COVID-19 in Croatia: New Zagreb Travel Restrictions Explained

Lauren Simmonds

As Index writes on the 21st of March, 2020, the Civil Protection Headquarters have addressed the public once again on the situation with COVID-19 in Croatia. 

“We’ve entered a phase where the number of patients has increased in an extremely short period of time. This indicates that we’re facing an upward trajectory of the epidemic curve, which can only be stopped by following the recommendations of the Civil Protection Staff,” warned Health Minister Vili Beros.

He warned that some residents have not been adhering to the recommendations and instructions for self-isolation, and that there were some who didn’t follow the recommendations of not gathering in public places.

”This is not good and will not help curb the epidemic,” Beros said, urging all of Croatia’s residents to please follow the recommendations once again.

“It’s okay to go outside, but you can’t be in close contact,” Beros explained.

“Self-isolation measures must be undertaken by those who are in contact with the sick or those who come from countries where the infection is,” Bernard Kaic said.

“Over time, it may turn out that Croatia is facing a huge risk, so it’s important to distance yourself from everyone,” Kaic explained.

Health Minister Beros said that for all of us, self-isolation was something we’ve never faced before. That’s why there is a new set of directions to follow for healthcare and ambulance workers.

There are no new coronavirus patients needing to be on respirators.

Alemka Markotic of the ”Fran Mihaljevic” Clinic for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb said that the good news that is there are no new patients needing respirators, although there are still unfortunately new potential candidates.

She reiterated that all precautions are to be taken very seriously because if we don’t adhere to the rules, we’re putting everyone at risk. She thanked everyone who provided assistance and donations.

Krunoslav Capak of the Croatian Institute for Public Health said that curve has gone uphill rapidly and how steep it is still yet to rise depends solely on us and our behaviour. He then thanked all of Croatia’s dedicated health care staff and all other volunteers.

Only those with passes will be able to take city buses.

Bozinovic said long-distance traffic decisions are already being implemented.

“With regard to public urban transport, we’ve decided to suspend the trams and the buses will all be disinfected. We’ll also have to see what activities are deemed necessary so that only those who need the transport for normal life can enter the buses. Others will not be allowed to enter the buses. Please reconcile with that fact,” Bozinovic said.

“Inspectors have closed eight or six cafes today. That’s just outrageous,” Bozinovic said. He noted that the police are using their powers and are removing people from public spaces as part of the decision to try to halt the spread of COVID-19 in Croatia.

“They’re doing that with a megaphone, with sounds and with light signals. If that fails, the police will use other powers, which means fines of between 5 and 10 thousand kuna,” Bozinovic said.

On one island, a citizen attacked a police officer.

“We have an example from an island where someone attacked a police officer, well… we will not allow this,” Bozinovic watned.

“Everybody has to understand that this is not a regular situation,” he added, saying that instructions on how people should behave indoors will come.

“We’ll also use the services of tele-operators to send messages to everyone about how to behave in different situations, and today there were irresponsible people who spread messages of panic over social networks.

“We have hundreds of people who have violated self-isolation and they will be punished for it,” Bozinovic said, once again urging citizens to follow all instructions – namely hygiene procedures and staying home.

“The reason for going outside should not be just for socialising and talking, it won’t be like that while these measures are in place,” Bozinovic said.

The patients with the worst symptoms will be dealt with at the Zagreb hospital KB Dubrava, and those who are not as bad will be treated at the Zagreb Arena, where beds have been set up, explained Beros.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated section for all you need to know about COVID-19 in Croatia.


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