What to expect when you cross Croatian border?

The Decision on the Temporary Ban of Transit through Border Crossings of the Republic of Croatia (“Official Gazette” number 32/20 and 48/20), and the Decision on the Amendment of the aforementioned Decision from 9 May 2020, allows:

  • Croatian citizens to enter into Republic of Croatia and go abroad. 
  • The return to the country of residence for citizens of EU Member Countries, namely citizens of Schengen Countries and Schengen Associated Countries as well as their family members, and third-country nationals who are long-term residents pursuant to the Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents and persons who have the right of residence on the basis of other EU Directives or national law or who have national long-term visas, and entry into the Republic  of Croatia under special conditions. 
  • The same decision also prescribes exceptions for the application of abovementioned provisions, and they apply to the following:
    • healthcare professionals, healthcare researchers and associates, senior care professionals, and those requiring urgent medical treatment
    • cross-border workers
    • freight carriers and other transport personnel to the extent necessary
    • diplomats, police officers in the performance of their duties, civil protection services and teams, personnel of international organizations and international military personnel in the performance of their functions,
    • transit passengers, and for:
    • persons who have a business reason or who have some other economic interest
    • persons who are traveling due to urgent personal reasons (i.e. they own real estate in the Republic of Croatia or who have some other urgent personal reason). 

Entry into the Republic of Croatia for Croatian citizens. The self-isolation measure in the duration of 14 days from article II. of the Decision is no longer implemented for Croatian citizens, instead upon entry into the Republic of Croatia they are given a leaflet by the border police in which they are notified that they are obligated to adhere to general and special recommendations and instructions by the Croatian Institute of Public Health, which recommend that they should limit their interaction with other persons from their area and only carry out the most urgent tasks outside of their homes during the 14-day period from the date they entered into the Republic of Croatia. The abovementioned also applies to foreign nationals who are allowed entry into the Republic of Croatia under special conditions.

Entry into the Republic of Croatia for foreign nationals. If the foreign national intends to cross the state border he has to meet one of the following conditions:

  • Possesses documentation with which he can prove ownership of real estate located in the Republic of Croatia, or vessel (lessee is also permitted), or is attending a funeral in the Republic of Croatia (possesses appropriate documentation which proves this). After meeting the conditions, such foreign nationals are allowed to cross the state border, they are registered and the location/address where they will stay, or where the real estate/vessel is located, is entered as well as the contact telephone number and duration of stay-when they plan leaving the Republic of Croatia.
  • They possess documentation with which they prove that they were invited to the Republic of Croatia by an economic operator, the economic operator’s interest for them to enter into Republic of Croatia, or a business meeting invite. For these passengers, it is necessary to enter the place / address where they will stay and the contact phone number and duration of stay – when they plan to leave the Republic of Croatia.
  • All other foreign nationals who have a certain business reason, which cannot be foreseen at this time, and do not have the appropriate documentation, should be instructed to announce their intention to cross the state border (enter into the Republic of Croatia) at mailto:uzg.covid@mup.hr and they will receive an answer as soon as possible. 

Epidemiological measures. All of the abovementioned Croatian and foreign nationals have to be instructed regarding the epidemiological measures that they are obliged to adhere to, and they are as follows:

  • Persons from these categories are obligated to reduce contact with other persons to a minimum and adhere to instructions on reducing the risk of disease transmission (avoid physical contact, maintain a distance of at least 1.5 m during face-to-face contact; wash or disinfect hands often,
  • handshakes; avoid touching your face, and it is recommended that they wear a face mask or surgical mask indoors, or outside of their home or accommodation).During the 14-day period from the date of entry into the Republic of Croatia, the persons measure their body temperature during the morning hours and if the body temperature reading is higher than 37.2 °C, if the person feels sick or has any signs of the disease, he should contact the chosen family physician, if he has one, or a territorially competent epidemiologist. The property owner or his representative or host, i.e. the organizer of their arrival, may assist the foreign nationals in contacting the epidemiological service.
  • Occurrence of symptoms of the disease during the stay in the Republic of Croatia. If the persons cross the state border and develop symptoms of the disease after entering into the Republic of Croatia, they will stay in their accommodation and contact their host, i.e. organizer of their arrival, via telephone, who will notify the epidemiologist on standby or the competent primary healthcare physician. Outside of the working hours of the competent primary healthcare physician, the host of the foreign (official) person, who is exhibiting pronounced symptoms of the disease, calls the emergency medical services or contacts the closest COVID infirmary via telephone.

Entry into the Republic of Croatia for persons exhibiting signs of the disease. If a person is exhibiting signs of the disease when entering the Republic of Croatia, the border police shall inform the border sanitary inspector and / or the sanitary inspector of the Regional or Central Office of the State Inspectorate. Such persons are recommended not to enter the Republic of Croatia, and if they have to cross the state border due to urgent reasons, they are sent to the competent health institution for testing and treatment by the shortest possible route, that is, they are sent to be tested and undergo isolation.

Recommendation not to travel. Persons who have an elevated body temperature and/or acute respiratory infection symptoms should postpone their trip to the Republic of Croatia. Before traveling, foreign nationals are advised to measure their morning body temperature. If the person’s body temperature, which was measured in the morning hours, is higher than 37.2 °C, if the person feels sick or is exhibiting any signs of the disease (relates to all symptoms and signs of the diseases, not just respiratory diseases), it is recommended that that person should not travel.

Recommendations and instructions by the Croatian Institute of Public Health. Croatian and foreign nationals who are entering the Republic of Croatia are obligated to adhere to these instructions for a duration of 14 days from the date of crossing the border, in the following manner:

  • During the first 14 days after entering the Republic of Croatia, leaving the accommodation is limited to the following: for work, if the entry into the Republic of Croatia was due to business reasons, performing necessary activities while continuously adhering to hygienic measures.
  • When leaving the accommodation due to necessary reasons, it is recommended to use a face mask or a nose and mouth cover, maintain physical distance from other people (no less than 1.5 m) and maintain hand hygiene.
  • Wash hands as often as possible with warm water and soap, and/or use hand disinfectant which should be thoroughly rubbed between the palms. Avoid touching the face, mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Avoid using public transportation. In a means of transport, it is preferable for the person to be alone or exclusively with persons who are sharing the accommodation.
  • Consistently avoid groups and public gatherings.
  • Meet as few people as possible during business meetings, ensure a physical distance of 1.5 meters with disinfectant being readily available, avoid unnecessary meetings.
  • During their stay at the accommodation, such persons prepare their own food, or use food and beverage delivery services.
  • Payment is done by contactless payment or through on-line services.
  • The body temperature has to be measured each morning, if it is higher than 37.2 C° it has to be measured again after 10 minutes, and if it is still higher than 37.2 C°, they should stay at home/accommodation and notify the chosen family physician, if they have one (Croatian citizens), or the territorially competent epidemiologist.
  • In the event that symptoms of acute respiratory infection occur (cough, sore throat, elevated body temperature, shortness of breath/trouble breathing, loss of smell and taste) it is necessary to stay at home/accommodation and notify the chosen family physician, if they have one (Croatian citizens), or the territorially competent epidemiologist.
  • In the event that severe, life-threatening symptoms suddenly occur, the person should contact the urgent medical services.In the event that symptoms of respiratory disease occur. If you develop respiratory disease symptoms (elevated body temperature, cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, sore throat, weakness) call your chosen physician, who will evaluate the need for testing for the novel coronavirus on the basis of your health condition. If you require medical assistance for reasons other than respiratory diseases, call your chosen physician or have one of your household members contact him for a consultation and to arrange a house visit. Do not go to a healthcare facility alone without notifying them over the telephone beforehand. You can read more information about the coronavirus disease and measures for reducing the risk of spreading the disease on the CIPH website, as well as from your chosen doctor and territorially competent epidemiologist.

Recommendations and instructions on English are available here.

Source of text and photos: https://www.koronavirus.hr/