 
  • 29 more cases as of this morning (now 40).

A translation of the press conference can be found here.

Croatia and Regional Daily Updates

(Updates provided by Index)

21:27 – Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlic Radman told Dnevnik Nova TV that he urged all Croatian citizens who are in EU member states to plan a return to Croatia as soon as possible, as the situation is deteriorating, and border and airport closures can be expected.

21:25 – Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic, together with his closest associates, is establishing the Zagreb Solidarity Foundation, a group which will allocate 20 percent of their salary to equipment needed to combat the coronavirus epidemic.

21:00 – ZET’s public transportation including trams, buses and funiculars will be suspended at midnight on Sunday March 22, in Zagreb.

There is a special bus service for public employees and other services, which will operate from 5:00 to 23:00 hours. During this emergency, special transport by ZET buses will be organized for the employees of public and other services under the responsibility of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Zagreb.

20:46 – The Croatian Pharmacists’ Chamber (HLJK) is working with the Red Cross of the Republic of Croatia on a project to deliver medicines to anyone who is unable to do it on their own, and this program should be up and running in the next few days.

20:37 – Epidemiologic treatment is underway at the KBC Sestre milosrdnice (Sisters of Mercy) in Zagreb because of a patient who came for emergency surgery two days ago and later turned out to be infected with coronavirus because he was in close contact with another infected person. This is a person who has concealed a potential infection after being in contact with a relative from Germany who was previously confirmed to have the coronavirus.


19:49 – Minister Bozinovic made a guest appearance in Dnevnik Nova TV, where he explained in more detail about new rigorous measures to combat coronavirus:

What will happen to the City of Zagreb and its public transportation tomorrow?

“The real challenge in the Zagreb has to do with public urban transport. It will operate a Sunday timetable and will be used only by those licensed by the National Civil Protection Headquarters who have cards. Residents will not be able to use public city translation indefinitely. It will only be available for use by healthcare professionals, hospital staff, police and people who work in facilities in which it will function.”

What about those people who want to travel on long distance routes?

“We have already eliminated long-distance lines. Let’s understand, it’s important to isolate ourselves from each other. We need to keep all contacts to a minimum. Going outside must be restricted to purchasing food or medicine. This is especially true for older people. In the upcoming days, we will control this more rigorously. “

What about the people on the islands?

“We have introduced a new regime. The islanders must have a regular supply of food and medicine and we will ensure that. Those who must go to the hospital ashore can leave. Those who are not from an island but want to leave it – will be allowed to. Those who are from an island and want to go to the mainland – may not. We will not deport foreigners, but they will be encouraged to leave the island. “

How will the measures be implemented further?

“We will pay close attention to the infection hotspots, and will implement measures accordingly, which means reducing the number of people on streets. Please do not go out of your house. Only go out when you must: for food and medication. Do not leave the house for any other reason,” Minister Bozinovic emphasized.

19:14 – Maja Grba Bujevic, Chief of the Crisis Staff of the Ministry of Health, told Dnevnik HRT that no new information was available. More testing is pending. The measures that have been put in place are in place for good reason, and will be strengthened as needed, she said. All centers are ready to accept patients, adds Grba Bujevic, and confirmed that new donations are arriving tomorrow. “Please stay home,” she said at the end of the interview.

19:08 – “We are still far from a quarantine, but that depends upon how much we will follow the measures, and that will be seen by the increase in the number of patients in the upcoming days. The number of infected will increase depend on how this plays out,” Alemka Markotic told RTL.

18:40 – In less than 72 hours, 200 Croatian soldiers set up a self-sustaining expeditionary camp in front of Zagreb’s KBC Dubrava (Clinical Hospital) to receive patients with the coronavirus disease. There are 25 tents with a capacity of 220 beds.


18:26 – “If necessary, we will be ready to implement a quarantine. If the time comes, we will introduce that level of isolation,” Minister Beros said in an interview with Dnevnik N1.

18:07 – The Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia today issued a decision on the measure of strict restriction of detention on streets and other public places, so the police are warning citizens to comply with these measures.

“We urge all citizens to obey the instructions of the Civil Protection Headquarters and not to leave their homes unnecessarily, not to go for walks, bike rides, trips to the mountains, larger family gatherings, barbecues and similar gatherings,” the police said in a statement.

The police will tightly monitor all gatherings and unnecessary movements of citizens in public places related to streets, squares, parks and the like.

17:51 – Police today warned citizens at several town gatherings to abide by the decisions of the National Civil Protection Headquarters to ban gatherings in public spaces and the need for social distance between people, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

17:21 – On Sunday March 22, 2020 after midnight, all railway traffic will be suspended for 30 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, Croatian Railways (HZ) reported on Saturday on its official website.

15:35 – Police departments from all parts of Croatia are warning citizens that new measures have been introduced and that it is strictly forbidden to linger on streets, squares and public areas.

15:34 – Police have closed Marjan (park and forest in Split).

15:21 – Police are patrolling Riva Split in a van and warning people to go to their homes.

15:11 – Among the 12 newly infected in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County; there are seven Dubrovnik Airport employees who were in contact with the janitor, who was the first confirmed patient. One hospital doctor has been infected, according to the County Civil Protection Headquarters. In addition, two of the newly infected were contacts of a second Dubrovnik skipper who was skiing in Bulgaria, and a seafarer from Korcula and foreign national were infected. In total, 14 people were infected in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, of which four are hospitalized in Dubrovnik.

15:00 – A man who went for surgery did not report having been in contact with a relative who had a coronavirus. “The irresponsible patient contaminated the heart of the hospital, the intensive care unit and the emergency room. He put at risk intensive care patients, doctors and nurses,” Vinogradski’s (Zagreb hospital) director told Jutarnji List.

14:45 – New stricter measures introduced! Police are warning citizens to get off the streets.

14:30 – All public urban transport is suspended on the basis of a decision of the National Civil Protection Headquarters in Rijeka, and since part of the citizens still have to come to the city center, during this ban all parking places of the Rijeka Plus city company will be free, it was announced on Saturday. City of Rijeka.

Arena Center Zagreb

14:05 – Health Minister Vili Beros visited the Zagreb Arena today, where volunteers of the Croatian Red Cross, Civil Protection and Scouts are preparing a secondary center for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. “We repeat once again, obey the rules and, and except when absolutely necessary, stay home!” the Ministry of Health reports. Arena currently has 274 beds, but the capacity of the space can house to a thousand beds.

14:03 – There are currently no patients at Dubrava Clinical Hospital (KBC Dubrava), which has become a national center for the care of patients with more severe forms of coronavirus infection, which will require intensive treatment, said the director of that hospital, Srecko Marusic, on Saturday.

13:45 – “In the last 24 hours, we have 4 new cases of coronavirus infection. Yesterday afternoon, we announced that we had two new positive cases, and two more were confirmed overnight, so there are currently ten infected people in the county,” Vugrin said and added that all patients are in the General Hospital of Varazdin and have mild clinical symptoms. 

13:30 – The Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Zagreb invites ALL citizens of the City of Zagreb to comply without exception with the decisions of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.

See the following decisions below:

  • Decision to suspend public transport (March 21, 2020) – This Decision suspends all types of public transport in domestic and international road and rail transport and public urban transport. Taxis are excluded from the decision.
  • Decision to Decommission Children’s Playgrounds and Outdoor Playgrounds (March 19, 2020)
  • Decision on the manner of holding the funeral and the last deliveries (March 20, 2020) – Pursuant to the decision, funerals, last rites and the laying of an urn may be held exclusively within the narrowest circle of families and representatives of the religious community, with the prohibition of posting information on obituaries about the place and time of the last apostasy. Music and flowers and candle delivery services are also suspended.
  • Decision on marriage and life partnership measures (March 20, 2020) – Marriage in a religious or civil form, as well as a life partnership, is possible only in the narrowest circle of the family with the presence of an official or religious person. During marriages, the instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health must be followed, and those present should not have fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection.

We urge all residents of the City of Zagreb to show uncompromising respect for these decisions.

13:10 – In Koprivnicko-Krizevci County the first case of a coronavirus infection was confirmed: a 46-year-old woman from Koprivnica who returned from Germany a week ago and is in isolation protection.

12:45 – All public transport in the country will stop. 

12:04 – The first coronavirus case in Dubrovnik was reported at the airport a few days ago. She is a janitor who works at the airport. Another employee of the airport announced via Facebook today that he is positive, although he had not been in contact with her. This is a high-level airport employee.

11:47 – There was a short press conference in Pula, in Istria there are now 25 coronavirus cases.

11:16 – The Zupanje County Crisis Headquarters has announced that 12 new cases of coronavirus disease in that county. There are now 14 patients in the county, according to reports by local media.

11:13 – There are still no coronavirus infections in Međimurje County, the civil protection headquarters reported on Saturday morning.

11:00 – Headquarters in Osijek takes reported that they purchase five respirators for the hospital.

10:37 – Trg Bana Jelacic (main city square) in Zagreb is being disinfected.

10:20 – “For the purpose of additional protection for all our employees who are in close contact with customers, starting today we are installing Plexiglas barriers to provide an additional level of employee protection to interact with customers at all SPAR and INTERSPAR stores. The first Plexiglass barriers are being installed at INTERSPAR stores in Zagreb at Arena Center, Garden Mall and City Center One East,” SPAR reported.

10:06 – Four new infections in Split.

10:03 – Emergency Press Release of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia dated March 21, 2020 at 10:00 CET. Today, 40 new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed. In Croatia, a total of 168 patients were confirmed.

9:46 – As of Friday night, the number of coronavirus infected in the County of Krapina-Zagorje has increased and now there are five more in that county, bringing the number of infected to 15.

According to the County Civil Protection Headquarters on Saturday morning, the new confirmed infections include two people each from Krapina and Pregrada and one from the Zabok area. The new cases have mild symptoms and are in isolation at home, according to a staff statement.

9:40 – Health Minister Beros told the press this morning that he no longer sends appeals to the public. He is demaning compliance (regarding the implemented public safety measures).

9:30 – Alemka Markotic: If we want a Corona party, we’ll have one. More here.

9:20 – Due to the increased surveillance of interstate traffic related to the coronavirus epidemic in Europe, there is congestion this morning at Slovenia’s largest border crossings, Slovenian transport services reported.

At the Gruškovje/Macelj border crossing, traffic on the motorway has been brought to a standstill and the columns of vehicles on the Slovenian side are three kilometers long, and at the Obrežje/Bregana crossing it is five kilometers long.

The Slovenian Traffic Information Center for National Roads also warns drivers about restrictions related to the coronavirus epidemic, which is why the transit traffic of freight vehicles through Slovenia to other destinations is conducted in organized convoys to Croatia and Hungary.

9:02 – In Croatia, 157 patients were reported infected with the coronavirus, 27 more than yesterday, the Civil Protection Headquarters announced at their 9:00 CET press conference.

“I no longer appeal to residents, but demand that they adhere to the instructions we have provided, because this is the only way (we can control the spread of the coronavirus),” said Health Minister Willi Beros.

8:12 – One of the leading IT companies in Croatia and the region, Vodnjan Infobip donated four medical devices to the hospital in Pula, valued at around HRK 600,000 (78,622 EUR).

7:50 – Minister Vili Beros shared with journalists a message which is being spread on social networks. He says that the numbers in the message may not be correct, of course, but the message is clear: if we do not adhere to the measures, we will face a threat like the Italian scenario.

7:40 – The Civil Protection Headquarters established new guidelines regarding funerals yesterday. The funeral, the last farewell and the laying of the urn are to be held exclusively for the immediate family and representatives of the religious community, according to the instructions and measures adopted by the Croatian Institute of Public Health. These guidelines will be in effect for at least the next month.

(Updates provided by Index)

Total Croatia News Coronavirus Coverage

  • Ryanair in Croatia: Almost Total Zadar 2020 Flight Cancellations But Split, Dubrovnik OK? – here.
  • Croatia Travel Update March 21, 2020: Flights, Ferries, Borders, Buses, Trains – here.
  • Coronavirus in Croatia Morning Press Conference Update March 21, 2020 – here.
  • COVID-19 in Croatia: New Zagreb Travel Restrictions Explained – here.
  • VIDEO: Strict Coronavirus Measures: Police Ask Zagreb Citizens to Leave Streets – here.
  • Croatian Chamber of Commerce Cancelling Fees for Struggling Businesses – here.
  • Infobip Generously Donates Medical Equipment to Pula General Hospital – here.
  • COVID-19 in Croatia: Bus and Train Stations Closing, Intercity Lines to be Suspended – here.
  • Coronavirus in Croatia: Will Ultra Europe Go On in Split? – here.
  • Split Police Patrolling Riva and Beaches, Marjan Closed: “Only Go Out If You Must” – here.
  • Croatian Clubs in Corona Crisis: Will They Survive? – here.

Total Slovenia News & Total Montenegro News Updates

  • COVID-19 & Slovenia, Mid-Day 21 March: Ban on Leaving Municipality – here.
  • Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 21 March 2020 – here.
  • Coronavirus in Montenegro: 12 Tested Negative, Number of COVID19 Infections 14 – here.
  • Coronavirus in Montenegro: 14 cases, Epidemic Spreads, We Should Take It Seriously – here.

Live World Coronavirus Updates

  • Live world updates from CNN here.
  • Live world updates from The Guardian here.
  • Live world updates from Al Jazeera here.

World Health Organization Coronavirus Updates

  • Live updated international map tracking spread of coronavirus from Johns Hopkins CSSE here.
  • Live updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) here.

Croatian Health Organization Coronavirus Updates

  • Live updates from the Croatian Institute of Public Health (daily updates at 15:00 CET in Croatian) here.
  • Live updates from Croatian Government at their dedicated website here and their Facebook page here.

Other Croatia Resources for Updates, Information and Assistance

  • COVID-19 INFO CROATIA – A Facebook group with updates and information in English here.
  • Jedni za druge – A Facebook group of volunteers who do deliveries in several cities here.

UPDATED: March 21, 2020 22:00 CET (Central European Time)

*Follow this page for updates on the coronavirus in Croatia from Total Croatia News. 



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