Headquarters Announce New Measures in Croatia: Ban on Inter-County Travel, New Rules for Christmas Mass

Daniela Rogulj



December 18, 2020 – The National Civil Protection Headquarters announced new measures in Croatia at the 11 am press conference on Friday. 

Index.hr reports that in the last 24 hours, Croatia has recorded 3,222 new cases, and the current number of active cases is 21,297. 10,478 people were tested in the last 24 hours; there 310 new patients in the hospital. Compared to yesterday, there are 29 new patients on ventilators. 68 people died. 

“The seven-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in the Republic of Croatia is 591.1. The highest is in Međimurje County, then Zagreb County, and the lowest in Dubrovnik-Neretva and Istria. Within the 14-day incidence rate, Croatia is in 25th place. Luxembourg and Lithuania are higher,” said Krunoslav Capak at the start of the press conference.

After Capak, Minister Vili Beroš took the floor: “Within the current knowledge, those who have already had coronavirus and currently have immunity will probably not get sick in the coming period. However, due to the presence of the virus, they can transmit it and infect other people. This is very important because even those who have survived can transmit the disease to others.

The virus has condemned us to togetherness, and in the context of measures, we must think of each other. Wearing masks is essential, as is vaccination. To achieve collective immunity, we need to talk about it because with the vaccine we are not only protecting ourselves but for others as well.”

Davor Božinović continued: “It is great to talk about the start of vaccination, but it is a process that will continue throughout the next year. We will be able to breathe a sigh of relief in the next six months if responsible. That is why we made several decisions until January 10, 2021. We are trying to send a message about how important it is to calm the population and discourage socializing in this risky period. It is a combination of measures of the Headquarters and other government activities,” said Bozinovic, before introducing the measures. 

“First, there is the beginning of school holidays, allowing students to go on vacation until January 18. The movement and number of people in public transport will thus be reduced,” Bozinovic said. He added that the government will hold talks with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. The initiative is for workers to use old vacations during Christmas and New Year decisions.

Two decisions have been made; one is the extension of measures with some changes.

“On Christmas Eve and Christmas, mass will be held according to the special instructions of the CNIPH, with one believer per 7 square meters of the church instead of 25 people, regardless of the church’s size.

The rule of one person per 7 square meters is also introduced for cinemas, theaters, and other places that belong to the domain of culture.

It is forbidden to leave the county in which the person resides. This does not apply to emergency activities and supplies, daily migration, security services, pharmacy delivery, journalists, patients requiring medical purposes, commuting to and from work if necessary and cannot be done from home, emergency persons preventing the spread of COVID-19, and diplomatic staff.

This is not the introduction of passes; this is a travel ban. Passes are issued only in exceptional cases, when necessary. The message is that everyone refrains from traveling, visiting, and contact for the holidays. The intention is not to extend the restriction of movement after January 8,” Bozinovic said.

“It is important to reduce work activity. It is not very high at this time of year anyway, but there are exceptions, so there is a possibility of passes for exceptional cases. We appeal to everyone to refrain from traveling and gathering and socializing for two weeks,” said Bozinovic.

NEW EPIDEMIOLOGICAL MEASURES – from midnight on December 22 to January 10

School holidays

– Students are on holiday until January 18, which reduces student mobility and public transportation


“On Wednesday, a meeting was held with representatives of the economy. The next two weeks, December 23 – January 8, to enable the use of annual leave to reduce the number of infected people further. Representatives of the largest trade union centers that support this initiative were also introduced,” Bozinovic said.

Private gatherings and ceremonies

– maximum of 10 people

– maximum of 2 different households


– when possible, via radio, TV programs, and otherwise

– exceptionally on December 24 and 25 according to special recommendations of the CNIPH

Professional and artistic performances

– the number of persons present is limited due to the size of the space

– at least 7 square meters per person

Ban on inter-county movement, from December 23 to January 8 (TCN has more on this HERE)

– it is forbidden to leave the county in which the person has a permanent or temporary residence. This does not apply to staff necessary for traffic maintenance, daily migration of employees in health care services, pharmacy delivery, utilities, gas and electricity supply, security services, journalists, patients, travel to and from work, emergency services to help prevent the spread of disease and diplomatic staff

– when entering/leaving the county, the measure should be adhered to, and you should have an identification card proving your status or pass

– the pass is issued by the county headquarters

– does not apply to the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County

– The travel ban enters into force on December 23 and lasts until January 8

Nove epidemiološke mjere od… by Tportal.hr

“We want to tell citizens to be patient through this risky part of the year without contact so we can wish each other all the best for the upcoming holidays. This is a time-limited decision and is not extended unless necessary due to the epidemiological situation. Around January 8, we will see the results of our behavior during the holidays.”

As for people who have already paid for hotel accommodation or holiday home, Bozinovic said: “There are a number of justified reasons for issuing passes. These include people caring for the elderly, enforcing court decisions on the right to spend weekends with children, but also reservations for hotels and other accommodation until the day this decision takes effect. Those who have paid can keep their plan.”

They also clarified measures related to churches. “HZJZ is preparing a special document for religious events. Every believer should have 7 square meters of space and there must be a notice at the entrance to the church,” said Capak, adding:

“We will appeal to the church to ensure that the faithful monitor the implementation of the prescribed measures. As for the area in front of the church, the provision of a maximum of 25 people applies. In addition, it will contain recommendations members of the same household do not need to keep a distance. It is recommended to set up benches for believers from the same household and to have every other bench in use from the entrance to the altar.”

Asked why catering facilities are not allowed to do the same, Capak said: “Because it is impossible. We persistently communicate that we are taking measures to reduce contacts so as not to ban certain activities that are necessary for economic and other reasons. This measure is related to respecting the wishes and needs of believers for spiritual peace and the need to celebrate the holiday. Religious celebrations are allowed with 25 people, but for Christmas Eve and Christmas we have allowed it to be with minimal epidemiological risk, so that believers can celebrate the holiday.”

On the arrival of the vaccine in Croatia, Capak said: “We do not yet have any documents to know the exact quantities. The first symbolic delivery for all EU countries will be on December 26 and we will receive that quantity. We have Pfizer’s promise to deliver the complete tranche by the end of the January. We will probably find out what the quantity will be at the beginning of next week.”

More soon…

To read more about coronavirus in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language – now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment