Traveling to Croatia during Covid-19: what you need to know before you go
If you are planning to travel to Croatia, here is what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic
Croatia has had one of the highest death rates in Europe from Covid-19, but has reopened to tourists for the 2021 summer season.
What’s on offer
Its coastline and myriad of islands have helped make Croatia the perfect summer getaway for travelers wanting something a little less obvious than Greece, Italy or Spain. Dubrovnik, with its historic old town and ancient city walls, is a key stopover for cruise liners, but the whole coast is a joy, from the Roman remains of Pula and Split to the perfect islands such as Korcula.
Who can go
Borders are now open, although travelers will need either an EU Covid digital certificate or proof of vaccination, recovery from Covid-19, or a negative test. Arrivals from certain destinations are subject to a quarantine – see below – and anyone coming from a non-European destination will need a confirmed accommodation reservation.
What are the restrictions?
Passengers from the EU and countries associated with Schengen, regardless of their nationality, are allowed to enter Croatia upon presentation of an EU Covid digital certificate. If you do not have one, you must produce either a vaccination certificate (from a vaccination approved for use in the EU), with the vaccine completed within the last 270 days; a certificate of recovery from Covid-19, accompanied by proof of at least one dose of vaccine within eight months of the onset of the disease; or a negative PCR test or EU recognized rapid antigen test (see here for a list) performed within 72 or 48 hours respectively.
Otherwise, you can opt to be tested on arrival and then self-isolate until you test negative, or for 10 days. The same rules apply to third country nationals residing in the EU or to EU nationals residing abroad.
However, if the country or region you are from is listed as “red” or “dark red” by the European Center for Disease Control, there are additional restrictions – see below.
The borders are officially closed to third country nationals, but tourism is a valid exception. You must have a certificate of paid accommodation (in a hotel, private rental, campsite or rented boat), in addition to the above documents.
There are additional measures for arrivals from countries listed as high risk by the Croatian Institute of Public Health, regardless of vaccination status. Those in South Africa, Zanzibar, Tanzania and Brazil must produce a negative PCR test performed within 48 hours of arrival, and then must self-isolate for 14 days.
Arrivals from Great Britain, Cyprus, Russia and India must present a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours or an antigen test carried out within 48 hours.
Countries or regions on the European Center for Disease Control ‘red’ or ‘dark red’ list must follow the same rules as the UK, Cyprus, Russia and India. As of August 10, these included Spain, Portugal, most of Greece, and parts of Italy and France, among other destinations. For a full list, see here.
What is the situation of the Covid?
Croatia has experienced the eighth highest death rate per capita in Europe, just below Italy. The country missed its target of vaccinating half of all adults with a single dose by July 1 – as of September 10, just over 40% had been vaccinated. As a result, he’s seeing a growing number of cases related to the Delta variant, and officials have warned of new restrictions being imposed from the fall. As of September 10, there had been more than 380,000 cases and 8,405 deaths.
What can visitors expect?
While Croatia has reopened, many restrictions remain in place. Masks are mandatory indoors and in all enclosed spaces, as well as outdoors where social distancing of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained.
Cafes, clubs and restaurants are open but are subject to curfews and capacity rules, while events are limited to 100 people.
Government travel tips
Antigen tests approved
List of the European Center for Disease Control
Our last blanket
Croatia is so eager to welcome tourists again that it even offers them the opportunity to move there full time with a new digital nomad permit. If that sounds a bit extreme, this gallery of the most beautiful places in the country should amplify your urge to travel.
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Julia Buckley and Joe Minihane contributed to this report.