Croatia tightens COVID-19 restrictions ahead of holiday season
Croatia on Friday announced new and stricter restrictions on travel and private gatherings during the year-end holiday season to combat the spread of COVID-19, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
From Dec. 23 until Jan. 8, passes will be needed to cross county borders within Croatia, and only those who have a valid reason to travel will be able to obtain them, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said at a press conference.
It is also recommended that Christmas services in churches be broadcast by radio or television stations. Those who wish to attend such services in person should follow the epidemiological measures. The general rule is for people to stay at home during the Christmas holidays. Private gatherings are limited to ten people from only two families.
Bars and restaurants in Croatia have been closed since late November but the partial lockdown has not slowed the spread of the virus.
"These holidays will not be celebrated as before. We hope that we will succeed together," Bozinovic said.
"In some countries the measures have helped a lot, elsewhere they have not... What we do know is that close contacts should be avoided because half of the infections are the result of family gatherings," Bozinovic said.
In the past 24 hours, Croatia reported 3,272 new COVID-19 cases. Sixty-eight people have died. Since Feb. 25, when the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the country, over 190,000 people have been infected, and 3,023 of them have died.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday that Croatia had ordered 5.6 million vaccine doses from various manufactures and that the first deliveries are expected in January after the European Medicines Agency's approval.