Corona virus in Croatia and the Balkans Travel

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First published on February 25 and now updated daily as new information becomes available.

Corona virus. A word that has been in the media for a few months. Lots of worrying media reports and lots of good news about the cured cases of coronavirus (COVID-2019).

There is no denying that the virus continues to spread worldwide, now in the Balkans and over the Adriatic Sea in Italy.

Croatia reported its first case on February 25. Croatia Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic confirmed that a young man was isolated after a positive test COVID-2019. He had recently returned from Italy.

Update March 25th

  • 418 cases in Croatia

  • 1 death

  • 16 healed

Where are the coronoavirus cases in Croatia?

Corona virus in the Balkans


  1. Albania. 104
  2. Bosnia Herzegovina. 136
  3. Bulgaria. 201
  4. Croatia. 418
  5. Greece. 695
  6. Kosovo. 63
  7. Macedonia. 136
  8. Montenegro. 27
  9. Romania. 576
  10. Serbia. 249
  11. Slovenia. 442
  12. Turkey. 1529

As you already know, COVID-2019 (also known as SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in Wuhan, China, and has been reported in dozens of countries worldwide. You can Current worldwide statistics can be found here and in Europe here thanks to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. So far, over 90% of people have been reported to have recovered (some cases are still being treated and unfortunately 2% of deaths).

So the question remains, should you cancel your trip to Croatia or the Balkans if Coronavirus is now confirmed?

As of March 18: I say yes!



Until March 19, all bars and restaurants in Croatia are closed for 30 days, with the exception of the delivery of food and the operation of public kitchens. All shops except those selling food and hygiene items, pharmacies, bakeries, pet stores, gas stations and baby equipment are also closed.

All services that are not required for daily operations – saunas, swimming pools, cinemas, night clubs, museums, theaters, Libraries, etc. should also be closed.
Gyms, fitness centers and exhibitions, fairs, shows and religious gatherings will also cease to operate.

Employers must arrange work from home if they are able to do it. You must cancel appointments and business trips that are not required and prohibit people with acute respiratory illnesses from working.

A decision to ban the cross-border movement is also being prepared. Some public transport measures are also scheduled to be announced tomorrow.

I’m not telling people to calm down or stop panicking because in my humble opinion, this kind of news just has no value.

The WHO says: “It is advisable that travelers who are ill delay or avoid arrival COVID-19 Areas affected, especially for older travelers and people with chronic illnesses or underlying health conditions. “This is Croatia now.

We have canceled all travel and social plans. You can follow my new lock here.

If you want to travel further, you have to follow the travel advice of your home country regarding trips to Croatia (and the Balkans). You can also stay up to date with information from RELIABLE sources *.

For example: As an Australian, I like to watch them Australian Smart Traveler website. The Smartraveller is provided by the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trade and has the latest information and they will update the information on this website if travel restrictions for a country are required. On this website, you can also sign up for travel warnings for the countries you want to visit.

My American friends use this page That has information similar to the Australian website and this from the CDC too.

Canadian colleagues told me This site is where to look.

* Only reliable sources have been used for this post, mainly from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Australian and Croatian government sites.

Be informed and do not let random social media posts advise you

A little ironic to say as I write on the subject, although it is important to note that you should only rely on credible sources – like the government websites I mentioned. Here are a few more from Croatia:

The Croatian authorities have published the following information and contact details:

  • For urgent questions, call the 24-hour epidemiologist: +385 98 227753
  • The clinic for infectious diseases “Fran Mihaljevic” recommends those with symptoms as described for COVID-19 to the following address: +385 91 4012 784 or +385 91 4012 790
  • Public inquiries related to coronavirus can be sent to the Civil Protection Crisis Committee: [email protected]

Does Croatia take the corona virus seriously?

100%, yes, they are.

Croatia is following the WHO Council, in collaboration with global experts, governments and partners, to rapidly expand scientific knowledge of this new virus, track the spread and virulence of the virus, and advise countries and individuals on measures to protect and prevent health The spread of this outbreak.

Croatia follows all WHO guidelines, has established isolation centers and provides doctors around the country with the latest information on how to deal with potential patients.

Here you will also find daily information (updated at 3:00 p.m.) about Croatia This link about Coronavirus in Croatia.

March 19 update: Croatia has tested some 1264 People so far and more than 10,000 People are exposed to epidemiological measures, which include isolation at home and reporting to the epidemiologist twice a day.

Restrictions on entry to Croatia

The Croatian Ministry of Health has strict rules for people traveling from areas affected by COVID-19 within the past 14 days.

The rules are updated and expanded every day. These rules are designed to reduce the spread of the virus among the population and strengthen Croatia’s current control over the virus.

Rules for coming and going

The border crossings with Serbia and Montenegro have been closed to all but their citizens and truck drivers, and controls at all border crossings between Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been intensified.

People from the following goals must undergo 14-day health surveillance in a state quarantine (or home quarantine if you are a Croatian citizen).

– People’s Republic of China: Hubei Province
– Italian republics
– Germany: Heinsberg district in North Rhine-Westphalia
– Republic of Korea: Daegu City and Cheongdo Province
– I ran

Category 2 people must undergo 14-day quarantine / self-isolation health surveillance.

Foreign citizens who do not have a permanent residence in Croatia must provide proof secured accommodation in Croatia during the 14-day self-isolation. If you are in Croatia for a short time, you can leave Croatia within 14 days if you are healthy.

– People’s Republic of China (except in Hubei Province)
– Hong Kong (People’s Republic of China)
– Republic of Korea (except Daegu City and Cheongdo Province)
– Japan
– Republic of Singapore
– French Republic
– Federal Republic of Germany (except Heinsberg district in North Rhine-Westphalia)
– Republic of Austria
– Swiss Confederation
– Kingdom of Spain
– Kingdom of the Netherlands
– Kingdom of Sweden
– United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
– Malaysia
– Republic of Slovenia (Bela Krajina only)
– Australia
– Philippine Republic
– Socialist Republic of Vietnam
– Kingdom of Cambodia
– New Zealand
– Kingdom of Denmark
– Kingdom of Norway
– Czech Republic
– Republic of Finland
– Greek Republic
– State of Israel
– Ireland
– Republic of San Marino
– Republic of Iceland
– Republic of Poland
– Romania
– Portuguese Republic
– Slovak Republic
– Republic of Belarus
– Republic of Bulgaria
– Republic of North Macedonia
– Kingdom of Thailand
– Indian Republic
– Republic of Indonesia
– Republic of Maldives
– Kingdom of Bahrain
– United Arab Emirates
– Republic of Iraq
– Arab Republic of Egypt
– Lebanon Republic
– Islamic Republic
from Bangladesh
– United States of America
– Canada
– Federal Republic of Brazil
– Republic of Chile
– Republic of Costa Rica
– Algerian People’s Republic of the Democratic Republic
– Cameroon
– Republic of Peru
– Republic of Ecuador
– Principality of Andorra
– Republic of Albania
– Republic of Cyprus
– Montenegro
– Principality of Liechtenstein
– the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
– the Republic of Malta
– the Principality of Monaco
– the Republic of Turkey
– Ukraine

Croatian citizens from these countries must have a 14-day quarantine / self-isolation for home health. This means that they can only leave Croatia after the 14-day health surveillance has ended.

Rules for meetings and events

Everything including the crowd is now prohibited.

Other Croatian restrictions

  • Also from March 13, all kindergartens and schools in Itria are to be closed
  • As of March 15, all schools in Croatia will be closed
  • The prime minister has appealed to the elderly to be extra careful at the moment and to lead a disciplined lifestyle. That means if possible stay inside and restrict contacts
  • Valamar Hotels are now closed at all locations
  • Ryanair has canceled all routes to Zadar in 2020

Limitations from Balkan countries

Please check with your airline and the country you are traveling to for the latest information latest information (links below). As a guide here is what I know so far:


The Serbian government has declared a state of emergency in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a nationwide curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. During this time everyone has to stay inside. All people over 65 in urban areas and over 70 in rural areas must stay indoors at all times. There are restrictions on gatherings of more than 50 people. The borders are closed to all foreigners, with the exception of the transport team, the accredited diplomats and those who are temporarily or permanently resident. All international airports are closed. Anyone arriving in Serbia must isolate themselves between 14 and 28 days, depending on where they came from.


There are various rules and restrictions in Romania You can find the latest here on this government website. Some rules to consider are:

The Romanian authorities have declared a state of emergency on the basis of COVID-19. The emergency regulations contain a number of restrictions. Meetings of more than 3 people (from different families) are prohibited. Supermarkets, pet food stores, pharmacies, and dry cleaners remain open, but most other stores are closed. Restrictions still apply to gyms, fitness rooms, spa salons, cosmetic shops, arcades and casinos. The serving of food and beverages was discontinued in restaurants, hotels, bars indoors and outdoors. Free movement is limited. Individuals are allowed to go to work if they are unable to work remotely and to the shops that remain open. Only Romanian and EU citizens and their family members as well as foreigners with a Romanian or EU residence permit can enter Romania.

Bosnia Herzegovina

More details can be found here.


Information can be obtained on the government side here.


Northern Macedonia declared a state of emergency on March 18. There is a national curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. This can increase with little warning. All land borders and the airports of Ohrid and Skopje are closed for an indefinite period.


Greece will introduce a nationwide curfew from March 23. Only movements that meet certain requirements are permitted. You will need a permit and will be fined if you break the curfew. Restrictions and prohibitions apply to hotels, sea arrivals, public gatherings and venues, and public facilities. Supermarkets, banks, pharmacies and medical centers remain open with restrictions on the number.


The Bulgarian government has declared a state of emergency and has temporarily closed the borders for all non-EU citizens until April 17. This period can be extended. The airlines have reduced the number of flights to and from Bulgaria. The Ministry of Health has announced an entry ban for citizens from high-risk countries in Bulgaria.


Albania has now closed all land and sea borders. Air traffic to and from Italy and Greece was also discontinued. Note that airports are still open, but commercial opportunities are increasingly limited.

There are restrictions on domestic travel within Albania. Other restrictions include the closure of shops other than grocery stores and pharmacies, and the cessation of public transportation in a number of cities.

Balkan website links


Here are other Balkan government links that you may find helpful:

So far, the best advice has been to follow local regulations and follow basic hygiene regulations as protection. Those are:

Basic protective measures against the new corona virus

Most people who become infected suffer from a mild illness and recover, but for others it can be more serious.

All government websites state that you don’t have to stop traveling and you need to take care of your health and protect others by following these simple steps:

Wash your hands frequently

Covid-2019: should you cancel your trip to Croatia with the confirmed corona virus? _ Wash your hands

Clean your hands regularly and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand massage or wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

What is the best way to wash your hands properly?

  • Step 1: Wet your hands with running water
  • Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands
  • Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of your hands – including the back of your hand, between your fingers and under your nails – for at least 20 seconds.
  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water
  • Step 5: Dry your hands with a clean cloth or disposable towel

Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating. after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; and go to the toilet.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

Covid-2019: should you cancel your trip to Croatia with the confirmed corona virus? _ Wash hands 2

Maintain social distance

Keep a distance of at least 1 meter between yourself and anyone who coughs or sneezes.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small droplets of liquid from their nose or mouth that may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can inhale the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus, if the person who coughs suffers from the disease.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Hands touch many surfaces and can absorb viruses. Once contaminated, hands can spread the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Covid-2019: should you cancel your trip to Croatia with the confirmed corona virus? _ Cover your mouth

Make sure that you and the people around you keep good breathing hygiene. This means that when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with your elbows or tissue bent. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Droplets spread the virus. Good respiratory hygiene protects people around you from viruses such as the common cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, see a doctor early

Stay home if you feel uncomfortable. If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, see a doctor and call in advance. Follow your local health agency’s instructions on how to report suspected cases of Covid-19.

The national and local authorities have the most current information on the situation in your region. If you call in advance, your doctor can quickly direct you to the correct healthcare facility. This also protects you and prevents the spread of viruses and other infections.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

The most common Symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • dry cough.

Some patients may have:

  • Discomfort and pain
  • stuffy nose
  • runny nose
  • Sore throat or
  • Diarrhea.

These symptoms are usually mild and start gradually. Some people become infected but do not develop symptoms and do not feel uncomfortable.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days after infection with the virus. During this time, you can continue to spread the virus to others. A person is most contagious when he shows symptoms of the virus.

Should I wear a medical mask?

Using a medical mask is recommended if you have respiratory problems (coughing or sneezing) to protect others. If you have no symptoms, you do not need to wear a mask.

When wearing masks, they must be used and disposed of properly to ensure their effectiveness and to avoid an increased risk of transmission of the virus.

Is Corona Virus Deadly?

Most people (around 80%) recover from the disease without special treatment. Approximately 1 in 6 people who receive COVID-19 become seriously ill and develop breathing difficulties. Older people and people with underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes are more likely to develop a serious illness. About 2% of people with the disease have died. People with a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should see a doctor.

One thing to note is that since it is a new virus, it is not yet well known how it affects children or pregnant women. We know that people of all ages can be infected with the virus, but relatively few cases of COVID-19 in children have been reported to date. The virus is fatal in rare cases, so far mainly in older people with pre-existing diseases.

How is Corona Virus Diagnosed?

Coronavirus is diagnosed by a polymerase chain reaction test. A sample of a person’s nasal or oral secretions is collected and tested. The swaps are then checked for genetic markers for the virus.

Before you go home

If you are traveling to Croatia (or other locations where coronavirus cases have been confirmed), you should check with your local authorities to find out what (if any) is expected of you before returning home.

Australia has this, for example Rules for returning home – and Canada has This advice for Canadians.

So tell us what you think about travel plans for Croatia and the Balkans in 2020.


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