With the easing of Croatia’s border restrictions, there is a lot of new information for visitors to absorb. This blog will provide you with useful information about travelling to Croatia, the current restrictions and how Sail Croatia are managing the challenges of COVID-19. We’re excited to announce that as of the 30th of June, EU citizens (including UK citizens) are able to enter Croatia without proving their reason for entry. The borders are also open for travellers of any nationality that present a Booking Confirmation. Our Private Yacht Tour and Yacht Charter experiences will be running as normal with additional health and safety measures in place to protect guests and staff.
We hope you’ll find this blog a useful reference in preparing for your sailing experience in Croatia!How is COVID-19 affecting Croatia?
As it stands, Croatia has 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. This 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.
It’s important to note that 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. As of 2 July 2020, Croatia has had 2,831 confirmed cases and sadly, 108 deaths. You can find Croatia’s dedicated Coronavirus website here with updated statistics.
Many coastal regions (with the exception of Split) managed to maintain very low virus numbers, thanks to restricted ferry services during the lockdown, that effectively isolated these small communities.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 expansive 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. Foreign tourists who have pre-booked accommodation are able to enter Croatia with proof of accommodation, signaling that the 2020 tourist season is well and truly underway.Entry for EU/UK Citizens
Croatia’s borders are now open with no restrictions to citizens of EU countries. This includes UK citizens. All visitors to the country must complete an online entry form before departing. You can find the form online here.Entry for Tourists with Booked Accommodation
Foreign travellers (who are citizens of countries other than the EU or UK citizens) are able to enter Croatia, provided they have a Booking Confirmation stating pre-booked accommodation. Booked accommodation includes a reservation on a tourist boat (yacht/catamaran) or in a hotel, apartment or campsite. Without a booking confirmation, it is likely that travelers will be denied entry to the Republic of Croatia.
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, visitors will be asked to complete a form with additional information before entering the country.
This allows efficient contact tracing in the event of an outbreak.
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.Is the tourist season currently operating in Croatia?
Whilst social distancing and other safety measures are still in place, bars, restaurants, cafes and some touristic activities have been given the go-ahead to operate from early May with additional Health and Safety measures. Since the beginning of June, Croatia has welcomed more than half a million guests from multiple European countries who are enjoying the quiet beaches, hidden bays and a more authentic version of Dalmatia.Do I have to Self-Isolate Once I’m in Croatia?
Quarantine requirements imposed when entering Croatia have now been withdrawn and a 14 day self-isolation period is no longer necessary, unless you are entering Croatia from Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo or North Macedonia. Social distancing is still a Government requirement and must be followed by anyone entering Croatia. Social distancing will continue to be enforced in restaurants and public places until further notice, so please ensure you maintain at least a 1.5 m distance from other people.Current 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
- During your stay, you must prepare your own food, or use food and beverage delivery services (Payment need to be made using a contactless method)
- 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.
Whilst there is now clear information for travellers around who can enter Croatia, there are varying rules and regulations that may be implemented by your home country upon your return. 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, operated by Croatia Airlines, landed in Croatia from Germany at the end of May. European carriers, including Croatia Airlines, Eurowings and Lufthansa, commenced flights to and from Croatia in June. The HGK Tourism Sector has announced the following airlines will shortly commence flights schedules in and out of Croatia:
- 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’s the best thing about having 1,244 islands at your disposal? That finding your own secluded bay to practice social distancing in is well and truly possible!
There are so many benefits to hiring a yacht and sailing through the magical islands of Croatia, and with less crowds, it's the ideal time to discover Croatia as it once was. Below are our favourite benefits of a yacht experience this summer:
- With so many islands to choose from, there are plenty of secluded bays, private coves and hidden slices of paradise that await you! This is particularly accessible whilst on a Yacht or Catamaran, as you have the option to drop the anchor wherever you please, stay for a swim or even overnight and enjoy the quiet serenity.
- A Private Yacht Tour means that you choose the family and friends that are onboard your yacht with you! Apart from your Skipper, sailing on a Private Yacht Tour is mostly, as the name suggests, a private and closed experience, ensuring little contact with people outside of your bubble.
- A professional and experienced Skipper is included in all Private Yacht Tours, meaning that no sailing experience is necessary to discover the beauty of sailing in Croatia. Our skippers are local and know the best hidden bays, delicious konobas and places to visit for an authentic experience.
- We are implementing additional health and safety measures onboard our yacht tours to protect our guests and staff. You can rest assured that we are taking these additional steps to ensure you have a safe, memorable and incredible experience sailing in Croatia!
Our Yacht Experiences will be running as normal, with additional safety measures in place to protect guests and staff. We take Health and Safety seriously and will be implementing additional measures to limit and prevent the spread of the virus on our 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
We understand that restrictions, guidelines and advice are all rapidly changing throughout Europe and the world. If you book a Private Yacht Tour, Yacht Charter or Under 39’s Yacht Tour, and for one reason or another are no longer able to travel, we are offering complete flexibility with your booking!
Learn more about our flexible booking terms here.