“Since we have had a slight increase in infections, I cannot say if there will be a further relaxation of measures,” Capak told reporters in Zagreb during a public health campaign marking Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Even though some media outlets have announced that the restrictions on hospitality establishments will be eased and that nightclubs will be allowed to stay open until 2 am, Capak did not confirm this.
“A possible relaxation is still being considered, and what is certain is that COVID passes will remain mandatory for healthcare and social welfare services,” he said.
The slight increase in new cases will be taken into account in deciding on the relaxation of restrictions, and Capak said that Croatia was not an isolated case in this regard as most European countries were in a similar situation.
One of the reasons is the more infectious BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is becoming dominant in western Europe, people thinking that the epidemic is over, resumption of school classes, and cold weather, as a result of which people spend more time indoors.
Capak noted that the slight increase in new infections did not mean the beginning of a new wave of the epidemic and that it was yet to be seen what would happen in the coming days.
“The increase in new infections is a warning that the epidemic is not over and that we should comply with the epidemiological measures which are still in force,” Capak said, adding that the turnout for vaccination was not satisfactory.
“People have given up, they are still postponing vaccination thinking that the epidemic is over. There are enough vaccines and vaccination should continue because it is a very powerful weapon,” Capak said, calling on people to observe hygiene rules, wear face masks, maintain a physical distance and air out their rooms.