Coronavirus Update – May 5, 2020
Both in Croatia and on a worldwide scale we are delighted to be seeing such fantastic progress in the fight against COVID-19. In our ongoing weekly series focusing on the current travel situation in Croatia, we will be looking back at how the country’s initial strict approach to lockdown has put them in a prime position to reopen as well as exploring Croatia’s plans to reopen to tourists in the near future.
As we have mentioned in previous updates, we want to extend our gratitude and best wishes to all our travelers, both past and present. It has been a challenging time for everyone and as we begin to see the light, we want to assure you that your patience and understanding during this time has been sincerely appreciated by all team members.
If you need to rearrange your trip for this year, our team are ready and waiting to hear from you and will do all that we can to offer a flexible and workable solution for you.
Current Situation in Croatia
Croatia is beginning to open! As May 4th signifies the end of the initial lockdown phase, Croatia can emerge with its head held high while continuing to receive worldwide acclaim for its strong and effective approach to handling the virus.
The BBC in the United Kingdom reviewed Croatia’s approach to managing COVID-19 and commented on how the Institute of Public Health published guidelines as early as late January as well as imposed strict travel regulations as soon as the first case was reported on February 25th (almost a month after Italy’s first case).
As soon as the first case was announced the BBC reported that Croatia made it immediately more difficult to enter the country by imposing ‘health checks’ at its border crossing with Slovenia. By the end of February, far before lockdown measures were imposed across most of the Western world, Croatia was seeing a border queue of freight traffic that stretched back for miles.
With its highly successful lockdown beginning to loosen, the question for Croatia now becomes not how they can keep people out, but how can they get people back into the country? Tourism accounts for nearly 20 percent of Croatia’s GDP and the country is keen to reopen to tourists in time for the beautiful summer season from June to September.
Croatia’s Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli commented on the potential reopening of Croatia’s border:
“I hope we will be able towards the end of May to meet the conditions and find a solution for reopening our border, but of course pending the epidemiological situation at the time.”
Cappelli also went on to confirm that Croatia was working to adapt facilities including hotels, marinas, and tourist attractions to ensure they have the necessary safety measures in place to protect against COVID-19.
The next date on Croatian’s minds is May 11th with restaurants, bars, shopping malls and gatherings of 10 or more people to be allowed. In addition to this, national parks and nature parks will also be allowed to open. At the time of writing there have been only 83 deaths out of the 2,112 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in all of Croatia. Those numbers continue to place Croatia well outside of the top 50 countries globally in terms of number of cases as well as fatalities.
- May 2nd saw the lowest amount of new cases recorded since March 10th with just three new cases recorded!
- Recoveries in Croatia are continuing to outpace new infections with the number of people currently infected in the country down to 528 from 872 at the time of our last travel update on Wednesday 29th April.
We began our first Croatia travel update on February 24th before a single case of COVID-19 was reported in Croatia. As normality starts to resume, we want to express our feelings of pride and happiness that the strong and impactful approach adopted by Croatia has allowed them to begin to return to a more normal way of life, given the protocols and practices necessary to ensure the safety of the public. We will continue to keep you updated of the latest travel situation in Croatia and remain positive that travel can resume in the not too distant future!
Current situation in the US
As of March 19th, the U.S. Department of State has advised its citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. This guidance also extends to U.S citizens who live abroad.
Despite the travel restrictions remaining in place, activity is beginning to increase. A report from Forbes, citing data from the TSA on May 1st, saw 171,563 people pass through security checkpoints in the US. The heightened number of people flying reflects an increasing desire for travel and may point towards a recovery in travel numbers on the horizon.
Airlines are already looking into innovative ways to make travel a possibility, with NBC reporting that airlines such as Delta are looking at removing the middle seat on flights, to adhere to social distancing measures. Airline designers are also looking into ideas such as installing a plastic screen between seats!
With the world eager to travel again we are optimistic and hopeful that business as normal will resume sooner than we think, both in Europe and the United States. We will of course keep you updated with any major developments.
In her weekly message, our CEO Pamela Robinson wanted to share the following message for our readers, travelers and friends of Adventures Croatia.
A Note From Our CEO
“We are relievedto seethatthenumber of incidents of the virus anddeaths resulting from it aredecliningin Croatia.Europe andCroatiaare now taking the necessary steps to re-open totravelersvery soon!! We arealsopleasedto see so manyinquiries about newbookings for 2021, added to the number of previously scheduled 2020 tripswhich we have moved into 2021. There have beena large number oftravelers who have also taken advantage of special upgraded packages, complimentary walking tours and specialized mealswhich are being included ina number ofprograms created for those stillplanning on travel in 2020. Let us all continue to remain safe and sensible as weawait the world re-opening,allowing us all to once again travelwith confidence. Be well.”
We continue to be inspired and feel positive by the news coming from Croatia as well as the downward trends related to COVID-19 that are starting to be seen on a global scale.
As a result of this our team continues to be extremely busy with a surge of travelers looking for trips in 2021! Capacity is filling up much faster than we have seen in previous years with people looking to re-book current trips as well as demand from those who are dreaming of something to look forward to moving into next year.
For any information on travel to Croatia in 2021 we recommend contacting us sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment! Our helpful and highly knowledgeable team are ready and waiting to hear from you to help tailor your perfect vacation.
As always, we wish our readers and their loved ones the continued best of health and will continue to keep you updated on the travel situation in Croatia during this time.