The Corona Virus still keeps the world in suspense. While some parts of Europe are already easing the lock-down, in other parts of the world the pandemic is only expected to peak.
Gastronomy and tourism are probably the worst affected by the virus-related measures. Europe’s sunny south, in particular According to current estimates, Croatia will also have to accept very high economic losses. These countries of southern Europe depend heavily on tourism. Tourism in Croatia is an important factor with 11% of the gross domestic product (GDP) (Source: https://www.gtai.de/gtai-de/trade/wirtschaftsumfeld/bericht-wirtschaftsumfeld/kroatien/coronavirus-bremst-kroatiens-wirtschaft -from-233274)
It is not surprising that these countries in particular are promoting quick easing and travel opportunities within the EU. The Croatian Minister of Tourism Cappelli also goes directly to the respective countries in bilateral talks. A corresponding agreement has obviously already been negotiated with the Czech Republic that is based on a “tourism corridor”. Czech citizens who have a negative Corona test upon entry should therefore be allowed to spend their summer vacation in Croatia. So that the project does not fail due to possible transit restrictions through Austria or Slovenia, the “air corridor” is explicitly planned, ie by plane. Croatian Prime Minister Plenković is also in direct contact with his ministerial colleagues and even with Chancellor Merkel (source: https://twitter.com/AndrejPlenkovic/status/1253041147112497155)
Surely the journey by plane is a high risk for all passengers, even with a negative Corona test, since the virus spreads very quickly in a confined space. Therefore, we also assess the situation rather so that the transit countries Austria and Slovenia will open their borders for tourism traffic. Ultimately, this transit also entails a few revenues from motorway tolls, sales at the petrol and rest facilities and a few overnight stays.
We also consider the easing of travel regulations for Croatia to be probable, since Croatian tourism is based on the rental of holiday apartments at a good 60%. Mass tourism in (narrow) hotel complexes is rarely found in Croatian holiday resorts. In addition, there is the important fact that a family can travel to Croatia almost completely isolated by car and then (again isolated) can stay in an appropriate holiday apartment. Plants away from the larger tourist regions and entire holiday homes will benefit from this situation. If the pool is only used by your own family, the risk of spreading the virus is rather low. In our view, bathing in the sea or sunbathing on the beach will be provided with appropriate rules and regulations. In our opinion, there will be no beach parties or corresponding larger events this summer.
Of course, many Croatian tourists also want to explore the numerous sights (Plitvice lakes, the Kornati islands, the Krka waterfalls, etc.). We don’t see any clear trends here at the moment. It can be assumed that very strict requirements will be imposed if the parks are opened. We therefore assume that only a certain number of visitors will be admitted. The usual hygiene standards (masks, disinfection, distance, etc.) can also be expected.
Restaurants and the well-visited cafes in Croatia are already gradually opening up, at least the outside area. At the beginning of the summer season, we expect equally strict conditions, but also a corresponding relaxation.
Due to the unpredictable situation in March and April, many guests have already canceled their holiday reservations. If the easing gradually becomes official, we assume a very high demand in Croatia – especially for individual tourism. Therefore, we generally recommend a precautionary reservation / booking if you are still interested in a vacation trip 2020. Pay attention to providers or hosts with free cancellation options until shortly before your planned travel date (2 weeks is optimal).
We are currently assuming that at the end of May with the start of the Whitsun vacation in many countries it will already be possible to enter Croatia without a subsequent 2-week quarantine.