This is the news we have been waiting for: Croatia is now open for travelers. Finally! Now we can sail again ;-)
We have gathered some news for you on this topic and in short:
- Croatia is now open to foreign nationals who have a vital economic reason to enter, including those who have a valid charter contract to use a boat located in the country. Crew lists must be received to qualify for entry. There is no more 14-day quarantine on entry.
- On May 15, 2020, Croatian authorities reopened the national borders for yacht charterers, stating that yacht charters are considered an important economic reason for coming to Croatia. Self-isolation and COVID 19-tests are currently not a requirement for entry into the country. Yachts can move freely between marinas, along the coast and islands of the Croatian Adriatic.
- Marinas, shops, restaurants, bars, and markets are open.
- However, undertaking all preventive measures by both charterers and yacht crew remains of crucial importance to prevent the spread of Covid 19.
In order to ensure, as best as possible, that the purpose of the trip is actually accepted by the Croatian authorities and also to avoid problems when entering the country, the following measures must be taken into account at the moment:
- Completed online crew list from you must be submitted at least 14 days before the charter starts. This list will be forwarded directly to the Ministry of Sea via web interface, thus no other forms are valid.
- The necessary data of e-mail address and mobile phone number required in the crew list must also be filled in obligatory in order to ensure quick contact regarding booking and arrival. Good communication is particularly important in times of Corona and provides additional safety for the customer.
- Furthermore the original boarding pass issued by us and sent to you must be carried by the customer. This ensures that the customer has all the important information with him. This also guarantees that the customer has Croatian-speaking contact persons if a problem occurs, especially in the current situation with often unclear regulations.
Here are some more info about opening Croatia and easing up the lock down measures…
Although the information below is current at the time of writing, the situation is evolving daily. Please, check with me, government advisories and World Health Organisation (WHO) for the latest health and travel advice.
Is it safe to travel to Croatia?
Croatia is currently still closed for what would be considered normal travel to and from the country, as a temporary ban on the movement of civilians across borders is enforced.
Entry into the Republic of Croatia for foreign citizens:
If a foreign national intends to cross the state border, they must meet one of the following conditions:
- Possesses documentation proving the ownership of real estate located in the Republic of Croatia or a marine vessel (boat, yacht, etc) – (may also be the holder of a lease), or is travelling to attend a funeral in the Republic of Croatia (and possesses appropriate documentation proving this). If any of these conditions are met, these foreign citizens are allowed to cross the state border, are registered and the place/address where they will stay or where the property/vessel is located will be recorded, along with the contact phone number and time of stay – including the date they plan to leave the Republic of Croatia.
- They have documentation proving the invitation by a business registered in the Republic of Croatia, the reason the business requires their visit to the Republic of Croatia, or an invitation to a business meeting. For these passengers crossing the border, it is necessary to enter the place/address where they will stay and the contact phone number and the duration of the stay – including the date they plan to leave the Republic of Croatia.
- All other foreign citizens who have a business reason, which cannot be foreseen at this time, and do not have the appropriate documentation, are instructed to send their intention to cross the state border (entry into the Republic of Croatia) to firstname.lastname@example.org and their request will be addressed in the shortest possible timeframe.
Further information will be made available in accordance with any newly published Civil Protection Directorate decisions.
Croatia has a relatively low number of Covid-19 cases and has begun to ease restrictions within the country. Further relaxation of existing restrictions is expected during the upcoming weeks, as the Civil Protection Directorate has begun with reinstating services and reopening previously closed businesses on a rolling, weekly schedule.
All openings still require safety and hygiene measures, as well as social distancing to be respected as required: The latest Covid-19 information and accompanying measures may be found here: https://www.koronavirus.hr/en
Are there flights to Croatia?
Croatia currently maintains one daily return flight: Zagreb – Frankfurt – Zagreb operated by Croatia Airlines. Croatia Airlines is currently in discussions about reinstating other flights, such as Amsterdam, Brussels and London, but all are pending further approval. For more information on Croatia Airlines flights, please check their website.
With the tentative reopening of borders in the upcoming weeks, some commercial airlines have scheduled flights now available on their websites to various Croatian airports for June and/or July start dates (depending on the airline) . If you already have tickets for upcoming travel and/or have a question regarding travel with a specific airline, it is best to contact the airline directly as most are updating their flight schedules on a week by week basis. Should you be unable to use your current flight ticket we recommend postponing your travel to a later date.
Please find a list of airline websites below*:
*the above list is not exhaustive and may be added to or removed from as information becomes available; some of the aforementioned airlines may not have announced exact flight dates and it is best to check directly with the airline for flight schedules, whereas others may or may not have announced the resumption of flights to Croatia.
Are there any domestic flights operating within Croatia?
Domestic flights have now resumed and currently include return flights between Zagreb and Split, as well as Zagreb and Dubrovnik. These flights are operated by Croatia Airlines and more information may be found here.
Are hotels currently operation in Croatia and if not, when are hotels, camps and other accommodation expected to reopen?
It is important to emphasize that accommodation facilities, for accommodation itself, were not banned, but due to border closures and the restrictions imposed on hospitality facilities and restaurants, most hotels remained closed for economic, as well as health and safety reasons. However, as measures begin to ease, and as of May 11th, with various catering and hospitality facilities being allowed to operate pending implementation of prescribed health and safety measures, the gradual opening of hotels and camps with all accompanying facilities has begun, with individual accommodation facilities opting to begin operations depending on the opening of state borders and free movement of travellers, i.e market demand.
Are restaurants open?
Restaurants in Croatia to-date were only allowed to operate delivery and drive-through services. However, effective May 11th, restaurants and cafes are allowed to operate and provide outdoor seating and service pending the implementation of prescribed health and safety measures. As measures continue to ease, we expect full service to be reinstated pending approval of the Civil Protection Directorate over the upcoming weeks.
Are beaches, parks and outdoor recreational facilities open?
As measures begin to ease, public outdoor spaces have slowly reopened for public use including parks and public recreational facilities, however health and safety measures, as well as social distancing guidance still applies. We expect all beaches to be operational for public use, again keeping in mind that health and safety, as well as any social distancing measures in effect at the time will apply. The Zagreb Zoo reopened to the public this past week and National Parks and Nature Parks are allowed to open effective today, May 11th, provided they have implemented and adhere to the prescribed health and safety measures.
Are private boats allowed to enter Croatian waters and or mooring in Croatia? What is the situation with nautical tourism?
Currently, yachts (boats) longer than 24 meters are allowed to enter Croatian ports, i.e. yachts are allowed to enter the berths in nautical tourism ports and ports open to public traffic. In addition, yachts are allowed to enter shipyards for overhaul or repairs, and as we approach the main summer months, further relaxation of measures is expected. Nautical tourism is highly popular in Croatia and we are ensuring that each new measure aids in returning nautical tourists to our country, however, there is an overall clear emphasis health and safety.
Is there public transportation available within Croatia? Within and/or to and from various cities and regions.
Effective May 11th travel between regions in Croatia is no longer restricted and as such the reinstatement of various bus routes between cities and regions in Croatia has taken effect. For schedules and information on reinstated routes it is best to check with the local bus stations. Contact information for major stations may be found here.
Croatian domestic rail service is also available on certain routes from May 11th, more information on timetables and availability may be found here.
Is there passenger traffic and or public ferry transport available to and from the Croatian islands?
Currently there is limited ferry transport to any from various Croatian islands subject to the health and safety measures imposed by the Civil Protection Directorate, and effective May 11th, the freedom of movement within Croatia has been enabled without the requirement of a special permit. Thus, travel to and from all Croatian islands is now possible, with the exception of the Island of Brač, which is on an extended 14-day isolation order. All travel on, to and from the island is restricted and requires special permits at this time. For information on ferry lines operated by Jadrolinija please check here.
As always, we are here to help you. Please, let us know if you have any questions.