Croatian Hospitality Sector Says New Measures Will Destroy Them

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in addition to working only part-time, they are now no longer allowed to serve customers inside the bars and the current Croatian epidemiological measures have halved the number of tables they have available. As of July the 1st, facilities operating within the scope of the Croatian hospitality sector, such as cafes and cars, are not allowed to serve anyone who isn’t sitting down at a table.

Just when some glimmer of hope that 2021’s tourist season would be more similar to the one from pre-pandemic 2019 arose, the National Civil Protection Directoate has again stomped on that light.

The ban on serving guests who aren’t sitting down at a table, if such a rule is adhered to at all, will see all of the bars on the steps in the Old City of Dubrovnik close their doors, Jutarnji list writes. These are all bars that have most of their tables inside, there are maybe two or three in front of the bar, and their main “terrace” is their steps.

”What they’re doing is so funny, these rules have literally nothing to do with anything,” said Albert, the owner of the Alberto bar in the heart of Dubrovnik’s glorious old town. Just a little tucked away from Stradun, the restaurant lives off guests who assume their ”sitting positions” on hard stone steps coupled with soft, spongy cushions.

”We’ve got 18 chairs outside, the others are standing or sitting on the steps. If they really insist that we all adhere to these measures, we can just close the bar now. Last year, in June and July, let us work until 02:00 in the morning, and then in August they brought us back to midnight again,” this angry bar owner explained.

Albert took over this bar back in February last year, exactly 27 days before the pandemic struck Croatia and the very first lockdown.

”The money I had, I invested everything here. About half a million kuna. Until then I worked for others, now I needed it for myself, and I have three children and the bar is the only income for my family,” he said.

He managed to sustain the business thanks to state support. If he hadn’t been getting paid, he doesn’t know how he’d have survived it all.

”I’d also like to ask them just where someone will work for 4000 kuna. We’ve done very little since I opened it, and now this. They just don’t let me work. One step forward, five steps back. And how do they intend to ban people from sitting on the stairs? Someone comes here and sits down. Drinks are served. What are they going to do, send the police out to come and arrest people?!” Albert asked.

Other Croatian hospitality sector workers down in Dubrovnik also agree that the decisions being made by the National Civil Protection Directorate are idiotic and reckless. The issue will likely also affect many other Croatian destinations where sitting on the steps is the norm, including Rovinj in Istria.

For more, follow our business section.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment