November 26, 2020 — In response to rapidly growing COVID-19 infection rate in Croatia, the Government announced stronger restrictions to combat the epidemic today at 14:00 CET. The new restrictions will take effect on Friday November 27 at midnight, so they will be effect on Saturday, and will remain so until December 21.
Events and Gatherings
- All events and gatherings with more than 25 people are prohibited.
- A maximum of 10 people may be present at private gatherings.
- Mandatory wearing of masks in all enclosed spaces.
- Wedding ceremonies are suspended.
- A maximum of 25 people may be present at funerals.
Public Spaces, Transport, Fairs and Advent
- Mandatory disinfection of surfaces in buildings.
- Mandatory ventilation in buildings.
- In public transport, occupancy may not exceed 40 percent of the total seats, masks are mandatory.
- For stores, shops and shopping centers — the maximum number of customers must be emphasized and there must be hygiene, ventilation, and disinfection points.
- Fairs are suspended (including Advent).
Restaurants, Cafes, Bakeries
- Opening hours until 22:00 CET for bakeries and shops selling bread.
- Restaurants and cafes are suspended, except for hotels and camps.
- Food preparation and delivery is allowed. Pick-up is also permitted.
Sports, Fitness, Dance, Stage Performances, Cinema
- Sports competitions and trainings are suspended except for athletes of 1st, 2nd and 3rd category.
- Gym and fitness centers are suspended.
- Choirs and performances of elaborate stage performances (operas and musicals) are suspended.
- Dance schools are suspended.
- A limited number of people may enter cinemas, theaters and concerts.
Foreign Language, Driving Schools and Mass
- Foreign language schools and driving schools will have the theoretical part of instruction exclusively online.
- The recommendation that Mass celebrations be broadcast on radio and television. The limit is 25 people at Mass.
Employer Regulations and Recommendations
- Prohibition of coming to work for any employee with symptoms.
- Recommended work from home and work in shifts.
“We have called on everyone to take maximum responsibility and solidarity and warned that the situation could quickly deteriorate if we do not adhere to the measures,” Plenković this afternoon’s press conference according to Index.
Public Events and Gatherings Attended by More Than 25 People Prohibited
As of Saturday, all public events and gatherings attended by more than 25 people are prohibited, and a maximum of 10 people can be present at private gatherings and ceremonies. Public events and gatherings and ceremonies of all kinds can last up to 22:00 CET, and all wedding ceremonies are suspended.
In the open space, it is mandatory to use face masks when it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 meters.
A maximum of 25 people may be present at funerals, final farewells and urn layings, and condolences to the bereaved must not be expressed through close contact. Cemetery administrators are required to monitor compliance with anti-epidemic measures.
The obligation of tenants, building managers, employers and representatives of public institutions is to regularly disinfect all common areas (handrails, elevators, work surfaces, toilets, etc.).
At least four square meters of net area must be provided for gatherings permitted for each person present, they must be regularly ventilated and care must be taken not to have more than the permitted number of people present.
In Public Transport, Occupancy Must Not Exceed 40 Percent of Available Seats
In public transport, occupancy must not exceed 40 percent of available seats, and carriers are required to indicate the maximum number of passengers on the means of transport. Drivers and passengers must use face masks in the correct way.
The service provider must not allow the passenger without a mask to enter the means of transport. This will be controlled by inspections of the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, the Directorate of Civil Protection and State Inspectorate, and police officers.
A notice indicating the largest allowed number of customers who can be in an enclosed space at the same time must be clearly displayed at store and shop entrances. During times of anticipated arrival of more customers (discounts, discounts, pre-holiday purchases, etc.) additional measures are needed to prevent at the same time there were more customers than allowed.
Operation of Catering Facilities is Suspended, Food Delivery Allowed
Bakeries and bread shops may be open until 22:00 CET, and the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages continues from 22:00 to 6:00 CET. The suspension is also valid for casinos, slot machine clubs and places for betting. Fairs and other forms of economic and tourist events or events where products are sold, exhibited or displayed is also suspended. This includes Advent.
The operation of catering facilities is suspended, except for “Hotels” and “Camps” which are only allowed to serve guests who are accommodated at those places. Catering facilities from the groups “Restaurants”, “Catering facilities” and types of cafes, pubs, buffets, taverns, taverns and cellars from the group “Bars” are allowed to prepare and deliver food.
In compliance with all anti-epidemic measures, delivery is possible by personal pick-up in front of the entrance to the restaurant, food delivery by own delivery vehicle, based on a business cooperation agreement concluded between the caterer and a third party and via drive-in.
No Sports Competitions and Training Except for Individual Sports and Highest Levels of Competition
As of Saturday, sports competitions and trainings are suspended, except for athletes from 1st, 2nd and 3rd categories in individual sports and senior teams competing at the highest level of competition. Events can be held only without spectators with strict adherence to epidemiological measures and recommendations for all competitors and the necessary technical staff, which will be provided by the organizer. Gyms, Fitness Centers, Sports and Recreation Centers are also closed.
Amateur Cultural, Artistic Performances Suspended
All amateur cultural and artistic performances, programs and events, as well as rehearsals of amateur ensembles and groups, including choirs, are suspended. This also applies to performances of elaborate music and stage performances which include orchestras and choirs, children’s and other workshops and organized dance schools. It is forbidden to consume food and drinks during cinema screenings.
Foreign language schools may only operate online or otherwise to maintain remote contact.
Anti-epidemic measures restricting 25 people and ending by 22:00 CET do not apply to professional art performances and programs which do not include the performance of elaborate music and stage performances that include orchestras and choirs. They also do not apply to cinema screenings and exhibitions in museums, galleries and other exhibition spaces.
Driving and Foreign Language Schools Mostly Online, Driving Lessons Maximum 45 Minutes
As far as driving schools are concerned, the theoretical part must be exclusively “online”, and driving lessons can last a maximum of 45 minutes with the obligatory measurement of body temperature before entering the car. The break between the two candidates must be a minimum of 10 minutes for ventilation and disinfection of the car and records must be kept of all participants in driving lessons.
Recommended Broadcasting Mass on Radio and TV
It is recommended that Mass celebrations, whenever possible, be broadcast via radio, TV or otherwise which will allow worshippers to attend Mass without coming to houses of worship. If a Mass is celebrated, then the epidemiological measures and recommendations of the CNIPH for permitted public gatherings apply.
Employers Prohibit Employees With Symptoms from Coming to Work, Introduce Work from Home
Employers must prohibit employees who have a fever and respiratory problems, especially dry cough and shortness of breath, from coming to work, and reduce physical contact between employees. Whenever possible, introduce work from home, sliding working hours, organize work in shifts or groups, reduce the number of physical meetings to a minimum, regularly ventilate the areas where workers are situated.
Possible Punishment for People Who Do Not Comply With Restrictions
These measures will be effective at least until December 21, said Plenković and announced that the law will be changed in parallel, which will enable the punishment of people who do not adhere to the measures.
“Our goal is to ensure the sustainability of the health system in which our doctors, nurses and health professionals make superhuman efforts to cure the sick and save every life. In parallel, testing capacity will be strengthened because it is important for us to isolate every infected person.”
Plenković announced that additional measures to help the economy and all affected activities would be presented on Monday, about which talks will be held in the coming days with representatives of their associations.
Krunoslav Capak: Rate of COVID-19 Infection Incidence Increasing
“The number of people in hospitals and on respirators is growing, and the number of deaths is growing. The epidemiological situation is of great concern for us,” Capak revealed.
Are we late with the measures?
“The intensity of the growth of the number of newly infected has decreased, but we have not lowered the downward trend. In recent days, we have increased growth and we must turn this in favor of reducing the dynamics of the infection,” explained Plenković.
“Our goal is, we live in two parallel universes. There is a world of normal life and health. At the same time there is a world with people who are seriously ill. Data for Vukovar-Srijem County show that the increase has nothing to do with the Column of Remembrance, but we saw that people did not wear masks,” says Plenković.
Regarding Rapid Antigen Tests
“Rapid tests offer advantages, ease of execution and speed, and they are less expensive. They also have disadvantages, including a high number of false negatives. There is no rapid antigen test in the WHO disease definition, so we can confirm that in Slovakia, when actions were taken, when 2/3 population were tested, the numbers reported were only those obtained by PCR tests,” Capak explained.
“When we enter into a large-scale implementation of antigen tests, we will only use them with symptomatic patients. We do not currently include antigen test numbers in the total number of new infections. We use quick tests as a measure of quickly locating positive cases,” Capak added, and confirmed that he would publish those results as well.
Why were new measures introduced 4 days after the previous measures were introduced?
“Everything we know, the public knows. We keep the public informed about everything, we are transparent. We have had high growth, so we introduced measures and that growth decreased — and it was due to measures. In recent days we have seen no further reduction, but we have growth and that’s why these measures are being introduced. Let’s remember spring, the hammer and the dance. The public must know that the hammer would be a complete closure now. With these measures we focus on what matters — work, school, jobs. We are trying to maintain activities which are essential,” Plenković pointed out.
About Schools and Universities
“Education has a specific regime. For faculties and universities, we are recommending a shift to online classes in addition to subjects that require attendance at colleges. For high schools, the initiative for online classes is upon school principals and founders. They can switch to online classes.
Minister Fuchs, in cooperation with the CNIPH, proposed that the duration of the holiday be extended for another week in order to ensure another week after holiday gatherings, which is good from an epidemiological point of view,” explained Plenković.
What result is expected on December 21?
“We expect a reversal of the trend, for the numbers to start falling. There are predictive models. We have a working group that deals with them, they are indicative in nature, and not for public release. In a few days, we will have predictions about the numbers. Each model includes measures,” Capak revealed.
What about punishment for non-compliance?
“We are doing this reluctantly because this whole battle against COVID-19 is based on the principle of trust, solidarity, and understanding. As a Government we are not happy about sanctions against our citizens because we trust our people. We have confidence that fellow citizens understand how dangerous the disease is for the elderly and those in fragile health. We must be cautious. If some of us behave ruthlessly towards others and endanger them, then we must resort to measures which have sanctions. We do this very reluctantly, personally it is a problem for me,” Plenkovic warned.
“We will make a distinction between those responsible and those who are not. We will find a way to preserve jobs, and I expect understanding from entrepreneurs. We are not doing this to endanger anyone, but to preserve our health,” Plenković added.
Why have measures not been adopted at the county level?
“Istria is thick in the red zone. The incidence is so high that there is no need to talk about the measures not being at the national level,” Capak explained.
“There were differences of opinion from prefect to prefect. The principle implemented from August to today, that counties can adopt additional measures provided that these measures could only be harsher than those at the national level. All the counties are in the red zone,” Davor Božinović emphasized.
Why don’t you tell people what the plan is for easing the measures? Why are choirs forbidden and Masses are not?
“There are no choirs in the church, singing is a problem. That is the consistency in our measures,” Plenković replied.
“We had a much more normal life than other countries. What is important to me as Prime Minister? Education, work and production — with the framework goal of protecting the health of citizens. These are priorities. Based on these, we are focusing on what matters. Every contact, social contact, which means being with someone for dinner, in a cafe, is a luxury which is irrelevant at the moment. Any luxury of social contact that is not necessary is irrelevant. Anything you can avoid without a job, education, is irrelevant at the moment,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
“It is important that the measures change the trend so that we then can begin easing them,” he added.
“From the beginning, we have taken a strategy to monitor the situation on a daily basis and make decisions on a daily basis. Some countries have adopted the policy that if the incidence of infection exceeds 45, they close cafes. We have chosen a strategy to monitor the situation daily and discuss additional measures,” Capak explained.
Advent Also Cancelled
“The arena has been activated, and when it will be put into function will be assessed by the health profession. It is intended for patients who are in the phase when they go through the most difficult period of the disease,” explained Bozinovic.
“The decision to ban fairs also applies to Advent,” Bozinovic added.
The Croatian Government is still defining the final details regarding economic measures for those sectors affected by the new austerity measures. They should be able to count on existing wage subsidies of 4,000 HRK per employee. In addition, a temporary exemption is being considered for paying contributions and a delay for paying taxes.
Follow our COVID-19 page for updates on the epidemic in Croatia and changes to safety restrictions. UPDATE: November 27, 2020: Official Croatia Government measures from koronavirus.hr — original here and translation here.