Tourism is one of Croatia’s biggest industries, so it’s not surprising that the country still has numerous strict Covid measures in place – and that people in general are following the rules. Croatia is currently on the UK’s green watchlist.
Officials have been keeping an eye on the progress of the delta variant, and on July 21 decided to impose obligatory Covid-19 tests for visitors coming from the United Kingdom, regardless of their vaccination status. They are hoping case numbers will stay steady and not result in even tighter restrictions.
The new digital EU Covid certificate is being used more widely now, as are its non-EU equivalents including valid evidence of vaccination, negative PCR test or proof of recovery from Covid. These certificates have been used at larger events such as the opening night of Dubrovnik’s Summer Festival on July 10, where spectators weren’t allowed to attend without showing proof. Audiences throughout the festival had to wear face masks, and seating reflected social distancing. Many of the large-scale dance music festivals, such as Hideout, have been postponed until 2022, but some outdoor festivals, including Dimensions Festival in Tisno, are still going ahead but require EU Covid certificates.
On July 1, Croatia introduced new measures for outdoor venues and nightclubs. To gain entry, you need to show your Covid certificate, and some clubs aren’t enforcing the wearing of masks or social distancing. Some also offer a lateral-flow test at the door for a charge (usually about £11), and it will be valid for 48 hours.
All public events and gatherings can host up to 100 people in one location. But if it’s an event solely for people who hold an EU Covid certificate (or equivalent), there’s no limit on numbers. And unless these public events are only for people with a Covid certificate, they must finish by midnight.
Entry requirements and restrictions are reviewed every two weeks, and the changes are implemented on the following 1st and 15th of the month.
Can I go to Croatia?
Restrictions on outbound travel were lifted on May 17 and replaced with a traffic light system for inbound travellers. Croatia is currently on the amber list but will move to the green watchlist at 4am on Monday, July 19.
Croatia is welcoming UK travellers for specific purposes, including tourism. Currently, Britons travelling to Croatia must meet one of the following criteria for entry:
- A negative PCR (taken within 72 hours before arrival at the border) or antigen test (taken within 48 hours of arrival).
- A vaccination certificate showing the final dose taken more than 14 days ago
- Proof of recovery from Covid more than 11 days and less than 180 days ago
However, it was announced on July 21 that as an additional measure for people arriving from the UK, a negative (Covid-19) test will be required regardless of whether they are vaccinated or have already had a disease. The measure was introduced on July 26.
Travel is permitted within defined purposes, including, but not limited to, residence, business and tourism. In addition to evidence of your negative Covid-19 status, those travelling under the tourism exemption are required to hold a valid accommodation booking or proof of property ownership in Croatia.
Are flights operating?
Direct flights between the UK and Zagreb are running. Flights to the likes of Split, Dubrovnik and Pula have also resumed.
Will I be insured if I go?
The Foreign Office has lifted its advice against non-essential travel to Croatia, making it easier to obtain travel insurance.
Do I need to take a test before travelling to Croatia?
Yes, all Britons, regardless of their vaccination status, need to provide a negative PCR (taken within 72 hours before arrival at the border) or antigen test (taken within 48 hours of arrival) to enter Croatia. Antigen test needs to be one from the EU list of mutually recognised tests.
Do I need to fill in any forms?
The Croatian government has introduced a new online entry form to expedite the entry of foreign visitors. You must also carry a copy of your accommodation booking or proof of ownership of holiday homes/boats when arriving in Croatia. If you are travelling to Croatia for business, you are advised to carry evidence of a business invitation or meetings.
Do I need to self-isolate on arrival?
If you decided to take PCR test or rapid antigen test after arrival in Croatia you will be obliged to self-isolate until the results of a negative test are received, according to the UK Government. Upon entry to Croatia, you will be handed instructions regarding the conditions for self isolation, which will include details about ending your self-isolation through a negative test. In the case of a rapid antigen test, if you stay in Croatia for longer than 10 days, a rapid antigen test must be repeated within 10 days from the date of issuing the first test.
Do I need to wear a mask?
Masks are mandatory in indoor spaces such as shops, restaurants, bars, public transport, museums, hospitals, shopping malls and government buildings. They’re not compulsory outdoors, although the official advice is to wear one where a distance of 1.5m cannot be maintained. If you attend certain outdoor music festivals, such as the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, you’ll be required to wear a mask.
What are the rules on beaches?
Masks are not mandatory on beaches. In theory, people are asked to maintain social distancing – 1.5 metres outdoors – but this isn’t always possible. Some group activities such as scuba-diving have had their numbers limited to give time to have the equipment cleaned and to keep group numbers small.