Croatia reopens borders for 10 EU nations for tourism
May 28, 2020 08:46 PM
Croatia reopened its borders without restrictions to citizens from ten European Union countries Thursday as the Adriatic nation looks to salvage a vital tourism sector hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The "temporary ban on border crossing" has been lifted "for tourism", Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic told a cabinet session.
The measure applies to ten countries who have had similarly successful results in containing the virus, he said, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Home to 4.2 million people, Croatia has largely kept its coronavirus outbreak in check, limiting deaths to around 100 and known infections to slightly over 2,000. When the country started relaxing lockdown measures earlier this month, it opened borders to EU citizens travelling for business purposes, as well as those who own real estate, a boat or have a confirmed accommodation booking in the country.
From now on, citizens of the 10 countries listed will not need to provide any reason for entry and can submit their personal data on a special website before travelling to reduce wait times at the border. The list will be expanded as the health situation improves in other countries, Plenkovic added.
Accounting for around a fifth of Croatia's economy, the tourism sector is expected to contract by 70 percent this year due to the pandemic. Last year the country welcomed some 20 million people, mainly to its pristine coastline dotted with more than 1,000 islands and islets.
While plane travel remains complicated, Croatia is hoping that road access from main markets like Austria, Germany and Slovenia will help maintain a flow of visitors. Camping and boating holidays are also expected to be a draw as travellers keep social distancing measures in mind.