May 10, 2020 – So what is the latest Croatia corona travel advice? When will borders open, flights take off, and tourism finally begin? An overview of what we know at the moment.
Can you travel to Croatia? Around Croatia? Is Croatia safer than other destinations? When will tourism start? Who can cross the border?
With so many questions, so much uncertainty, and SO many people wanting to go on holiday and get tourism started, here is what we know today. One thing is certain – things will be very different from tomorrow, May 11, 2020, with the third level of easing of measures, including on travel. Full details below.
The Croatian National Tourist Board and Ministry of Tourism official travel advice pages
Croatia corona travel – how safe is Croatia and how well has it handled the corona crisis?
Croatia has handled the health threat from coronavirus extremely well, both in terms of measures taken and communication. The authorities reacted quicker than most as they watched the horror unfold across the Adriatic in Italy, and an extremely effective National Civil Protection Headquarters has kept infections and deaths well below the European average. And this despite the additional challenges brought on by the Zagreb earthquakes.
(Source – Koronavirus.hr)
Croatia currently has 2,176 cases of infection, which has resulted in 87 deaths. The majority of cases – 1,726 – have recovered.
The authorities also moved quickly not only to close borders, but also to localise infection by severely restricting all unnecessary travel between municipalities. Its famous tourist islands have remained almost totally corona-free. Only those with an island ID were permitted to use the ferries, and only then with a special purpose.
So in terms of its approach to the virus, and the results, there is perhaps nowhere better than Croatia.
And then question on everyone’s lips is – when can we travel to Croatia, and is Croatia corona travel safe?
Nothing is totally safe in these very uncertain times, but I would say that COMPARITAVELY speaking, Croatia is as safe as anywhere in Europe to come for a holiday IF conditions allow. More on that below.
What is the current situation with Croatia’s borders? Who can enter the country?
- at Bregana and Macelj (with Slovenia);
- at Goričan and Duboševica (with Hungary);
- at Nova Sela, Stara Gradiška and Slavonski Šamac (with Bosnia and Herzegovina);
- at Bajakovo (with Serbia).
- use motorways only;
- use the following rest areas only: Novska jug, Novska sjever, Kozjak jug, Prokljan sjever, Draganić sjever, Draganić jug, Bačva, Ravna Gora, Lužani in direction Lipovac and Staro Petrovo Selo in direction Bregana;
- during breaks keep distance between You and other people;
- obey the rules of Civil protection or police officers.
- at Goričan border crossing, detour: Goričan junction-ŽC2026-DC3;
- at Dvor and Vitaljina border crossings – open only to passenger traffic;
- at Gunja border crossing – there is a traffic ban on freight vehicles and buses.
Due to traffic bans on freight vehicles in Slovenia long delays should be expected in freight traffic at Bregana/Obrežje and Macelj/Gruškovje border crossings starting 1 June.
Additionally, the Saturday press conference detailed some changes in specific cases for border crossing. More in this TCN article – Where Can We Go Outside Croatia, and Who Can Enter? Bozinovic Explains New Border Rules.
What is the latest news about the borders opening for tourism?
Everyone WANTS tourism to begin, but just how safe is it, when might it happen, and will it be for everyone?
From the Ministry of Tourism website:
Some clues from some recent TCN articles:
What about flights to Croatia? An overview of all the major airlines to Croatia and their current positions
If there is one tiny cloud with silver lining for Croatian tourism, it is that the vast majority of its visitors arrive by car. The proximity of countries such as Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary and Serbia mean that the season will not be a total disaster if it is allowed to start. Holiday options for these countries will be more limited due to the drastic reduction in flights which will be a post-corona reality. So destinations such as Greece, Turkey and Egypt will be much harder to reach than hopping in a car from Central or Eastern Europe.
You can read some detailed analysis of the Croatian aviation market in the future from Max Oldorf, COO of ch-aviation in this TCN interview this week:
The big intercontinental carriers have mostly writtten off 2020 totally, with Qatar Airways and American Airlines, delaying Dubrovnik until 2021. And with the CEO of easyJet saying the airline will feel like a new startup post-corona, Ryanair’s homepage focusing on September breaks since March, and Norwegian Air on the brink, the reality is that flights to Croatia will be much reduced. The official Koronavirus website has produced this very helpful overview of where individual airlines are with their plans. You can follow the updated page here.
From May 4, 2020, it is mandatory to use face masks / headgear on all Croatia Airlines flights. Passengers on all Croatia Airlines flights are required to bring and wear face masks or covers. Masks must be worn throughout the stay in the cabin of the aircraft.
Acceptable face covers:
two-layer cotton face masks
medical (surgical) face masks
filter half masks with and without valve (FFP2 / N95)
From May 11, Croatia Airlines will operate flights on the following routes within Croatia:
Zagreb – Split
OU652 (08:00 – 09:00)
OU656 (20:20 – 21:10)
Split – Zagreb
OU653 (09:45 – 10:35)
OU657 (21:50 – 22:40)
Zagreb – Dubrovnik
OU662 (08:00 – 09:05)
OU664 (20:20 – 21:25)
Dubrovnik – Zagreb
OU663 (09:50 – 10:55)
OU665 (22:10 – 23:15)
Information on other domestic flights will be published later.
Dubrovnik Airport is closed to civilian traffic until 02/05/2020. due to preventive measures to prevent the spread of coronaviruses. More details.
Osijek Airport – from 27.4. the Pothodnik branch reopens. While prevention measures are in place, the opening hours will be 9 am-5pm on weekdays (Monday through Friday). More information can be obtained by e-mail [email protected] and phone +38531284611. It is recommended that all inquiries be sent in writing to the specified e-mail. More information.
Rijeka Airport – latest info here.
Zagreb Airport – latest info here.
The Croatia Airlines contact center is available on the following numbers: 0800 77 77 (toll free calls from Croatia), 072 500 505 or +385 1 66 76 555. More info.
AirBaltic – All AirBaltic connections are suspended from March 17 to May 12, 2020, including airBaltic operations from Estonia and Lithuania. Click for the latest info.
Air France – Due to coronavirus, they have reduced 90% of flight capacity and this supply reduction is in effect until the end of May. Due to the closure of Paris-Orly Airport, all flights from and to Paris go via Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Latest info.
Air Canada has suspended all flights between Toronto and Zagreb for the summer of 2020.
Austrian Airlines, a branch of Lufthansa, has decided to suspend all its scheduled flights until the end of May 2020. More details.
British Airways – the latest updates.
Brussels Airlines has decided to suspend flights until May 15, 2020. More details.
Czech Airlines has suspended flights to / from Prague from 16 March, as a result of the Czech government’s declaration of a state of emergency and a related ban on foreigners entering the Czech Republic. More details.
easyJet – They made the decision to ground the aircraft until further notice. More details.
Emirates – Emirates has established limited passenger flights to transport passengers departing from the UAE. More details.
Germanwings – Germanwings flights no longer exist.
KLM – Latest info.
Lufthansa – More details.
Ryanair – As most EU countries have imposed flight bans or other restrictions, more than 90% of Ryanair’s aircraft are grounded, and the limited flight schedule has been extended until 28 May. More details.
Turkish Airlines – All international flights are canceled until May 28, 2020. More details.
Qatar Airways – all direct flights between Zagreb and Doha are suspended until May 31, 2020. Flexible when changing travel plans until September 30, 2020. For more information, contact the Qatar Airways office in Zagreb at +385 (0) 1 4961110 / 111, email: [email protected] or check the details here.
Wizz Air – In early May, it will fly from Budapest to Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Birmingham, Basel, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, London, Liverpool, Madrid, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Stockholm and Targa Mures. See more here.
What about freedom of movement within Croatia at the moment?
After weeks of being confined to the individual municipality, restrictions were recently lifted on travel within Croatia’s 20 regions (but not in all cases). It is expected that this will be loosened further if the current situation remains stable – from May 11. Please note that countywide travel is not the case everywhere – for the latest, check the official government Koronavirus website. An exception to this is the island of Brac, which has reimposed measures after the recent outbreak.
The authorities announced last week that those with real estate elsewhere in Croatia can now get a permit to visit it – good news for the many people with holiday homes on the coast.
Expect a major increase in traffic on the roads and ferries on May 11.
Relaxing measures: what is possible now, and how will travel change on May 11?
On April 23, 2020, Prime Minister Plenkovic announced his 3-phase plan to loosen restrictions.
Part one has already come into force:
PHASE 1 – April 27, 2020
– Ability to work for all business entities engaged in trade, except those operating within shopping centers
– Continuation of work to all business entities engaged in service activities, except those in which close contact with customers is observed, respecting physical distance measures (for example, carpenter, tailor, locksmith, travel agencies, photo studio)
– Introduction of public city and suburban transport lines and express lines for islands not connected by ferry
– Libraries, museums, galleries, antiques and bookstores to open
– Facilitating training of athletes I and II. categories in individual sports and senior sports teams competing in the highest level of competition
– Facilitating the state professional exam for priority groups of students
And the second phase is due to come into effect on Monday:
PHASE 2 – May 4, 2020
– Enabling the full operation of the public health system, with the exception of exceptions in line with the Ministry of Health measures
– Enabling the full operation of the private health system, with due regard for specific epidemiological measures
– Ability to work for all business entities engaged in service activities in which close contact with clients is observed, with respect to specific epidemiological measures (for example, hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, pedicurists)
PHASE 3 – May 11, 2020
– Gatherings of up to 10 people in one place allowed, while respecting physical distance measures
– Facilitating the operation of shopping malls while respecting specific epidemiological measures
– Facilitating the work of preschools and elementary classes from grades 1-4 and special classes and working with children with disabilities who have a teaching assistant
– Laboratory, artistic and clinical exercises and practical work allowed in small groups in higher education
– Introduction of inter-county and domestic air services
– Allowing catering facilities to work exclusively in outdoor areas and terraces
– Allowing catering facilities to work in accommodation facilities only for users of accommodation services
– Operation of national and nature parks allowed
– Expanding opportunities for issuing e-passes
What is the situation with ferries in Croatia?
Zadar-Ancona international ferry operates for freight vehicles only.
A reduced service is running – here is the timetable in full in English.
Tomorrow will see an extra ferry from Split to Stari Grad on Hvar, for example.
TCN reports from the ferry terminal in Stari Grad on Hvar to give an indication of what current ferry traffic is like.
You can check the latest news in English on the Jadrolinija website.
Are buses running between cities in Croatia?
Currently no, but they will start from tomorrow, May 11.
A really good resource from GetByBus gives you all the latest.
Also worth a read on the new realities on buses:
What about local transport?
Some local transport has now restarted. I don’t have more information currently than what is in the links below, but happy to add if anyone wants to send updates to [email protected] Subject Travel Update
An overview of the situation in Zagreb. (April 26)
Are there any trains currently running in Croatia?
Currently no, but that will change tomorrow, May 11. From the HAK website:
What is the situation on Croatia’s roads and motorways?
There is obviously a lot less traffic on the roads currently. For the latest information on roadworks and other problems, check this HAK page (in English)
Are taxis and private transfers available in Croatia?
Yes. I checked with one of the most reliable providers, Octopus Transfers, and they are able to cover transfers all over the country.
What are the self-isolation rules for people entering Croatia currently?
People entering Croatia have been required to self-isolate for 14 days.
However, in the National Civil Protection Headquarter’s press conference on Saturday, May 9, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said that everyone coming into Croatia would be given clear instructions by the Croatian Institute of Public Health.
This would not mean mandatory self-isolation, as it is unrealistic to let someone come for economic reasons or other business meetings and prevent them from leaving their place or hotel or any other accommodation, the Minister said.
The situation is constantly evolving, and for the latest on travel updates and all other coronavirus developments, we recommend you follow the dedicated TCN COVID-19 section.
If there are errors or omissions in the above, please contact me at [email protected] Subject Travel Update, so that I can get this resource updated. Thanks in advance and stay safe.