Updated: 12 January 2021
This blog will provide you with useful information about travelling to Croatia, restrictions in light of COVID-19 and how Sail Croatia are managing the challenges of the current pandemic. At this stage, our cruises and yacht experiences are expected to commence in 2021 with additional additional health and safety measures in place to protect guests and staff.
Whilst we will endeavour to keep this resource up to date, you can find the most up to date information or frequently asked questions, via the Croatian Ministry of Tourism website.
How is COVID-19 affecting Croatia?
In the early stages of the pandemic, Croatia had a low incidence of COVID-19 and the country was quick to implement the closure of borders and the restriction of internal movement at an early stage. During this time, the bulk of Coronavirus cases occurred in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, and the seaside town of Split. Similar to most countries, the highest volumes of the virus were recorded in large cities where the population is dense.
This quick initial action assisted the country in preventing the spread of the virus early and allowed Croatia to begin its cautious relaxation of restrictions at the end of April, allowing the tourist season to operate for a portion of the summer.
Like many European Countries, Coronavirus cases began to rise once again as the summer came to an end, and as at 3 December 2020, Croatia had 134,881 confirmed cases and sadly, 1,916 deaths.
You can find Croatia’s dedicated Coronavirus website here with updated statistics.
What did the Ease of Restrictions Look Like for Croatia?
From the 28th of April, the country released it’s roadmap for reducing lockdown restrictions which included a three step process.
The first phase included the opening of small shops and the return of public transport. The second phase began from 5 May and allowed other service providers, such as hairdressers and beauty salons, to reopen. The third and most expensive step commenced from 11 May and saw shopping centres, kindergartens, national parks and nature parks open to citizens of Croatia.
There is currently free movement between all counties in Croatia and both domestic and international flights have commenced once again. As of the 30th of June, EU citizens (including UK citizens) are able to enter Croatia without proving their reason for entry, signalling that the 2020 tourist season is well and truly underway. Foreign tourists who provide proof of pre-booked accommodation and a negative SARS-Cov-2 test result (less than 48 hours old) are able to enter Croatia.
Up until December, there was free movement between Croatian counties, with internal flights between Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split operating.
Entry for EU/UK Citizens
As at the 30th of November, travellers entering Croatia from any EU/UK country that is not on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)'s green list will be required to present a negative SARS-Cov-2 test result (less than 48 hours old). There is also the option to have the PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 done immediately upon arrival in the Republic of Croatia, with the obligation of self-isolation until a negative test result is received.
All visitors to the country must complete an online entry form before departing.
You can find the form online here.
Entry for Foreign Nationals
Foreign nationals (citizens of countries other than the EU or UK) are able to enter Croatia without having to quarantine for 14 days, as long the following 2 conditions are met:
- A Booking Confirmation is provided, stating pre-booked accommodation
- A negative SARS-Cov-2 test result that is less than 48 hours old from the time the swab was taken, is shown at the border
If a foreign national presents a test that is older than 48 hours, they will still be allowed to enter Croatia (granted they also have a Booking Confirmation) however, they will need to re-test themselves in Croatia at their own expense and self-isolate in their accommodation (or yacht/catamaran), until a negative test result is produced and provided to the authorities.
Booked accommodation includes a reservation on a tourist boat (yacht/catamaran) or in a hotel, apartment or campsite.
We recommend that your Booking Confirmation is printed before entering the country and is available on official letterhead, clearly showing the tour company, accommodation provider or agency details.
If you’re booked with Sail Croatia, we will provide you with a complete Booking Confirmation and all of the required contact information ahead of your departure.
In addition to your Booking Confirmation and in order to speed up the immigration process, the Croatian authorities have introduced an online form that can be completed in advance to save time and hassle at the border. Once the form is completed, your information will be stored securely with your passport details and easily accessible by the immigration officer. The form can be found here.
Did the 2020 tourist season operate in Croatia?
The typical tourist season runs between April and October in Croatia, and the tourist season largely operated throughout the second half of the 2020 summer with social distancing and additional safety measures in place.
In July 2020, more than 2 million foreign tourists were registered in Croatia, from multiple European countries and the UK.
Do I have to wear a face mask in Croatia?
It is currently mandatory to wear a face mask inside shops and supermarkets and on public transport in Croatia.
Guidelines Implemented by the Croatian Institute of Public Health
Whilst it is no longer necessary to self-isolate once you enter Croatia, both Croatian citizens and foreign nationals entering the country must comply with these recommendations and instructions for at least 14 days once inside the country.
- Leaving your accommodation is limited to the following reasons:
- 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 your accommodation due to necessary reasons, it is recommended to use a face mask or a nose/mouth cover, maintain a physical distance from other people (no less than 1.5 m) and maintain hand hygiene
- Wash your hands as often as possible with warm water and soap, and/or use hand disinfectant by thoroughly rubbing it through your palms. Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes
- Avoid using public transportation. If you must travel, it is preferable that you are alone or exclusively with people from your accommodation household
- Avoid groups and public gatherings
- Meet as few people as possible during business meetings, ensure a physical distance of 1.5m is maintained with disinfectant being readily available and avoid unnecessary meetings
- Your body temperature must be measured every morning. If your temperature is higher than 37.2 C°, you will need to measure it again in 10 minutes. If it is still higher than 37.2 C°, you should stay at your accommodation and notify a territorially competent epidemiologist
- In the event that you develop symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, sore throat, elevated body temperature, shortness of breath/trouble breathing, loss of smell and taste), it is necessary to stay at your accommodation and notify a territorially competent epidemiologist
- In the event that severe, life-threatening symptoms suddenly occur, you should contact urgent medical services on 112.
Returning to Your Country of Residence
There are varying rules and regulations that may be implemented by your home country upon your return from Croatia. We strongly recommend you follow the advice of your Government or country’s advisory body with regards to reentering your country of residence and whether self-isolation restrictions apply.
Are there flights scheduled to/from Croatia?
The first international flight after the pandemic started, operated by Croatia Airlines, landed in Croatia from Germany at the end of May 2020. European carriers, including Croatia Airlines, Eurowings and Lufthansacommenced flights to and from Croatia in June. The following airlines operated throughout the 2020 summer season and are likely to commence flights during 2021.
- Air Baltic departing from Germany and Lithuania
- Air France departing from France
- Transavia departing from France
- Tui departing from Belgium
- Brussels Airlines departing from Belgium
- KLM departing from the Netherlands
- Wizz Air departing from UK and Poland
- Luxair departing from Luxembourg
- Smartwings departing from the Czech Republic and Poland
- Scandinavian Airlines departing from Denmark and Norway
- Iberia departing from Spain
- Austrian Airlines departing from Austria
- Air Serbia departing from Serbia
What Health & Safety measures have Sail Croatia implemented in light of COVID-19?
We take Health and Safety seriously and will be implementing additional measures to limit and prevent the spread of the virus on our ships and yachts. All staff members have been trained to adhere to strict Health and Safety procedures and policies until measures can be relaxed.
Please expect the following additional safety measures for guests:
- Check-in may take longer than usual and will be conducted outdoors in a specially designated area
- Social distancing measures will be in place in accordance with Government guidelines
- All staff will have appropriate PPE when working around our yachts and guests. This will include masks whenever inside the social distancing guidelines and gloves whenever touching surfaces
- All vessels will be cleaned thoroughly and an additional final disinfection process will occur prior to guest arrival
- Guests will be required to record body temperatures daily
- Hand sanitizer will be available on all yachts and is a requirement when boarding
- Skippers and Hosts will undertake weekly Covid testing for additional client peace of mind
Our flexible bookings terms
We understand that restrictions, guidelines and advice are all rapidly changing throughout Europe and the world. If you book under our Cruise with Confidence policy and are no longer able to travel for one reason or another, we are offering complete flexibility with your booking!