Are Mandatory Covid Certificates in Croatia the Way Forward?

Daniela Rogulj

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France has introduced strict restrictions for those without Covid certificates. This was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron, which resulted in 900,000 people applying for vaccinations, twice as many as the last record set on July 11, reports

Macron said vaccination will not be mandatory for the general public for now but stressed that the restrictions would affect those who have not been vaccinated.

As for Croatia, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković eliminated the possibility of compulsory vaccination yesterday. “There is no theoretical chance that vaccination will be mandatory,” Plenković said.

Since it is becoming increasingly clear that the fourth wave of coronavirus is already spreading in parts of Europe and that vaccination has been slowed down in Croatia for some time, Plenković’s resolute removal of compulsory vaccination as an option could mean that in Croatia, almost as in France, some kind of restriction will be introduced for those without Covid certificates. This, the government and the headquarters expect, would achieve two goals. On the one hand, a new wave of the coronavirus could be controlled much better, and on the other hand, restrictions would encourage many to be vaccinated.

Although real restrictions are expected in the autumn, strict measures affecting the unvaccinated have already begun.

As of yesterday, new rules for gatherings apply in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, according to which more than 20 people cannot gather without a Covid certificate.

“These are measures that at first glance show that the approach is proactive; we cannot wait with folded arms for an unwanted scenario to happen to us. We have experience of how unwanted events occur, the Delta Variant is present, and we have a certain problem, we want to be proactive and prevent the spread of the virus in the population, especially in events known as super-spreaders, and these are all forms of the gathering of people,” said Vladimir Mićović, director of the Teaching Institute for Public Health of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. He added that the measure was adopted for a period of 14 days with the possibility of extension.

By introducing these restrictions, several public events in Rijeka and the surrounding area were canceled yesterday.

It should also be reminded that last week in Zadar County, concerts and similar outdoor events were banned, where it is not checked whether visitors have a Covid certificate.

Even more serious restrictions for those without Covid certificates are announced for the fall.

Tomorrow is a new round of government talks with unions and employers on a new support scheme for the economy that will be paid only to those employees with a Covid certificate, but also on the possibility of introducing a Covid certificate as an obligation for all public sector activities and employees in contact with a larger number of people. As the Minister of Health Vili Beroš confirmed ten days ago, these are drivers in public transport, teachers, professors, educators, health workers, people who work at the counters or are otherwise in daily contact with a larger number of people.

A similar Covid certification regime is being considered for healthcare facilities. As he said, serious consideration is being given to introducing testing on entering the hospital, but also that healthcare professionals work as long as the Covid confirmation lasts, i.e., that they are tested every 48 hours if they have not been vaccinated or have not had coronavirus in the last six months.

But the plan of the government and the Headquarters is much broader.

Covid certificates should become a means of entry to almost all events and shopping malls, which is a very realistic option for autumn. Such an obligation should be introduced through the Headquarters decision, i.e., it is not necessary to change any law. If necessary, the places for which a Covid certificate is required would be further expanded.

Since the shopping centers would be entered only with Covid certificates, everyone inside would be without masks. Shopping centers will, most figuratively speaking, look like in 2019, that is, before the epidemic. In addition to not wearing masks, there will be no restrictions on the number of people in the shops, restaurants in the centers will work as before, and playrooms will work as before the pandemic. Wardens will control Covid certificates at the entrances to the shopping centers. The Headquarters is convinced that the owners of these centers will be much more profitable than the measures because people will stay longer in the centers, go to cafes, restaurants, and children’s playrooms.

“Those who have not been vaccinated will also be able to enter but will have to be tested as prescribed for Covid certificates. We have two goals: one is to extend the season as much as possible, and the other is to enter the fall with a new regime based on Covid certificates. Depending on how the epidemiological situation develops, it is possible to apply Covid certificates even more widely, i.e., to make them an obligation in even more places,” said Index’s source close to the Headquarters about ten days ago.

One of these places could be office buildings, and Covid certificates could be checked at the entrance to the building. All places where masks are now mandatory are potential places where a Covid certificate obligation could be introduced. This applies to various institutions, public and private, and in the broadest case, to all stores.

The new regime could be introduced as early as the second half of September.

For all, you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centers across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.


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