Update (July 11, 2020): While all of these were true when this article was written, a major change took place on July 10, when the new rules for entering Croatia were introduced. Please follow the article about those changes to get the latest information, as it becomes available.
June 23, 2020 – Can Americans visit Croatia now? Yes and no – a journey through the minefield.
One of the most common questions on the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community, which has been visited 100,000 times in its first month, is about Americans visiting Croatia for a holiday during the corona crisis. Is it possible, and if yes, what is the procedure?
This will be a hard article to write and get 100% accurate, as official information is hard to find. There are also, it appears, cases of Americans who have managed to come when the rules would seemingly prevent their entrance. This update has been compiled from official information, feedback from the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community, and the media. It is meant for informational purposes and comes with a disclaimer that you should not rely 100% on the information and get confirmation from official sources.
If you are an American and currently inside the EU/EEA (27 EU countries, UK, Iceland, Switzerland and Norway), you are free to enter Croatia with a business invitation, proof of paid accommodation or the other reasons stated on the infographic below.
If you are an American with Croatian papers, you are free to fly from the USA to Croatia with no problem.
What does ‘Croatian papers’ mean? For 100% guarantee, a Croatian passport. Much less certain, but at least one case has worked, is to enter with your Domovnica. Once you get to the Croatian border, you will have no problem. Getting on the flight is the hardest part. If the airline is convinced that the Domovnica is good enough ID to establish your Croatian credentials, then you may enter. In order to give yourself the best chance of success with this route, ask your local embassy to confirm your Croatianness in an official letter in English. Please note, this is NOT a guarantee it will work, but it has on at least one occasion.
For all other Americans wanting to come from the USA (or Canadians from Canada), the external EU borders are closed until further notice. In a TCN interview with Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, the last official information was that the EU was targeting July 1 as the date to open external borders, BUT only for countries with a good epidemiological record.
Having said that, I have heard of anecdotal cases of Americans who have managed to come for business. I don’t have details, but such cases do exist but are relatively rare in my opinion.
Please note that proof of paid accommodation and/or a flight ticket do NOT guarantee you entrance to the EU or Croatia, and there have been many cases of tourists being refused boarding at US airports. To give one really clear example, an American boyfriend of a UK national with a paid villa in Croatia for 2 months and a 45-day yacht rental fully paid was not allowed to board a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt and Zagreb from Los Angeles. If he had been immediate family (with a cohabitation document), he would have been allowed on board.
It seems that certain airlines are stricter than others with the rules (feedback from our Viber community), with Lufthansa the strictest. Some are reporting easier procedures with Swiss Air to Zurich, which is outside the EU but inside Schengen.
If you contact the Croatian border police, it is likely that they will say Americans can enter with paid accommodation, which is true. Their job is to deal with people crossing the borders, and if Americans can get to the border, they can enter. It is NOT their job to determine if Americans can cross external EU borders.
When flying either to the EU or within the EU to Croatia, I would advise that you bring with you the following things:
- Proof of paid accommodation
- A print out of the confirmation from entercroatia.mup.hr
- A copy of the latest IATA rules for flying to Croatia
This last one is important as there is such confusion at the moment that the Viber community has reported that some people have been denied boarding because airline check-in staff do not fully understand the rules for entering Croatia. If you have the IATA regulations to show them, it can only help.
The US Embassy in Zagreb is also a resource https://hr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/
We are working hard to make the situation as clear as possible. If you have any useful information to add to this, or a recent live experience, please post in our Viber community – you can join here (you will need to download the app) or contacts us at [email protected] Subject US Entry.
The Netherlands – as of July 21, Croatia is placed on the “Orange” list by the Dutch government, which means that both the Croatian nationals and the Dutch nationals returning to the Netherlands from Croatia are strongly advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.