Croatia Should Welcome Vaccinated UK Tourists without Restrictions, Says Dubrovnik Mayor

Daniela Rogulj

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HRTurizam writes that the UK is currently the focus of all tourist destinations.

It is also among the top three countries globally in terms of vaccinating citizens, with only Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) vaccinating more citizens. By Sunday, at least 21 million Britons were given their first dose. About 400,000 citizens are vaccinated every week, which is why all tourist countries are turning directly to the British market, from Greece, the Canary Islands, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, and many other countries, because it is in British tourists that should travel en masse first due to high vaccination coverage.

The mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, is keeping this in mind. After a recent initiative to enable tourists at Croatian airports to be tested for COVID, he launched a new initiative aimed precisely at tourists from Great Britain.

Namely, Franković sent a proposal to the competent ministries to agree with the United Kingdom for British guests.

All Britons who received two doses of vaccine overcame COVID-19 or have a negative PCR test would be allowed to come to Croatia on vacation without restrictions. May 1.

“The UK market is the most important tourist market in the city of Dubrovnik, and since the UK left the European Union, its guests are considered guests from third countries, and the quarantine obligation is in force upon arrival at the destination. Given that such a measure could seriously jeopardize the season, this proposal was made, following the examples of Cyprus and Portugal that have concluded such agreements,” said Franković, adding that leading British media report almost daily on which European Union countries the British are allowed to enter without having to quarantine upon arrival.

The consequences of Dubrovnik’s inclusion on the UK red list are most clearly shown by the numbers of arrivals, according to which Dubrovnik ended 2020 with 20% of the total number of overnight stays compared to the number of overnight stays in 2019, concluded Franković.

Both initiatives are focused on air guests because the city of Dubrovnik is extremely dependent on air traffic. Still, they also show the mayor’s proactivity and determination to define some things much faster. There is not much time until summer, and everyone is currently targeting the UK market with marketing messages. 

The European Union will present a “digital green pass” on March 17, i.e., to present the framework of the Member States’ decision regarding Covid passports and all other open issues regarding opening to tourism. It is also important to point out that according to Minister Brnjac, Croatia is considering a model that would allow tourists to be tested by rapid antigen tests, as well as PCR testing at several points, which will be decided in cooperation with regional tourist boards and the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

On the topic of introducing digital green passports that would enable easier travel, and at the same time provide air destinations with a faster tourist recovery, Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković held a meeting with the Director-General of the European Region of Airports Council International Olivier Jankovec and the president of the Air Transport Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Tonči Peović.

Olivier Jankovec informed Mayor Franković that 100 European airports had introduced COVID testing so far. Still, he believes that the full implementation of the system requires urgent harmonization of recognizing rapid antigen tests between the EU member states, allowing easier travel.

On the other hand, Mayor Franković presented the initiatives and protocols proposed by the City of Dubrovnik, which relate to travel from all countries, regardless of whether they are part of the EU or not. The proposal introduces the rules according to the zones ‘green’, ‘orange’ and ‘red,’ and following them; guests would have certain conditions for coming to Croatia. Thus, the goal is not to stop travel but to make it possible for everyone under certain conditions.

Do you believe that Croatia should welcome vaccinated UK tourists without restrictions from May 1 this year?

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