March 27, 2020 – So, what is Split like one week into the Croatian “lockdown”? A closer look.
Last Thursday, March 20, the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters announced the strictest measures yet in the fight against the coronavirus.
Restaurants, bars, and cafes were forced to close until at least April 19, parks are taped off, and you’ll notice police breaking up any gathering of more than a few people – especially if you’re not two meters apart.
The strict measures continued not even one week later, when the Civil Protection Headquarters announced restrictions on moving between cities, and citizens cannot leave their respective local government units, save for a few exceptions.
No, Croatia is not on total lockdown like Italy or Spain. We can still freely walk to the store and pharmacy (so long as we’re not in groups). Some of us are still setting out on solo walks in nature, while others are enjoying walks along the coast with their dogs. Depending on where you are, you may run into the police. We’re certainly urged to stay at home and to leave our homes only if necessary, which seems like Croatians are mostly adhering to.
Being the only one fit in my household to head out during these strange times, I documented my Split shopping experience one week after Croatia mostly shut down.
As you can see, the streets are empty – and I live in the Firule neighborhood right next to the hospital, which is usually bustling with grocery stores, bakeries, and cafe-goers.
Walking by the pharmacy, a line of 5 people waited outside, as only a few customers are allowed in at a time.
Onto Spar, where I did my shopping. The first thing I noticed: an ad offering help to neighbors in need, as we have seen circulating quite often in Croatia over the last week.
A Spar employee was parked at the entrance to the store, ushering shoppers in two at a time. I waited for about 8 minutes.
A sign on the door reads that only 35 shoppers can be inside the store at a time.
Spar itself was fully stocked, with enough toilet paper to carry us through the next few months.
No shelf in the store was empty, with the meat panic buying of a few weeks before long gone.
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