Complete guide to Croatia’s COVID-19 resources for tourists and residents

Image by Dubrovnik Times

COVID-19 is far from over. Croatia is experiencing another spike in cases and there are still at least 4 million active cases around the world and who knows how many more that just haven’t been tested yet. Plus, there is a consensus from epidemiologists, doctors and experts worldwide that it will return with another outbreak in the fall.

As Croatia’s borders reopen to foreign travelers, Croatian residents will be put at risk again for contracting the virus. For herd immunity to kick in and protect people from catching the virus, between 70% and 80% of the population must be immune to prevent spread. As of June 4, only 2% of Croatia’s population has immunity based on a sample test of 1.100 citizens.

We want to make sure everyone, both Croatian residents and tourists alike, have access to all the information they need. This guide includes:

Also, at this time, it is mandatory that everyone wear a mask on public transportation. You will be refused entry if not wearing a mask.

Here is a guide on where to buy all kinds of masks (single use, reusable and anti-viral), hand sanitizer and gloves in Croatia.

Coronavirus symptoms

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Higher body temperature (povišena tjelesna temperatura)
  • Coughing (kašalj)
  • Shortness of breath (kratak dah)
  • Muscle pain (bolovi u mišićima)
  • Fatigue (umor)

You may have coronavirus if you meet these two criteria:

#1 You have experienced at least one of these symptoms of acute respiratory infection:

  • Higher body temperature (povišena tjelesna temperatura)
  • Coughing (kašalj)
  • Shortness of breath (kratak dah)

#2 If during a period 14 days prior to symptoms:

  • You were in a close contact with a person with coronavirus infection or suspected coronavirus infection
  • You were in an area affected by the coronavirus

More severe cases may include these symptoms:

  • Severe pneumonia (teška upala pluća)
  • Acute short breath syndrome (sindrom akutnog otežanog disanja)
  • Sepsis (sepsa)
  • Septic shock (Septički šok)

Requirements for tourists traveling to Croatia

All non-EU nationals must provide a negative PCR test, no older than 48 hours to enter Croatia. If you do not have a negative test or you have one but it is older than 48 hours, you must go into isolation for 14 days. Alternatively, you can isolate for 7 days and get tested again within Croatia at your own expense.

Border patrol has a FAQ in English to answer common questions. There is also a form at the bottom of the page where you can get an answer on your specific situation. View their page here.

When you come to the border of Croatia, you will be asked for several pieces of information including your:

  • Destination
  • Personal data
  • Epidemiological information

To speed up entry at the border, you can provide the above information in advance by filling out this form. A brief examination that includes taking your temperature will be performed. If you have a fever, you must go into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days.

While in Croatia, it is mandatory that you wear a mask indoors in all public places. You will be refused entry if not wearing a mask. You can find masks as well as hand sanitizer and gloves here.

How to track cases in Croatia

Here are the statistics listed by county, which includes the total number of infected persons and the number of deceased persons:
https://www.koronavirus.hr/zupanije/139

Here is a map where you can select “Active cases” to see the number of actively infected persons and “Total infected” to see the total number of infected persons so far: https://www.koronavirus.hr/en

https://www.index.hr/ has statistics at the top of their page. It is organized by counties and it shows:

  • SLUČAJEVI – the total number of infected persons so far
  • NOVI SLUČAJEVI – new cases today
  • UMRLI – the number of deceased persons
  • IZLIJEČENI – the number of healed persons
  • AKTIVNI – the number of active persons

In addition, Croatia Week posts an update every day, which serves as a summary: https://www.croatiaweek.com/

There is also a Facebook group for COVID-19 in Croatia, that includes daily updates with county breakdowns: https://www.facebook.com/groups/565958294029337/

What to do if you have questions about coronavirus?

HZJZ Facebook Chat

HZJZ (Croatian Institute for Public Health) has a free Facebook chatbot, which people may use to ask questions about symptoms and anything else regarding the coronavirus. This service was launched to reduce the pressure on the phone line 113, which serves those threatened by the coronavirus.

If you have questions, go to their Facebook page and send them a message to speak with someone.

Andrija – digital assistant on What’s App

Andrija is the first digital assistant whom offers free information about the coronavirus. This service is available via What’s App. Connect to Andrija here.

Andrija’s job is to:

  1. Educate people to recognize coronavirus symptoms
  2. Assist with contacting relevant institutions if needed
  3. Allow people to send relevant information from their home to help epidemiologists

Information on general health issues

If you need any information regarding general health issues, you will be connected with doctors and other health experts if you call:

Where you can get tested for COVID-19 in Croatia

Here is a full list of all the facilities where you can get tested for coronavirus within Croatia, in English. Here is the same list in Croatian. This list includes the approximate cost of the test at each location.

If you are a resident in Croatia, then you can be tested for free under your HZZO health insurance. Residents should contact their family doctor or 113 if they suspect they have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19.

What to do if you suspect that you are infected with coronavirus?

If you meet the criteria above and suspect that you are infected, call your family doctor if you are a Croatian resident. If you are a tourist traveling in Croatia, call the epidemiological service IMMEDIATELY.

To connect directly with an epidemiologist, you can call:

  • 113 every day from 8:00 to 16:00
  • County centers – Locations and phone numbers available here.
  • Tourist emergency centers in Dubrovnik-Neretva county, Lika-Senj county, Istria county, Primorje-Gorski kotar county, and Zadar county. – Locations and phone numbers available here.

When speaking to your doctor or the epidemiologist, describe how you feel in great detail so they can do their best to identify if you may have COVID-19.

They will give you all the instructions – what to do, where to go, and how to get tested. You are in good hands now, so just follow their instructions. Here are the guidelines for tourists and their accommodation managers when there is a suspected COVID-19 case.

REMEMBER: This is not just about you. If you are carrying the virus, you can transmit it to others around you regardless of whether or not you are showing symptoms.

Rules for those in self-isolation

If you have been instructed by a medical professional or the border patrol that you must go into self-isolation, then it is important to follow the rules and also understand what resources are available to those in quarantine.

Croatian residents in quarantine are under the care of their family doctor. Foreign nationals without residence are under the care of an assigned epidemiologist.

Requirements for quarantine

Quarantine lasts 14 days. The purpose of quarantine is to take care of yourself and to protect others. Please follow the below rules as provided by the Croatian government.

  1. STAY AT HOME!
  2. Avoid close contact with others, even family and household members. Keep a 2-meter distance in closed spaces and a 1-meter distance in open spaces.
  3. Keep away from the elderly, people with chronic diseases, and pregnant women.
  4. Open windows for fresh air very often.
  5. If you notice any new coronavirus symptoms since first reporting your situation, call your doctor or 113 immediately.
  6. Cover your mouth with a paper tissue while coughing or sneezing. Dispose of the tissue in a covered waste bin. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  7. Properly wash your hands with soap and water very often.
  8. Use your own towel and don’t share it with other household members.
  9. Clean all rooms you visit every day with a cleanser and disinfectant. Detailed instructions for cleaning can be found here.
  10. Wear a mask when you cannot keep a 2-meter distance with others.

Don’t do anything of these things:

  1. Don’t go outside the house unless it is absolutely necessary.
  2. Don’t go to work, school, or anywhere else.
  3. Don’t share your things with others. Use your own dishes, cups, bed sheets, etc.
  4. Don’t shake hands with anyone.
  5. Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  6. Don’t use public transport or a taxi.
  7. Don’t invite anyone to your home.

If you want to get more information about the self-isolation process, HZJZ (Croatian Institute for Public Health) has additional resources here.

Resources for those in quarantine

Food and medicine delivery

Hrvatski Crveni križ (Croatian Red Cross) is delivering food to those in need, elderly, patients with chronic disease, and others who need help. Their volunteers can make a purchase on your behalf. If you belong to one of these at-risk groups, don’t hesitate to call them.

Here are all the Red Cross’ contact numbers organized by cities.

Medicine delivery

Croatian Red Cross and Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists are offering a service of medicine delivery to:

  • People in self-isolation
  • People who suffer from chronic diseases
  • People who have difficulty moving

This service is available via free phone line +385 (0)800 11 88 and +385 (0)72 700 222.

Food delivery

If you want to have fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, olive oil and other Croatian produced products delivered to your door, here is a full list of the farms and cooperatives in Croatia that offer delivery.

If you want to have a restaurant deliver food to your home, there are a variety of delivery services you can choose from including Wolt, Dobar Tek, Pauza, Glovo and Jelovnik. In addition, there are many restaurants, most commonly pizzerias, that you can call directly who may deliver outside of these services.

Where to get psychological support

If you feel mentally unwell and need psychological support, there are helplines specifically set up for those having trouble due to the pandemic and the Zagreb earthquake.

If you need to talk to someone, you can call either of these numbers every day from 8:00 to 20:00.

For general psychological help, you may call these numbers every day from 8:00 to 22:00.

More phone lines organized by counties are available here

How to report a business that isn’t following corona regulations

If you have noticed that someone doesn’t respect the rules for businesses prescribed by the Croatian government, you can report them to Državni inspektorat (State inspectorate). This is possible by filling out this form.

How to report a person violating mandatory self-isolation

We have all been under stress in the last few months. Everyone is taking care of each other, their family, relatives, friends, and colleagues. Additional stress comes when people with the virus or at risk of the virus break self-isolation, putting their community at risk.

If you know people who are supposed to be in quarantine, but are not following the self-isolation rules, you can report them to the police:

Here is a guide on where to buy all kinds of masks (both single use and reusable), hand sanitizer and gloves in Croatia.

If you have any questions about how coronavirus is being handled in Croatia, let us know in the comments.

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4 thoughts on “Complete guide to Croatia’s COVID-19 resources for tourists and residents

  1. Steven
    June 10, 2020 @ 7:45 pm

    Hi Sara
    Is there information for private apartments, the cleaning procedure and if a guest becomes sick?
    I heard something that, there needs to be a certain amount of time between guests leaving and new guests arriving, is that correct?.

    Thanks
    Steven

    {reply}

  2. Andreas Havinga
    July 23, 2020 @ 2:49 pm

    Where is it possible to get latest statistics on corona cases (new, active, recovering) per region?
    My immediate interest is in Istria, but the domestic stats on the government website (www.koronavirus.hr/en) seem to be static.
    Also: is it possible to monitor updates of the Reproduction Rate – for the country and/or per region?
    Thanks for any help with this.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      July 27, 2020 @ 11:04 am

      Hi Andreas,

      Here are the statistics listed by county, which includes the total number of infected persons and the number of deceased persons:
      https://www.koronavirus.hr/zupanije/139

      Here is a map where you can select “Active cases” to see the number of actively infected persons and “Total infected” to see the total number of infected persons so far: https://www.koronavirus.hr/en

      https://www.index.hr/ has statistics at the top of their page. It is organized by counties and it shows:

      • SLUČAJEVI – the total number of infected persons so far
      • NOVI SLUČAJEVI – new cases today
      • UMRLI – the number of deceased persons
      • IZLIJEČENI – the number of healed persons
      • AKTIVNI – the number of active persons

      In addition, Croatia Week posts an update every day, which serves as a summary: https://www.croatiaweek.com/

      There is also a Facebook group for COVID-19 in Croatia, that includes daily updates with county breakdowns: https://www.facebook.com/groups/565958294029337/

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

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