Updated 11 june 2020
Dear valued guests,
As the situation around novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, we are doing everything we can to provide maximum flexibility. We have taken action to ensure the uninterrupted service of our company, as well as keeping the main goal in mind, and that is to contain the spread of the virus across the community. This is a time we need to show our humanity and social responsibility by practising social distancing as part of saving lives. We remain committed to offering you flexible booking options. Given these unique circumstances we are making adjustments to our individual booking policies to give you extra peace of mind. We are approaching each case individually in order to provide the best possible service and solution for our guests. As you know, this takes time and dedication, so we are asking for your patience and understanding as our priority are bookings due within the next two months. All other inquiries will be handled in their due time so if you could help us with this issue, we'd be most appreciative.
With one of Europe's lowest infection rates, Croatia is welcoming holidaymakers once again
Croatia will welcome tourists from all EU countries, plus the UK, from Monday June 15.
The Balkan country first opened its borders in mid May, welcoming citizens of ten European countries including Austria, Germany and Slovenia without restriction. For everyone else, including British travellers, there were restrictions in place including a quarantine on arrival.
But as of Monday, the list of nationalities allowed in without restriction extends to all EU countries, plus the UK: there will be no obligation to quarantine on arrival.
To date, Croatia has reported 2,249 cases and 106 deaths. In recent weeks the number of new cases has dropped to zero for consecutive days, bringing the country close to declaring itself as ‘Covid-free’.
So can you visit Croatia? Is it a good idea? Which hotels are open? Today, we look into these questions. We will keep this article updated as the situation changes in Croatia.
Can I visit from Monday?
Yes, and no. While Croatian border officials will not turn you away, there are some considerations regarding whether it is wise to book a holiday there now.
The first is the fact that the Foreign Office currently warns against all but essential travel. This means that travelling overseas will invalidate travel insurance – not the wisest idea, during a pandemic. That said, the EHIC card still works, if you need health assistance while overseas in any EU country. The FCO says its advice is “under constant review”, so watch this space.
The other consideration is the mandatory 14-day isolation for anyone returning to the UK, which was rolled out on Monday, June 8. This means giving your address at your port of arrival, and facing a possible spot-check from the police. Anyone found flouting the rules could be fined up to £1,000.
Can you fly there?
You can indeed, although options are limited. Wizz Air is running direct flights from London Luton to Split airport. You can fly out on Monday, June 15 and back on June 22 for £217.
Soon, there will be more options. Ryanair will operate flights from Stansted to Pula from July (a return, flying out on July 2nd and back on July 5th, would set you back £42). The airline is also launching weekly flights to Rijeka in July, at similarly low rates.
Do I have to self-isolate when I arrive in Croatia?
No. It is no longer obligatory to self-isolate on arrival in Croatia. The only people who may be asked to quarantine are those who, during border checks, are determined to have been in contact with a person infected by Covid-19.
Anyone arriving in Croatia will be issued a leaflet with instructions and recommendations from the Croatian Institute of Public Health, which you will need to follow in the first 14 days in the country. This includes social distancing recommendations, and advice on how to avoid spreading the disease.
Are hotels open?
Yes, in fact they’ve been open for a while. Hotels were given the green light to reopen on May 11, and the number welcoming guests has been on the rise.
Some that are already open include Adriatic Luxury Hotels, which began a phased reopening. Hotel Kompas opened on May 26, Hotel Dubrovnik Palace – with Adriatic views – opened on May 30, while others including Hotel Odisej and Hotel Excelsior will be back in action by mid-June.
Are beaches and restaurants open?
Yes and yes. All beaches are now open, with visitors advised to keep a distance of five feet (1.5 metres) from one another. The Croatian Institute of Public Health has issued other recommendations including deckchairs being disinfected multiple times a day and hand sanitiser placed in visible spots.
Many restaurants have reopened, with waiters required to wear face masks.
What documents do I need to enter Croatia?
Croatian border officials will ask for contact details, and check that you have made a booking in a registered accommodation establishment. This means either:
- Confirmation of accommodation booking
- A campsite booking
- Permanent berth contract at a tourism port
- A berth reservation at a tourism port
- Travel agency voucher
The authorities are also developing an app to allow tourists to register the above before arriving on Croatian soil, to speed things up at the border, and so tourists can be tracked on arrival.
Should I book now?
Dora Vulic of Sail Dalmatia told Telegraph Travel: “Given the quarantine rule in the UK, we are offering the full refund to all clients who might be prevented from travelling if the rule stays in force.”
Is Croatia ready for the return of tourism?
Dora Vulic of Sail Dalmatia, said: “I do believe the country’s tourism will recover but it will be a very slow and painful process for many locals whose life depended on tourism.”
Nobody can say for sure what this means for the summer 2020 charter season, but here at Sail Dalmatia we are staying on top of all developments, in order to best advise clients and support the owners during these challenging times. One thing is certain – the yachting industry is coming together to ensure that we all get back to sunny days on board as soon as possible.
SAIL DALMATIA TEAM.