What You Need to Know about COVID and Travelling to Croatia
The coronavirus pandemic significantly impacted our day-to-day life, forcing us to curb travel and social activities to save lives. To prevent the spread of the virus and protect their citizens, many countries were forced to close their borders or limit the number of visitors, which significantly impacted the tourism industry. And while being stuck in lockdown inspired many of us to learn new hobbies or spend more time with family, we can understand if you are ready to start dreaming about the next travel adventure in 2021.
Considering the unstable circumstances, you might prefer traveling to less crowded areas with spectacular natural landscapes and unique wildlife and avoid busy cities. While Croatia is a popular destination, it is easily accessible from anywhere in Europe and still has plenty of wild areas far off the beaten path. Therefore, if you would like to enjoy breath-taking natural landscapes filled with rich biodiversity, deep blue lakes, and underwater caves, Croatia should be on your list of countries to visit in 2021. In order to travel safely to and within Croatia, you need to take into consideration the ongoing preventive restrictions:
What are the entry requirements, and do you need to self-isolate on arrival?
As of November 30th, the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia restricted the entry to the country across all border crossing points to prevent the spread of covid-19.
Currently, you can enter the country if you are travelling from the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA). However, to determine what preventive measures you need to undertake, you should check the colour code of the country you are travelling from. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control created an indicator map that categorizes countries as the red, yellow, and green, depending on the epidemiological risk. Therefore, if you are arriving in Croatia from a Green Zone country you will be allowed to enter without any further restrictions. However, if you are travelling from a Red Zone area you are required to present a negative PCR test taken less than 48 hours before your arrival or do a PCR test in Croatia upon arrival at your expense and self-quarantine you obtain negative results.
Also, you are allowed to go into Croatia without any further restrictions such as self-quarantine and negative PCR test if you are arriving from the countries the EU Council Recommendation 2020/912 listed under Annex I, and if you do not have any Covid-19 symptoms and have not been in contact with an ill person.
However, if you are travelling from outside the EU/EEA or the above-listed countries, you cannot enter Croatia unless you have a valid reason such as education, essential work, and other urgent reasons. In addition, due to the new virus strain, air travel from the United Kingdom is currently suspended so you might need to consider entering via car or public transport.
Before your visit, you are also required to complete an online arrival form that the Croatian Ministry of Tourism implemented to control the number of foreign visitors entering Croatia. Additionally, the Croatian government advises every visitor to carry proof of their reason for visiting, such as accommodation booking copies or proof of business/property ownership upon arrival to the country. If you are traveling for a program, like Friends of Wallacea’s volunteer opportunities, your tour operator should send you a letter of invitation so that you can travel easily.
What other restrictions within the country do you need to consider?
Once in Croatia, you will still need to adhere to some other preventive measurements the Croatian Government implemented, such as:
- It is mandatory to wear a mask covering the mouth and the nose in all enclosed commercial areas such as shops and pharmacies. Failure to comply with this rule may result in a fine of up to 500 HRK (81.39 USD). However, wearing a mask in open areas is not mandatory.
- If you are not hiring a car, you can still use public transport and taxis for your travels, however, you must wear a mask at all times.
- Restaurants and bars are currently open for delivery only; therefore, to taste the local cuisine, you can order a takeaway. You cannot currently visit a restaurant for indoor or outdoor dining.
- Movie theatres, museums, and theatres are currently operating, but with a limited number of visitors so that social distance is maintained. You must wear a mask at all times while inside these facilities.
- From the 21st of December until the 10th of January, the Croatian authorities announced that people cannot travel between counties except for reasons such as work, medical, diplomatic, and other justifiable reasons. Therefore, to cross the border of the county, you need to present a travel pass (also called ‘propusnica’), which can be obtained either online or through the local Civil Protection Office.
Croatia offers a wide range of natural escapes that include both stunning mountains and Adriatic seascapes filled with hidden underwater caves where you can dive in tranquillity and relaxation. While Croatia is one of Europe’s most popular destinations, it is possible to escape the crowds by going to rural areas and even leave a positive impact on the environment and the people you visit. Local operators, like those that work with Friends of Wallacea, have been particularly hard-hit by pandemic shutdowns and will welcome your support when travel is possible again.
If now you are dreaming of visiting the beautiful Croatian natural wonders in the following 2021 while having a positive impact on nature and local communities, you should take a look at the ethical tours and volunteer opportunities we offer on our website.