Where Can We Go Outside Croatia, and Who Can Enter? Bozinovic Explains New Border Rules

Daniela Rogulj

May 10, 2020 – Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic announced during Saturday’s National Civil Protection Headquarters press conference that there had been a change in the temporary ban on border crossings in Croatia.

Index.hr reports that Croatian citizens are allowed to enter Croatia and go abroad, while foreign citizens will be able to enter Croatia for business reasons and other economic interests, as well as foreign citizens who are traveling for urgent personal reasons.

“As for Croatian citizens who reside here or in other countries, they will be able to enter Croatia for personal reasons,” he said. After entering Croatia, self-isolation will no longer be a mandatory measure.

But while it is now possible to leave Croatia, the question remains – where can Croatians go? Some countries, including those neighboring Croatia, still have closed borders.

The new decision, Minister Davor Bozinovic confirmed, is applied as of Sunday morning.

Index.hr asked Minister Bozinovic where Croatian citizens can go now that the Croatian borders are open and whether they can travel to Ljubljana, for example.

“Where Croatian citizens can go depends on the countries that are ready to receive them. As for Slovenia, I’m not sure, but we will have discussions with the Slovenes on several levels next week. I will sit down with my colleague, the Slovenian interior minister. Preparations are underway, epidemiologists still have to sit down and we will talk about how to help each other,” said Bozinovic.

As can be concluded from what the neighboring countries have announced, Slovenia can be entered at larger border crossings that remain open, but a seven-day self-isolation is mandatory, after which a coronavirus test is prescribed, except for those in transit through that country. Hungary cannot be entered, except for those who have land 40 kilometers from the border or work on the other side of the border. Persons who are not citizens of BiH can only exceptionally enter that country, and those who stay are required to undergo 14-day self-isolation. Entry into Serbia from Croatia has not been possible so far, and now a PCR test is required, not older than 72 hours, otherwise, a 14-day quarantine is mandatory. Austria can only be entered with a certificate proving that the person is negative for the coronavirus, which cannot be older than four days, but transit through the country is possible without stopping.

A significant number of EU countries allow citizens from the other Member States to enter, but rules of residence in those countries, such as self-isolation provisions, should be observed, while travelers from outside the EU are generally barred from entering. However, coming to these countries could be challenging for Croats, given the restrictions in neighboring countries and the fact that they can currently only fly from Zagreb to Germany.

The question also arises as to who can now enter Croatia.

“At this moment, the most important thing is that we have enabled those who either have business reasons to come to Croatia. Of course, our goal here is the economy. Croatian citizens can enter, foreign citizens can enter when they have economic or other justified reasons. If someone will pay for a stay in a hotel, there is a possibility that we will let them go. For business reasons, citizens from outside the EU can also enter. We are moving towards liberalization, we have mechanisms, but we have also learned something and we can react as in the case of Brac,” said Bozinovic and confirmed for Index that the ban on movement between different places on the island is applied on Brac.

As for the agreement on freedom of movement within the EU, without self-isolation measures or other restrictions, Bozinovic says that he expects that the negotiations of all 27 members will be slower and that bilateral agreements will be reached.

Index also asked if Bozinovic was thinking of implementing a ‘travel bubble’ like the first one established in the EU by Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

“That would be some kind of intention, but it depends on the overall epidemiological situation. We are preparing for it to get better and we hope it will get better. It is a little more complicated for us compared to the Baltics. We are using every opportunity for normalization,” Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic told Index.

In the end, he confirmed that a decision would be made on Sunday about eliminating e-passes, except for Brac, where, according to the decision, the restriction of movement will last for 14 days.

Follow our live updates on the coronavirus crisis in Croatia 



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