Your First Post-Quarantine Destination? Croatia.
Are stay-at-home orders wearing you down? Do you long to escape from the cage that coronavirus has locked you in? If so, you’re not alone. A survey by Skift Research shows that one-third of Americans say they hope to travel within three months after restrictions are lifted. Once international routes reopen, Croatia is the ideal destination for your first post-quarantine vacation!
Top Marks for Managing the Crisis
Croatia has handled the health threat from COVID-19 extremely well. The authorities reacted quickly as they watched what was happening across the Adriatic in Italy. After the first confirmed case on February 25th, Croatia closed its borders and all unnecessary travel was severely restricted. These measures kept infections and deaths far below the European average. And this despite the violent earthquake that shook Zagreb on March 22nd!
The country’s famed tourist islands have remained almost totally corona-free, with the exception of Brac in central Dalmatia. Due to an outbreak of infections, the island was placed under 14-day quarantine. No new cases have been reported on Brac in recent days.
Rebooting Croatian Tourism
Now the problem is no longer how to keep travelers out, but to bring them back in! About half of Croatia’s 20 million annual visitors arrive in July and August, with tourism accounting for at least a fifth of its economic output.
Parks, shops, museums, hotels, and outdoor restaurants and bars are already open. Beaches not yet, but Croatia’s Institute of Public Health affirms they will definitely open with social distancing rules in place.
And on May 18th, the country’s borders reopened to tourists who have evidence that lodging has been pre-arranged. This means proof of paid accommodation or a reservation for a villa, apartment, hotel, a pitch in a camp site, or rental of a yacht or sailboat.
Once in Croatia, is Self-isolation Required?
The quarantine requirements that had applied to anyone entering the country have now been withdrawn. Self-isolating for 14 days is no longer required, however, anyone entering the country will be issued a set of guidelines to follow.
While self-isolation is no longer a requirement, the Croatian Institute of Public Health states that for 14 days after arrival you may leave your accommodation only if absolutely necessary. This sounds strangely like self-isolation. Not to mention self-defeating in terms of generating tourist revenue! The question is will this regulation be enforced, or will the Interior Ministry adopt a more lax approach to enforcement?
What’s the Flight Situation?
Certain international and domestic flights are operating throughout Croatia, although the big intercontinental carriers have mostly written off 2020. American Airlines, for one, is delaying flights to Dubrovnik until 2021.
A connecting flight from London’s Heathrow airport is one option for North American travelers heading to Croatia. Beginning on June 1st, British Airways’ summer schedule shows flights between London (Heathrow) and Split four times a week (Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays).
The route between London (Heathrow) and Zagreb will fly three times a week (Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays). It’s expected that British Airways will increase the number of weekly flights to both destinations in July, when additional routes to Dubrovnik and Pula could start operating in a reduced form.
Maximum Privacy & Isolation
“Travel is changing, but it is not going away,” remarked Maja Gudelj, our Senior Director of Travel Industry Relations. “While clients are looking for safer ways to make their dream vacations happen, they are still interested and we have to be more creative than ever in designing itineraries that make them want to come to Croatia.”
According to Maja, yacht and villa rentals are definitely the way to go. “They provide maximum privacy and isolation,” she said. “This could be our new normal for a while, but we are confident that we can plan amazing trips even during these challenging times.”
Sea, Sun & Safety on a Yacht
Our trusted supplier in Dubrovnik says that he and his fleet are ready to go. There will be a 24-hour break between clients so the entire boat can be disinfected. On multi-day rentals, separate accommodations for the crew and clients will be provided. Clients can either choose to sleep on board the yacht, or stay overnight in a hotel at the marina.
We can’t think of a better place to toast the end of quarantine than the beauty of Croatia on land or by sea!