January 8, 2021 — (UPDATE) The Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia has issued a Decision on necessary epidemiological measures restricting gatherings and introducing other necessary epidemiological measures and recommendations to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 through gatherings.
NOTE: This is a translation of the official document released on November 27, 2020. These measures were extended on December 21 to January 10, and extended again to January 31.
Considering the epidemiological situation and potential for transmitting COVID-19, everyone in the Republic of Croatia is obliged to adhere to strict physical distancing measures, all prescribed anti-epidemic measures, special recommendations and instructions from the Croatian Institute of Public Health and necessary epidemiological measures prescribed by this Decision.
A strict measure of physical distancing requires avoiding close personal contact with a distance of at least 2 meters indoors and 1.5 meters outdoors.
The necessary epidemiological measures required by this Decision are:
Events and Gatherings
- Ban on holding all public events and gatherings attended by more than 25 people in one place.
- A maximum of 10 people from a maximum of 2 different households may be present at private gatherings and ceremonies.
- Public events and gatherings and ceremonies of all kinds may last until 22:00 CET.
- A maximum of 25 people may be present at funerals, last farewells, and urn layings, condolences to the bereaved must not be expressed through close contact, and cemetery administrations are obliged to monitor compliance with anti-epidemic measures.
- Suspension of wedding ceremonies.
Stores, Shops and Shopping Centers
- Obligation for all stores and shops to limit the number of customers who are present in their spaces at the same time so that for each customer must be provided at least 4 m2 of net area. They must clearly display a notice at the store entrance indicating the largest possible number of customers who can be in the store, based upon the recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health and strict adherence to the limits of the permitted number of customers.
- Obligation for all shops, stores and shopping centers to take additional measures during the anticipated arrival of larger numbers of customers (discounts, rebates, pre-holiday purchases, etc.) so that more than the allowed number of customers do not stay on their premises at the same time, and to ensure compliance epidemiological measures.
- All shops, stores and shopping centers are obliged to apply increased measures of hygiene and daily cleaning of their premises, regularly ventilate the premises, provide enough places with disinfectants for hands. They must also place brief notices on general measures to reduce the risk of infectious diseases and highlight special measures and recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health related to trade.
Bakeries, Alcohol Sale, Catering Facilites, Restaurants, Taverns and Bars
- Limitation of working hours for bakeries and shops for bread and bakery products until 22:00 CET.
- Ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages from 22:00 to 6:00 CET.
- Suspension of catering facilities and provision of catering services on agricultural holdings, except for catering facilities from the groups “Hotels”, “Camps” and types of student dormitories or academies from the group “Other catering facilities for accommodation”, which may only serve guests who use the accommodation service — pupils and students.
- Exceptions to this anti-epidemic measure are catering facilities from the group “Restaurants”, the group “Catering facilities” and types of cafes, pubs, buffets, taverns, and cellars from the group “Bars” which are allowed to prepare and deliver food and drinks. These catering facilities can deliver food in compliance with all anti-epidemic measures in one of the following ways:
- Personal pick-up in front of the entrance to the catering facility without entering it.
- Delivery of food from the catering facility with personal delivery vehicle.
- Delivery of food from the catering facility based on a business cooperation agreement concluded between the caterer and a third party (legal or natural craftsmen), which are registered and entered in the Register of Food Business Entities.
- The so-called “Drive-in” mode.
Casinos, Gyms, Sports, Fitness Centers, Dance Schools, Amateur Performances and Fairs
- Suspension of casinos, slot machine clubs and betting points.
- Suspension of gyms, fitness centers and sports and recreation centers.
- Suspension of children’s and other workshops and organized dance schools.
- Suspension of all amateur cultural and artistic performances, programs, events and rehearsals of amateur ensembles, groups, and choirs, including church choirs.
- Ban on consumption of food and drinks during cinema screenings.
- Suspension of fairs and other forms of economic and tourist events or events where products are sold, exhibited, or displayed.
- Ban on all training and competitions except for clubs competing in the 1st and 2nd rank of competition in senior competition and in the 1st rank of competition in junior competition at the national level in team sports and training and competitions of top athletes (athletes in 1st, 2nd and 3rd categories) in individual sports.
- Permitted sports competitions and trainings can be held only without spectators and with strict adherence to all prescribed epidemiological measures and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health. The organizers are obliged to ensure that all athletes and necessary technical staff present adhere to the prescribed epidemiological measures and that sports facilities are used exclusively for the purposes of permitted training and competitions.
Foreign Language and Driving Schools
- Foreign language schools may only operate online or otherwise maintain remote contact.
- Driving schools can theoretically hold only classes online or otherwise maintain contact at a distance. Driving lessons can last a maximum of 45 minutes with mandatory measurement of body temperature before entering a car, a break between 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.
Public Spaces and Mass
- Mandatory use of face masks or medical masks in open spaces when it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 meters.
- The obligation of tenants, building managers, employers, and representatives of public institutions to regularly disinfect all common areas (handrails, elevators, work surfaces, toilets, etc.).
- It is recommended that Mass be broadcast whenever possible via radio or TV programs or in another way which will allow worshippers to attend the Mass without coming to places of worship.
Professional Performances, Cinema, Exhibitions, Representative Bodies
Anti-epidemic measures prohibiting the holding of public events and gatherings attended by a maximum of 25 people in one place and the limitation of the duration to 22:00 CET do not apply to:
- Professional artistic performances and programs that do not include choral singing.
- Cinema projections.
- Exhibitions in museums, galleries, and other exhibition spaces.
- Sessions of representative bodies.
- For these events and gatherings, the number of people present is limited by the size of the space, so that for each person present must be provided at least 4 m2 of net area, in strict compliance with all prescribed epidemiological measures and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health. There must be a clear notice at the entrance to the facility where the gathering is being held regarding the largest possible number of people who may be present in the facility at the same time.
- The organizers of the gathering are obliged to ensure that the premises where the gatherings are held are regularly ventilated, that there are no more people than allowed and that all present adhere to all assigned epidemiological measures and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.
Guidelines for Employers
Employers are required to:
- Prohibit the arrival at work of workers who have fever and respiratory problems, especially dry cough, and shortness of breath.
- Reduce physical contact between employees, whenever possible.
- Introduce work from home, when possible given the nature of the work.
- Introduce sliding working hours, where possible.
- Organize work in shifts, i.e. in groups, where possible.
- Reduce the number of physical meetings to a minimum.
- Regularly ventilate the areas where employees work and spend time.
Organization of Public Transport
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 disease, public transport service providers are obliged to organize public transport in accordance with this Decision and general and special recommendations and instructions published by the Croatian Institute of Public Health on its website. NOTE: This is a translation of the official document released on November 27, 2020.
- Providers of public transport of passengers are obliged to provide transport in such a way that the means of transport fill a maximum of 40% of available seats. On the means of transport they are obliged to clearly indicate the maximum number of passengers allowed in the means of transport (bus, tram, railway car, ferry, catamaran, etc.).
- Drivers and other employees of public transport and passengers using public transport are obliged to wear medical masks or face masks in the correct manner during their time on the means of transport and to adhere to general anti-epidemic measures and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.
- A public transport service provider must not allow a passenger who does not have a medical or face mask to enter the means of transport, i.e. the driver must not start driving if there are passengers on the means of transport without a medical mask or face mask.
Control over the implementation of this Decision shall be carried out by officers of the Directorate of Civil Protection and inspectors of the State Inspectorate, police officers and civil protection.
If a special decision for the area of an individual unit of local and regional self-government has implemented a milder epidemiological measure than the measures prescribed by this Decision, this Decision shall apply.
The necessary epidemiological measures referred to in this Decision shall be in effect on November 28 (midnight November 27) and shall be be in effect until December 21, 2020. UPDATE: These measures were extended to January 10, 2021 and again to January 31, 2021.
NOTE: On the day this Decision goes into effect, the Decision on Necessary Epidemiological Measures Restricting Assemblies and Introducing Other Necessary Epidemiological Measures and Recommendations for the Prevention of COVID-19 Diseases through Assemblies and Decisions on Temporary Regulation and Working Time of Catering Facilities and Other Providers shall cease to be valid.
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