Visiting Croatia in Summer 2020

Visiting Croatia in Summer 2020

We’ve been tracking news related to the coronavirus pandemic and Croatia since the country entered its lockdown March, but now we enter a new phase. Croatia has eased lockdown, is recording very few (or no) new cases each day and is now allowing foreign visitors from certain countries to enter once more. But what does this all mean in a practical sense, if you’re planning on visiting Croatia in summer 2020?

Visiting Croatia in summer 2020

Coronavirus in Croatia

Please see our Coronavirus in Croatia page for regularly updated coronavirus case numbers in Croatia.

Newest update Since 13th August, case numbers in Croatia have been on the rise again – unfortunately – with around 150-200 new cases announced each day (and a record 219 on 19th August). Announcements can be seen on the koronavirus.hr website (data is released at 1pm, UK time, every day). The Croatia Covid Info website also shows where there are hotspots (or not) around the country. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also shows the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 for European countries.

Updated In the last few weeks, the numbers of new cases per day have been in the range of 50-110 (sometimes fewer, sometimes more).

Updated Croatia has seen a further spike in numbers of new cases in late June and early July. As such, further regulations have been introduced – face masks are now mandatory in all indoor spaces from 13th July and as of 10th July anyone that’s not a EU/EEA/UK citizen or EU long-term resident needs to present a negative covid test that is not older than 48 hours if they wish to enter the country for tourism (or other) reasons.

Updated From 18th June, Croatia has unfortunately seen an increase in the number of new cases recorded each day. After a three week period of hardly any new cases (often zero or one new instance; at most 3), on 18th June 11 new cases were recorded followed by 19, 18, 19, 30 and 22 on the subsequent days. Some new measures have been introduced as a result – the requirement of face masks on public transport, for example.

Croatia has also been easing out of lockdown in the first part of May. Over successive weeks, shops (aside from essential ones, such as supermarkets) and services could reopen, public transport has resumed in towns/cities, and inter-county/city transport has been allowed to restart.

Croatia has dealt with the outbreak very well indeed – enforcing a lockdown earlier than other nations (the UK, for example) and with travel within the country very limited during this time, for example. As of 26th May, there have only been 2,244 cases overall with, sadly, 101 deaths in the country. For the second day in a row, no new cases have been recorded; in the last four days, there has been only one new case. Additionally, there are currently only 97 active coronavirus cases across the whole of Croatia.

Can I visit Croatia in summer 2020?

There are two parts to this question, really.

The first part is – can I enter Croatia?

The second part is – can I reach Croatia?

Can I enter Croatia?

Newest update As of 4am on Saturday 22nd August, anyone returning to the UK from Croatia will have to quarantine for 14 days. Croatia has been taken off the UK’s ‘travel corridors list‘.

Newest update As of midnight on 21st August, Croatia has been placed on the ‘red list’ of countries for Slovenia. All travellers returning to Slovenia from Croatia will need to quarantine.

Updated Austria has placed Croatia on its ‘high-risk’ country list. As of 17th August, visitors to Croatia returning back home to Austria will need to either show a current negative covid test, or get tested within 48 hours.

Updated As of 11/12th August, visitors to Croatia who return back home to Finland will need to quarantine. Visitors returning back to Italy will need to either show proof of a negative covid test (not older than 72 hours) or take a test within 48 hours of entering Croatia.

Updated As of 10th July, anyone not a citizen/resident of a EU/EEA/UK country wishing to travel to Croatia for tourism reasons needs to present proof of a negative covid test (undertaken in the previous 48 hours) when entering the country. If this is not presented when entering Croatia, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days. You can see more information on this on the Ministry of the Interior website.

Updated Today, 10th July, British visitors to Croatia will not have to quarantine when returning back home to the UK. This applies to English, Welsh, Northern Irish AND Scottish visitors. (Although technically these countries draw up their own lists of safe countries, Croatia is on the safe list for all of them.)

Updated On 3rd July, the UK government published what it calls its “travel corridors: countries and territories exemption list” for English travellers. Croatia is on this list meaning that any English holidaymakers travelling to Croatia won’t need to quarantine on arriving back to England. This comes into effect from 10th July.

Updated As of 1st July, all EU/EEA citizens can enter Croatia freely, without the need for accommodation booking. (Although, we assume most are visiting for a holiday!) It is still advisable to enter your details onto the Enter Croatia website prior to arrival.

Updated Additionally, the EU drawn up a list of 15 countries from where visitors can also enter. This list is to be review every two weeks. Countries on this list include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. You can see the full list here.

Yes, you can…providing you follow certain rules as displayed on the government Koronavirus.hr website. For most visitors, the very last point on that page is most valid. This states that anyone that is an EU/EEA citizen that has confirmation of an accommodation booking in Croatia can enter. (No longer required for EU/EEA citizens and citizens of some other countries – see paragraphs above.) Examples of confirmation include:

  • Confirmation of accommodation booking of all accommodation service providers / all types of accommodation
  • Camp lease contract
  • Permanent berth contract in a nautical tourism port
  • Confirmation of berth reservation in a nautical tourism port
  • Travel agency voucher etc.

Source: Koronavirus.hr

You can also see the advice on the UK Foreign Office website, stating the UK citizens are allowed to enter Croatia.

It is possible to submit details of your accommodation booking prior to visiting online via entercroatia.mup.hr. This should speed up border checks when you arrive in Croatia.

There are also other conditions of entry that may allow you to enter Croatia – if you own a property in the country, for example. Do read all of the conditions on Koronavirus.hr.

If you have any questions regarding entry to Croatia, you can fill in a enquiry form on the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

Furthermore, as of 28th May 2020, citizens of ten EU nations are now not subject to the above mentioned conditions of entry, and can freely enter the country. (In the same way as before the coronavirus pandemic.) These ten nations are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Germany and Slovakia. However, all will still have to follow the recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

There is now a new Re-open EU website – an official EU site, no less – that helpfully puts together all travel, services and health and safety restrictions/recommendations for all the EU nations. Taking a look at their Croatia page is a helpful place to start gathering information before visiting the country.

Can I reach Croatia?

Many of Croatia’s visitors each year – in any ‘normal’ year – reach Croatia by car for their summer holidays. If you’re in a neighbouring/nearby country then it’s relatively straightforward for you to jump in your car and head down right now. And that’s definitely one of the ‘safest’ options in terms of social distancing and minimising interaction with others.

If you’re travelling from further afield, then you’ll likely have to rely on flying. At present, only Croatia Airlines are operating international flights connecting Zagreb with other cities in Europe. They fly twice daily to Frankfurt and return, and once to Amsterdam and return. From 1st June, they will also resume flying to Copenhagen and return, and to Zurich and return from 8th June.

Updated Jadrolinija‘s ferry route connecting Ancona in Italy with Zadar has been converted into a catamaran route for this summer. Sailing time is a zippy 4 hours. Timetable can be found here.

Updated Adriatic Lines (also connecting Istria with Venice) have also cancelled all of their sailings for 2020.

Updated Venezia Lines (connecting Venice with Porec, Rovinj, Pula, Umag and Pira in Slovenia) have cancelled all of their sailings for 2020.

Updated Jadrolinija‘s Ancona – Zadar ferry route will resume from 20th July.

Updated Croatia Airlines have announced the resumption of additional routes connecting Croatia with a number of other European cities. You can see their timetable here.

Updated From the week beginning 22nd June, Croatia Airlines also plan to restart their routes from Zagreb to Frankfurt (2x/day), Zurich (daily, some days 2x/day), and to Rome via Split (3x/week). Additionally, they will also restart some routes this week from Split – to Frankfurt (2x/week), Dusseldorf (1x/week), Berlin (1x/week), Munich (2x/week) and Zurich (2x/week).

Updated From the week beginning 15th June, Croatia Airlines also plan to restart their routes to Munich (3x/week), Sarajevo (3x/week), London Heathrow (2x/week), Dublin (3x/week), Rome (via Split, 3x/week), Brussels (4/x week) and Vienna (2x/week).

Other airlines that will or have already resumed flights to Croatia include Eurowings, Air Serbia, Smartwings, Edelweiss, Condor and AirBaltic.

When will airlines start flying from the UK and Ireland to Croatia?

UPDATED Check out our Flights to Croatia from the UK & Ireland page to show when flights from the UK and Ireland will be restarting.

Newest update As of 4am on Saturday 22nd August, anyone returning to the UK from Croatia will have to quarantine for 14 days. Croatia has been taken off the UK’s ‘travel corridors list‘.

Updated Just one (more) route to restart for summer 2020 – Jet2 from Edinburgh to Dubrovnik (from 19th August).

Updated Flights restarting from weeks beginning 3rd/10th August – British Airways from London Heathrow to Pula (from 1st Aug) and London City to Split (1st Aug); Easyjet from London Luton to Dubrovnik (from 1st Aug); London Stansted to Split (1st Aug) and Dubrovnik (9th Aug); London Southend to Pula (2nd Aug); Bristol to Pula (1st Aug) and Dubrovnik (2nd Aug); Liverpool to Pula (2nd Aug); Glasgow to Split (2nd Aug); Belfast to Split (1st Aug) and Dubrovnik (2nd Aug).

Updated Flights restarting from week beginning 13th July – British Airways from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik (from 16th July) and Jet2 from London Stansted to Split (from 19th July) and Dubrovnik (18th July); Birmingham to Pula (19th July), Split (15th July) and Dubrovnik (18th July); East Midlands to Split (19th July); Manchester to Pula (16th July), Split (18th July) and Dubrovnik (16th July); Newcastle to Dubrovnik (19th July); Leeds Bradford to Pula (19th July) and Split (18th July). Phew!

Updated TUI have cancelled their flights to Croatia from the UK for summer 2020.

Updated Flights restarting week beginning 6th July – British Airways from London Heathrow to Zagreb and Split (both from 9th July); Ryanair from London Stansted to Rijeka (from 6th July) and Pula (9th July); and Croatia Airlines from London Heathrow to Split (11th July).

Updated Flights restarting week beginning 29th June – Easyjet, London Luton to Split (daily from 1st July); Ryanair to Dubrovnik (Wedensdays and Sundays from 1st July) and to Split (Tuesdays and Saturdays from 4th July).

Updated Croatia Airlines will resume its route from London Heathrow to Split from the week beginning 6th July. This route will fly once a week, on Saturdays.

Updated From the week beginning Monday, 15th June, three routes from the UK & Ireland to Croatia restarted – Croatia Airlines‘s routes from London Heathrow and Dublin to Zagreb, and Wizzair‘s route from London Luton to Split.

Updated TUI have also pushed back the start date of their flights to Croatia. Due to restart from 1st July onwards, their flights will now start 7, 10 or 14 days later in July depending on the route

Updated TUI have also pushed back the start date of their flights to Croatia. Due to restart from 1st July onwards, their flights will now start 7, 10 or 14 days later in July depending on the route

Updated Jet2 were due to start their routes (including those to Croatia) from 1st July onwards. This has now been pushed back by two weeks, and flights are now due to restart from 15th July onwards.

Updated Wizzair are also set to be one of the first airlines reconnecting the UK and Croatia by air, and direct to the coast no less. They will restart their London Luton to Split route on 15th June, flying three times a week until the end of the month, then five times a week until 19th July and then daily from 20th July to 9th September.

Updated Croatia Airlines will recommence flying from London to Zagreb and Dublin to Zagreb on the week beginning 15th June. They will operate the first route twice a week, the second three times a week.

There’s no concrete answer to this at the moment, but it appears unlikely to be before July for most airlines.

British Airways‘ London Heathrow to Zagreb route is bookable once again from 1st July, as is their long-running London Gatwick to Dubrovnik route.

Some Easyjet routes to Croatia are likewise also bookable from July.

Ryanair‘s routes from Dublin to both Split and Dubrovnik are also bookable from July. Routes from the UK to Croatia (to Zadar) are not being offered at all, however.

Flights may be bookable from July, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that these flights will operate. So much could still change but, hopefully, they will restart.

NEW We have now updated our Flights to Croatia from the UK & Ireland page to show when flights from the UK and Ireland can be booked from.

Don’t forget that the UK is planning to introduce a 14-day quarantine for all international arrivals from 8th June – Updated: NOW IN EFFECT, see here for more details. At present, the only country exempt from this rule is Ireland. So you could possibly go on holiday from the UK and be required to self-isolate for 14 days on your return. However, there is still a suggestion that ‘air bridges’ with certain countries could be created. No longer applies for Croatia as of 10th July.

Essentially, it’s still a case of ‘watch this space’ to see what will happen with flight routes and UK government regulations.

Do I have to enter a 14-day quarantine upon entering Croatia?

Updated As of 10th July, anyone that is not a citizen/long-term resident of an EU/EEA country or a UK citizen WILL need to self-isolate for 14 days when entering Croatia UNLESS they present proof of a negative covid test undertaken in the previous 48 hours. See more on the Ministry of the Interior website.

For EU/EEA/UK visitors, no, you do not. On entering Croatia, “border police officers will provide you with a leaflet containing instructions and recommendations issued by the Croatian Institute of Public Health which you have to comply with in the following 14 days”.

You can see what these instructions and recommendations are here.

If I’m visiting Croatia in summer 2020, what can I do?

Newest update As of 14th July, all nightclubs, cafes, bars (and similar venues that would be allowed to open for 24 hours) will have restricted hours and will not be allowed to be open past midnight.

As per the easing of lockdown in mid May, restaurants and cafes are permitted to open. Obviously those on coastal resorts that normally cater to visitors may have delayed their opening until they have more guests.

More and more hotels are reopening to welcome the increasing numbers of tourists (both domestic and foreign) that are now starting to travel to the coast. (Hotels weren’t required to close during the outbreak, but obviously many did due to low guest numbers.) The “majority of hotels” are expected to be open by June. (Source)

Many of Croatian’s popular sights are open or reopening. For example, national and nature parks reopened on 11th May, the Arena in Pula reopened on 25th May; more such attractions are sure to reopen too (if not already opened).

One thing that definitely won’t be happening this summer is any sort of music festival. Almost all the festivals in Croatia due to take place this summer in places such as Zrce Beach, Tisno, Zagreb, Split and elsewhere have been postponed to 2021.

Mandatory Regulations in Croatia

The two main regulations you must adhere once you are in Croatia are:

  • You must wear face masks in commercial indoor spaces e.g. shops
  • You must wear face masks on all forms of public transport (buses, ferries, catamarans, trains, trams, taxis)

Recommendations

If you would like to see recommendations for Croatia (which are not mandatory), there is a list on the website of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

Covid Testing Centres

The Koronavirus.hr website now has a list of testing centres – plus prices – around Croatia; you can see it here.

Travelling Around Croatia in Summer 2020

Inter-county/city transport in Croatia was allowed to resume on 11th May 2020, and a number of bus and train lines restarted on that day.

Updated As of 25th June, face masks must be warn by everyone using public transport (which includes taxis).

Ferry and Catamaran Services

Kapetan Luka will restart their catamaran services connecting Split, Hvar and Korcula on 1st August. They will restart their popular coastal catamaran service connecting Split and Dubrovnik (and Milna on Brac, Hvar Town, Korcula Town and Pomena on Mljet) on 6th July. Their other coastal catamaran (Split – Bol – Makarska – Korcula – Sobra – Dubrovnik) has been cancelled for 2020.

Jadrolinija‘s coastal catamaran between Split and Dubrovnik (and Bol on Brac, Hvar Town and Korcula Town) is due to restart on 3rd July. (Updated: Unfortunately, this route has been cancelled for 2020.) Their Split – Hvar services will also restart that day. The majority of the rest of their services are already running – timetables can be found here.

Catamaran Line‘s route connecting the port near Split Airport to the city has been postponed for the time being.

Flights

Croatia Airlines have resumed internal flights to Croatia on a limited schedule. At present, they operate Zagreb – Split – Zagreb and Zagreb – Dubrovnik – Zagreb flights twice daily. From 8th June, they will also operate the Zagreb – Zadar – Pula – Zadar – Zagreb network of flights once per day. Trade Air have also resumed some internal flights. You can see more details on our Flights in Croatia page.

Trains

Many train routes in Croatia have resumed. You can see details of some services that presently do not run on the Croatian Railways website.

Should I be visiting Croatia in summer 2020?

We’re still in May (at the time of writing) and there’s still so many unknowns with regards to international travel this summer. Whilst I’m sure many of you may be itching for a break (myself included!) I would say it’s still a little early to be considering booking a holiday to Croatia…there’s still enough time to wait and see how things develop. On the other hand, perhaps you’ve got an existing booking for later this summer? All being well, you may be able to take up that holiday.

Things, at the moment, are looking promising – and you may well be visiting Croatia in summer 2020.