Published on : Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Croatia has officially become the first country in the European Union to open for tourists from the U.S. The move comes following the Croatian Ministry of Interior’s announcement that the country is officially reopening to welcome tourists from all countries. Authorities have also mentioned that the country has decided to open its borders for all third-country citizens that intend to enter Croatia for business, tourism, or other personal reasons, alongside Americans.
However, it has also been mentioned that travellers from otherwise banned countries would be required to fill a travel registration form in order to declare their reason for entering Croatia. Upon arrival most tourists would also have to showcase a negative COVID-19 test report undertaken within 48 hours of arrival. The Croatian Ministry of Interior has also mentioned that visitors will be required to self isolate for 14 days if they arrive without a negative test result. In addition, travellers are also required to provide proof of their accommodation.
The European Union previously published a list of 15 third countries where travel restrictions would be lifted from July 1. The U.S., Russia and Brazil was not a part of the list due to constant concerns of growing coronavirus cases and remained banned from the Schengen zone. But as Croatia is a part of the EU and not the Schengen Area authorities successfully opened that borders to American tourists and other banned third-country citizens.
Schengen Area comprises of 26 European countries including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. These countries have abolished their internal or mutual border control for the free and unrestricted movement of people, in harmony with common rules for controlling external borders and fighting criminality by strengthening the common judicial system and police cooperation. Therefore, Schengen Area covers most of the EU countries except Ireland and the countries that are soon to be part of- Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus. In addition, countries like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are also part of the Schengen zone, despite not being a part of the EU.
According to the new rules, Americans can enter Croatia by transiting through the Schengen airport with proper documentation. It has been mentioned that health professionals, health researchers and associates, care professionals for the elderly and persons requiring emergency medical treatment, cross-border workers, carriers of goods and other transport staff (to necessary extent), diplomats, police officers performing their duties jobs, services and teams of Civil Protection, personnel of international organizations and international military personnel in performing their functions, passengers in transit, individuals travelling for tourist or other business reasons or with other economic interests, and persons travelling for education or other urgent personal reasons are allowed to enter the country.
It has also been pointed out that quarantine or self-isolation can be shortened if the travellers decide at their own expense seven days after entering Croatia and receive a negative PCR test for the COVID-19 virus. In addition, though the obligation of self-isolation for persons entering the Republic of Croatia from third countries remains applicable, people travelling for tourist or other business reasons or who have other economic interests, and persons travelling for education may avoid quarantine by presenting negative test results. It has been mentioned that individuals under the obligation of self-isolation must respect the rules of isolation during the first two weeks in Croatia.
It is mandatory for people in isolation to use a mask or covering for the nose and mouth while going out as well as maintaining physical distance from other people (minimum 1.5 meters) and carrying out hand hygiene. Wearing masks on public transport, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants is also compulsory for general travelers. No testing or temperature screening of arrival would be undertaken and the U.S. Embassy has informed that travellers will have to bear their own expense when quarantine is required.