While the United States still haven’t reached the peak of the first wave of the Coronavirus, Croatia is preparing for the tourist season. Can you vacation in Croatia in 2020?
Private renters are vacuuming their apartments after the winter break, hotels are filling up their swimming pools, and restaurants are preparing their menus. But nobody knows if anybody is coming.
Croatia had one of the strictest measures in Europe, as a result, it is a step away from winning the first battle against COVID-19, but the battle for the tourist season is just starting.
The country’s economy depends on tourism and this summer will determine just how low the depression will go in 2020.
The excellent epidemiological situation and the vicinity to central and eastern Europe give Croatia an advantage over other competing countries and a glimmer of hope for the season to be partially salvaged.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO VACATION IN CROATIA?
First and foremost, you do not need a test. Even though there was much discussion about the COVID “passports” which would state if you are free of the virus, they are in the end not necessary.
Both Croatians and foreigners coming to the country are no longer obliged to stay in isolation for two weeks. Under certain conditions: a person has real estate, business reasons, a funeral or unpostponable personal reasons.
Where do you fit in as a tourist?
You fall under business reasons. Your vacation may not be business for you, but it sure is business for the locals. The border control will ask you to show a reservation and a contact number of the accommodation, and the duration of your stay.
If you have more question about the documentation needed, you can send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though self-isolation is no longer mandatory, everyone crossing the border will receive a pamphlet advising them to avoid people and leaving the house.
Fun vacation, right?
You should bring a mask and gloves. Wearing them is not mandatory as in some countries, but strongly encouraged.
If you do start feeling sick and your body temperature goes over 37.2, you should not go to straight to the doctor. Call 112, 113 or one of numbers listed in this document, to ask about the further steps.
IS IT SAFE TO VACATION IN CROATIA IN 2020?
As safe as it can be in the current situation. The state has issued guidelines for all tourist workers. Constant use of masks and gloves, daily temperature measuring, glass barriers, hourly disinfection are just some of them. But here is more.
Guests should spend as little time as possible at the reception. Both payment and check-in should be made online so that the physical contact is brought to a minimum.
There will be no need for a no disturb sign on the door of your room. The cleaning staff will come in full protective gear only when you request it.
After the guests leave, the rooms will be thoroughly disinfected and left empty for a couple of days, so the virus can die hostless, in case it managed to sneak in.
Spreading the tiny tiny jam or the tiny tiny butter on a stale bun for breakfast at the buffet table is the thing of the past. Meals will be directly sent to the room and left in front of the door.
If you would rather stay at private accommodation, don’t expect a warm welcome from the hosts. Do not expect to see them at all. Just send them a photo of your document via WhatsApp take the key under the rug and close the door.
This is the COVID dream, but knowing the curious nature of your Mediterranean hosts, they will find a way to take a peek, say hello and give you disinfected olive oil and figs from the garden.
They also need to thoroughly disinfect all surfaces and wash all textile on a temperature higher than 60 degrees once the guest has left.
Marinas have the same regulations as hotels when it comes to hygiene, distancing and payment.
If you are coming to Croatia with your boat, you are allowed to bring only the members of your own family onboard. The maritime authorities need to receive the list of passengers beforehand.
The same goes if you are renting a charter. But this should be handled by the agency.
Once docked, you should stick to your own boat. Don’t cross to other boats. Seems simple enough.
Camps have the same regulations as hotels and marinas.
Plane rides are going to be even more fun than usual. Besides the rigorous bag check, you will now be examined, disinfected and gloved and masked up. If you manage to reach your destination corona-free, you can ride the bus.
The bus drivers will not give you any masks or gloves so bring your own.
Passengers will be sitting in zig zag formations and sweating while the air conditioning is off due to the guidelines.
Maybe better rent a car?
The reason you are going to Croatia in the first place might be worth all the epidemiological pain you went through o far.
Usually packed beaches will be empty!
Only 15 people are allowed in a 100 sq metres. You can have 1.5 meters on each side and stretch, without anyone’s foot being in your face as it usually is the case.
Sunbeds at pools and beaches will be disinfected after each use.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Restaurants and bars are already working, guaranteeing 1.5 meters between each table.
One traditional feature will surely be missed—shabby plastic menus on the tables. The joy of discovering how overpriced the pizza is, or how bad is the translation of international dishes, is gone. But one can only hope that the waiters will give us this joy orally, while they dictate the menu they learned by heart.
There it is folks. Nobody knows how a vacation during a pandemic is supposed to look. Still, Croatia will do their best that it is as disinfected as it can be.
Find out more about transport in Croatia here.