In parts of croatia, the number of new corona infections has shot up recently – that’s why the foreign office is now warning against travel to two regions of the vacationing country.
The travel warning is valid for the two southern administrative districts – the so-called gespanschaften – ?Ibenik-knin with the national park krka and split-dalmatia with the port city split and the islands brac and hvar.
Even if only a few parts of the country are affected, "this decision hits holidaymakers as well as travel agencies and tour operators once again," said norbert fiebig, president of the travel association DRV, on thursday. According to the croatian tourist industry, there are currently about 30.000 vacationers from germany in the affected areas on.
For the tourism industry in the spain, the situation is difficult due to the travel warning, said the director of the croatian center for tourism in frankfurt, romeo draghicchio, to the german press agency. But at the same time he was relieved that the federal government had not issued a travel warning for the entire EU country on the adriatic. For the remaining 150.000 german vacationers who are currently in croatia, as well as those who still have travel plans, others will not change anything, stressed draghicchio.
Previously, the federal ministries of health and the interior, as well as the foreign office, had classified the regions as corona risk areas. "The incidence of covid-19 infection in croatia has been low for several weeks, but has recently been increasing sharply. In the spans ?Ibenik-knin and split-dalmatia currently have incidence rates of more than 50 cases per 100.000 inhabitants on seven days," emphasized the foreign office. Over the past 14 days, this figure for the whole of croatia is 37.7.
The designation as a risk area means that testing for the coronavirus is compulsory for returning holidaymakers. Until the result is available, they have to go into domestic quarantine. The central criterion for classification as a risk area is in which states or regions there have been more than 50 new infections per 100 tourists in the past seven days.000 inhabitants.
If the federal government extends its travel warning to all of croatia, it would be a very hard blow to the travel industry, draghicchio said. That "was going to hit us the hardest. Germans are our number one vacation group."At present, most german tourists are staying on the northern peninsula of istria and on the kvarner bay in front of rijeka. There are only a few active corona traps there, draghicchio said. The DRV also emphasized that the travel warning does not apply to the majority of tourist regions where german holidaymakers like to travel ? Such as istria.
Croatia is one of the most popular vacation destinations for foreigners from the federal republic of germany, with a high proportion of individual travelers. Last week, the federal government had already issued a travel warning for almost all of spain, including the vacation island of mallorca, but excluding the canaries. This places a much heavier burden on the industry.
DRV president fiebig warned that the debate about rising corona numbers should not be narrowed to travelers returning to the country. In addition, a distinction must be made between trips to visit friends and families in countries such as kosovo, turkey, croatia or bulgaria and classic package tour tourism. "Organized tourism is only affected by corona infections to a very small extent". Only a very small number of traps are known to german tour operators," said fiebig.
Croatia had recently registered a steep increase in corona traps. On thursday, the authorities reported a record 255 falls within the past 24 hours. This means that there are now 1689 active traps in the country, which has a population of around 4.19 million. "The situation has changed somewhat in the last few days, the number of new cases is somewhat higher," admitted draghicchio. At the same time, he emphasized: "but we believe that the situation is still under control."The government blamed the increase on young party tourists and beach clubs.
Draghicchio expressed confidence that with the help of new decreases, the numbers will soon go down again. Clubs now have to close at midnight. In addition, distance rules and masks are mandatory in public transport and in enclosed public spaces.
Tourism is a very important industry in croatia: it accounts for about 20 percent of the gross domestic product. The tourist season usually lasts until october. In the event of a german travel warning for the entire country, a large part of the income in the off-season would be lost, said draghicchio. "We hope that there will be no insolvencies."
So far, the country has registered almost 50 percent fewer vacationers in 2020 than in the same period the previous year. "Almost nothing went right until mid-june. But since then, the numbers have gotten much better," said the travel expert. In august there were already 70 percent of the arrivals compared to the previous year.
Austria and italy have already issued a travel warning for croatia, followed on thursday by neighboring slovenia. The government in ljubljana called for more than 100.000 compatriots staying in croatia to return by monday. Otherwise they had to go into quarantine. Slovenia, which serves as a transit country for german car travelers to croatia, also recorded a record number of new infections on thursday. The government stressed that the majority of the victims are returnees from croatia, often young people under the age of 35. Great britain announced that from this saturday onwards, people arriving from croatia – as well as from austria – will have to go into self-isolation for 14 days.