There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. As well as vaccination programmes taking place at a swift pace in many countries around the world, now that we are in spring, countries are also planning for the end of lockdowns and the lifting of restrictions. But the big question on everyone’s lips is – will (foreign) holidays be possible this summer? Certainly after the 12 months plus that everyone’s gone through, a pleasant, relaxing and warm summer holiday would fit the bill for many people. (This is especially true for those that have had a really tough time of it, either with illness or as key workers.) So, is it possible to visit Croatia in summer 2021?
Here, we’ll bring together the latest information – updated regularly – about visiting Croatia in summer 2021, with flight and holiday news, travel and local restrictions (and the lifting of these) and more.
Travel Restrictions in Summer 2021
There are two parts to this story – restrictions on foreign travel by your own country, and restrictions in place for Croatia.
For example, as it stands for the UK, holidays abroad should be allowed from 17th May. (See Covid: When can I go on holiday in the UK or travel abroad?, BBC News, 23rd February 2021) But it is unknown at the moment what and if any kind of quarantine will be required when returning to the UK.
Latest update The UK is indeed allowing people to travel abroad for holidays from 17th May. The UK has also announced which countries are on its green light travel list…and Croatia is not presently one of them. That means that anyone travelling to Croatia for a holiday would need to self-isolate for 10 days at home on their return. (It is possible to “test to release” on day 5 of your return.)
Updated The UK is now suggesting that people can think about booking summer holidays. The earliest date that people could travel abroad is the 17th May. There is to be a traffic light system with countries designed as green, amber and red; the different colours indicate what UK travellers will need to do (not isolate, isolate at home, or isolate in a hotel) upon returning home. The first list of countries and the ‘traffic light’ that they will be is to be announced on 10th May.
Border Entry Regulations for Croatia
Latest update New regulations on entering Croatia were introduced as of 1st April.
- a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result undertaken in the previous 48 hours (at the point of entry); if you have presented a negative rapid antigen test result and are staying in Croatia for longer than 10 days, you must repeat the test within 10 days from the date of your first test
- a vaccination certificate showing you have received the second dose of a vaccine more than 14 days before entry into Croatia (or a vaccination certificate showing you have received a single dose – in the case of single-dose vaccines – more than 14 days before entry into Croatia)
- a certificate showing you have previously been infected with covid and had a positive PCR or rapid antigen test result in the previous 180 days only (and valid from on the 11th day after your positive test result)
- if you don’t have one of the above, you must obtain a PCR or rapid antigen test immediately after arriving in Croatia (at your own expense) and to isolate until you obtain a negative test result – if do not do this, you must isolate for 10 days
However, if you are travelling from a green zone in the EU (as shown on the ECDC Map), you do not need to present/do any of the above when entering Croatia.
The above applies to EU/EEA nationals and non-EU nationals if they are travelling from the EU/EEA. HOWEVER, according to the Ministry of the Interior, third-country nationals (which UK citizens now are!) can visit if you are:
- travelling for tourist reasons and have a certificate of paid accommodation in a hotel, camp, private renter or rented vessel and other forms of tourist accommodation
Updated A meeting between the Croatian Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, and the British Ambassador to Croatia, Andrew Dalgleish, saw Ms Brnjac state that Croatia “would be ready to receive tourists from the UK as soon as epidemiological rules in their home country allow it”. (See: When can I visit Croatia? Latest news as the country promises to welcome Britons by May, Daily Telegraph, 19th March 2021) This would suggest UK citizens could visit Croatia from 17th May.
Will any kind of ‘vaccination passport’ be in place for Croatia? There has not been any firm confirmation on this either way, but it is thought that Croatia is reluctant to introduce this. (Again, to encourage holidaymakers to visit.)
Updated The EU – of which Croatia is, of course, a member – looks set to introduce digital travel certificates for its citizens this summer. The UK is still considering whether or not to do the same.
Local Restrictions in Croatia
At present, there are still quite stringent local restrictions in place in Croatia – see the list on our Coronavirus Situation in Croatia page.
Flights to Croatia Summer 2021
The vast majority of flights from the UK & Ireland to Croatia that usually operate each year are planned to do so again for summer 2021. The start of the operating timetable for some routes has been pushed back – e.g. instead of flights starting at the end of March/early April, they will do so in May/June. This is to be expected, really, as foreign travel in spring and Easter time – normally a popular time of year to go away – is not yet permitted. (Foreign travel from the UK is expected to be allowed from 17th May.)
Newest update Delta has also announced a brand transatlantic route for summer 2021, from New York-JFK Airport to Dubrovnik. The route will start on 2nd July, operating four times a week (on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays). With United’s flights below, this now means Dubrovnik will be connected to New York with 7 flights a week this summer!
Updated United has announced a brand new transatlantic route for summer 2021, from New York-Newark Airport direct to Dubrovnik. Flights will commence on 8th July, operating three times a week (on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays) until 3rd October.
Updated Ryanair has announced new routes for summer 2021 – from Liverpool, Newcastle and Edinburgh to Zadar. (They will also have a new, daily route from London Stansted to Zagreb from 1st September.)
For the full timetable, see our Flights to Croatia from the UK & Ireland page.
There are also plenty of flights operating from elsewhere in Europe to Croatia in summer 2021. See our Getting to Zagreb, Getting to Split, Getting to Dubrovnik, Getting to Istria, Getting to the Kvarner Riviera and Getting to North Dalmatia pages for more details.
For flights from further afield…there’s bad news, unfortunately. Although more and more transcontinental routes direct to Croatia – from the Middle East, Asia and North America – emerged, pre-pandemic, the majority have been cancelled for 2021. We hope to see them resume in future.
Croatia Travel Updates
Here is some information related to travelling to or in Croatia that visitors may find helpful for summer 2021.
Latest update Kapetan Luka‘s popular coastal catamaran travelling Split – Milna – Hvar – Korcula – Pomena – Dubrovnik is now due to start operating on 15th May 2021 instead of from early April.
Updated Croatia is to subsidise (by 50%) the cost of covid tests for tourists and those who need to get tested once in the country. Additionally, in Zagreb, special testing centres have been set up for visitors – you can find more info on the Zagreb Tourist Board website.
Updated Jadrolinija has announced that passengers can make changes to their tickets on international sailings (Ancona – Zadar, Ancona – Split and Bari – Dubrovnik) for free up to one day before the sailing date. Tickets can be rebooked onto another sailing within the next 12 months.
Updated Jadrolinija has also announced that those who purchase tickets on certain car ferry lines now WILL have a guaranteed reservation at a particular time – even in summer. (Previously, a ticket did not guarantee a sailing time on the date booked, and travellers still needed to queue up at the port several hours beforehand.) You can see the full list of lines this applies to on Jadrolinija‘s website; in summer, you do still need to be at the port 60 minutes prior to departure.
Booking Holidays to Croatia for Summer 2021
Many tour operators and holiday companies seem to be operating “full steam ahead” when it comes to selling holidays for summer 2021 – for Croatia, and elsewhere! That’s understandable from their perspective, but we would always advise making sure you have comprehensive travel insurance in place should you need to re-arrange or cancel your holiday. (Either due to illness or due to changes in rules on travelling.)
If you’re visiting Croatia in summer 2021 from the UK, make sure you check out our advice on Visiting Croatia Post Brexit to see what changes there now are seeing as the UK has left the EU!
Happy travels for 2021, everyone, and do keep safe!