Plenkovic Hints at Gyms in Croatia Opening Before January 31, Government Says No

Daniela Rogulj

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Recall, reports that the National Civil Protection Headquarters recently announced that all epidemiological measures adopted in late November would be extended until January 31. Among the most important measures taken at the time were closing restaurants, cafes, and gyms.

Plenkovic was asked today about relaxing strict measures in light of the ever-improving numbers Croatia is recording in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

“A month and a half ago, we had a situation where we were the worst in Europe. Now that we have a decline among the largest in Europe, some people will put pressure on the government or the Headquarters to relax measures as soon as possible, tomorrow. I repeat, COVID-19 is a dangerous, deadly disease, which in Croatia leads to people going to hospitals and on ventilators, and some of them die. Older people and those in poorer health are dying, the average being around 78 years old. We are trying to protect that population. Since the end of November, it is clear that the measures have been successful and have protected the population. We did everything with the huge responsibility of our fellow citizens to reduce contacts, and I think that is good. Given the cold weather, the seasonality, we have no right to relax. Many countries have much more restrictive measures. We did not introduce curfew. In our country, the system was oriented towards balancing anti-epidemic measures and protecting the economy. We achieved an excellent result in that,” said Plenkovic, and then began speaking about vaccination.

“We ordered 1.9 million doses from Pfizer, a million doses from Moderna. Most importantly, today, there are indications that the EU Medicines Agency will approve the AstraZeneca vaccine, of which we ordered 2.7 million doses. I said we would finish by April to vaccinate most of the vulnerable population,” the prime minister said.

“We have to make a shield for those most at risk. That way, we are preparing for the economic recovery and the tourist season. That means we decided a day or two ago that what is now in force remains until January 31. Don’t be afraid; gyms will open before January 31,” Plenkovic said.

This confused the journalists present, and one of them asked, “Right away?”

To this, Plenkovic said: “Yes, right now.”

“It will be like this until January 31, we will analyze the situation with experts, and then we can loosen measures. The winter months are not months to relax,” Plenkovic said.

Index immediately checked the information about gyms opening before January 31 with the National Civil Protection Headquarters. They unofficially said that they did not have that information.

Government: No gym openings before the end of the month

Index also contacted the government.

The government said that “the prime minister announced that the measures will be relaxed depending on the epidemiological situation from February 1 and that he will inform the journalists about it before gyms are reopened.”

“There are no gym openings before the end of the month,” the government said.

To read more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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