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Croatia Announcement: Now Open to USA and Canadian visitors

Just received this notification from a partner in Croatia...

"There is finally some light at the end of the tunnel and summer travel looks positive and more likely to happen. Starting March 19th Croatia is opened for travel and will allow USA and Canadian citizens to enter the country.

What the clients need to enter the country:

  • Entry for tourism is permitted only with documentary evidence of an accommodation paid in advance and in full, prior to arrival at the border (The accommodation reservation alone is not sufficient to be permitted entry)
  • Tourists must have a negative PCR test result not older than 48 hours from the time of the swab to crossing the border.

There is no curfew in place and there are no travel restrictions between areas of Croatia. Bars and restaurants are open, but only the outside areas for now, and all tourist attractions are open and accepting tourists."

Posted by
3684 posts

Problem is 48 hr turnaround and often 18+ hour flight if from west coast. My Canadian lab doesn't guarantee 24 hr results and they do not prioritize travel swabs. Too busy trying to keep locals tested and healthy. Just went back to red zone today thanks to variants.
I guess the pre paid hotel helps with monitoring and traceability.

Posted by
12139 posts

Thats too bad about tests in Canada. Walgreens in my city do the tests with results in a few hours. And they take appointments.. We also have a number of pop-up testing sites that turn them around in a few hours. I have used both..

None of our testing sites are terribly busy. I guess because tests are so plentiful now..

See if Turkish Air has connections to an airport in Croatia. The Istanbul airport has a lab that has results in a couple of hours. I can find the details again if anyone is interested. Of course, you still have to pass the test 🙂.

But don't forget, you need a test to get home! I suspect that if not today, then within days, all the hotels will know exactly where to send you. Or you do Istanbul again.

More excellent news that the world is fighting its way back to normal. 🥳🥳

Posted by
74 posts

That 48 hour turn around time is quick with such a long flight. I wonder if you would be able to isolate after landing if the results weren’t in yet. Either way, this is good news I think to see tourism opening up a little.

Posted by
3684 posts

Canadians have an extensive list of places that will accept them, often with a 72 hr PCR window, but return home isolation is very restrictive (now requiring hotel isolation, not home isolation...so a further 1K$ expense) and more tend to respect the recommendation to not travel. Heck, we even need to isolate between some provinces....several are low population which means low healthcare infrastructure.
This is the site I review and use to dream where I might spend next winter. https://www.traveloffpath.com/countries-that-have-reopened-for-canadian-tourists/
I have 4 months until retirement which then puts a totally different spin on things....though I doubt I will be fully vaccinated by then.

We are not leading any pack on the travel and vaccine front.

Posted by
12139 posts

l get you on the return isolation. Helps me to appreciate our PCR entry requirement and Texas.

Posted by
12139 posts

Or fly Turkish Air through Istanbul. Makes getting your return PCR test easier too.

I was in Bosnia last year, loved it.

Posted by
4443 posts

By contrast, the U.K. government’s scientific advisers are today suggesting that no foreign travel should be allowed this summer, despite a high proportion of people here having been vaccinated. They are concerned about new variants. Europe is way behind with vaccinating.

It’s difficult for mainland Europe (Schengen) to protect their population if some countries open up to tourists whilst others remain closed, as there are no physical borders between countries. You can stop flights and trains, but it’s difficult to stop road traffic. Croatia isn’t in the Schengen zone, of course.

I would try to take direct flights if possible. The last thing you need is to get stuck in Turkey if you test positive. Vaccination doesn’t give you 100% protection and some tests can give false results.

Posted by
862 posts

While this sounds exciting in a way, we made the decision to not have to deal with all those shifting restrictions etc... which would be a nightmare for us and are instead going to go to Europe next summer and the summer after that when hopefully things are more stable. Taking the kids to the National Parks and Monuments of South Dakota and Nebraska instead using sensible precautions when around others.

Good luck!

Posted by
374 posts

it looks like on the Interior Ministry website that now proof of being vaccinated 14 days before (for the second shot, or the first shot if it is a one shot vaccine) supersedes a negative test result, so if I'm reading correctly all that is needed is vaccine proof, plus proof of paid up lodgings covering ones stay in Croatia to enter.

Posted by
6541 posts

I would try to take direct flights if possible.

Croatia is too small of an airline market for direct flights from the US. It has always been long and relatively expensive to fly to Croatia, even from the US East Coast.

PS. I assume by "direct", you mean "non-stop"...but maybe not

Posted by
12139 posts

Houston to Zagreb: Depart May 2, Return May 16. $924.00. 15:30 going and 17:10 returning One stop each way in Istanbul.

Or from JFK for $724 and and hour shorter each way. And you can get a PCR test in the Istanbul airport, but that will require at least a 3 hour layover.

Posted by
7124 posts

Entry for tourism is permitted only with documentary evidence of an accommodation paid in advance and in full, prior to arrival at the border (The accommodation reservation alone is not sufficient to be permitted entry)

That looks to be a way for the govt. to get cash for the hotels without using taxpayer money. Very clever

Posted by
2664 posts

Thank you Travelmom. I just read your link. It was very interesting. This is not what I call a fun vacation, but that's just me, of course. There are many restrictions/limitations. And as I read these restrictions, I, as a tourist, would make available outdoor seating, and all other such limited availability even more difficult for locals or Croatians, who might not be able to or have enough sense not to travel at this time and might want to enjoy their own area. I'm sure this would be the case for many other countries as well, but I'm not doing the research as I'm not going. (Although I'd love to...) I imagine a rural vacation in a cottage or small hotel with one solitary hobby might be OK, but I'll do rural here as that is not what I want to do when I travel internationally. In other words, there is a lot of 'fine print' to go through in these notices.

I expect I'll travel domestically for quite a while, and there is still a lot to consider traveling domestically, and it can, in some ways and/or some places, be like visiting foreign countries these days. Here's an interesting site for vaccination information in the US in general, and specifically for states.

Posted by
12139 posts

Joe32F, Croatia is open for one reason, and one reason alone, to save their economy. One that is I believe about 30% dependent on tourism.

I, as a tourist, would make available outdoor seating, and all other
such limited availability even more difficult for locals or Croatians,
who might not be able to or have enough sense not to travel at this
time and might want to enjoy their own area.

Wray's comment while beautiful in its intent, neglects the idea that if tourists dont start sitting at those tables, Croatians may not be able to afford to. You would also have to consider that there are less than 800 Croatians living in the Dubrovnik Old Town, and thats not enough to keep the restaurants open, even if only out door seating (which appeared to me to be more than half of all the seats).

In short, they want you there. Any objections implies that the person making the objection knows more about what is good for them than they do. You might be right, and they might be wrong, but I will respect self determination.

But, I just checked the hotel I stayed at in Dubrovnik, and it is still fully refundable; and they do so as I had to cancel a trip last year and got my money back. It is also something not unique to Croatia and the pandemic. Many many years ago I had to do the same for a trip to Egypt. So, in my mind. All good and fair.

The official Croatian website on the matter: https://mup.gov.hr/uzg-covid/english/286212

Posted by
6541 posts

Maybe this is some food for thought. Croatia is a beautiful place, no doubt. But I also live in a neighborhood that is impacted by tourism. Our main drag just lost a decent number of restaurants and nice stores over the last year, even in spite of rather high incomes in this area and region. When I'm vaccinated, shouldn't I be putting my travel money in my neighborhood first (to make up for all those tourists who didn't come in droves last year)? I mean, I want my vibrant neighborhood back. If I had a choice to help European countries that are overly reliant on tourism vs. my own neighborhood (and region), which is the patriotic thing to do? I hope this summer, fall, etc. all Americans pump up the US economy to the extent they are vaccinated and can travel within the country. Seems like a win-win versus lamenting that we can't go to Europe this year. I don't feel personally responsible for any foreign country that is too reliant on tourism - I think this pandemic may be a wake-up call for the need to diversify and rethink one's economy. I'm not trying to be harsh, it's a real prerogative not to put most of one's eggs into one basket - this is not going to be the last pandemic. I think that is a tall order for some Caribbean countries but in Europe it should technically be feasible. There are several countries which are resting too heavily on tourist money without making an aggressive effort to get their sclerotic economies in shape, cutting down on tax evasion, and the brain drain from their young people who have no choice but to go elsewhere for work.

Posted by
12139 posts

When I'm vaccinated, shouldn't I be putting my travel money in my
neighborhood first (to make up for all those tourists who didn't come
in droves last year)? I mean, I want my vibrant neighborhood back. If
I had a choice to help European countries that are overly reliant on
tourism vs. my own neighborhood (and region), which is the patriotic
thing to do?

That is a perfectly rational position to have. We could go back and forth discussing the greater good and other subjective issues, but that doesn’t change the fact that your opinion is nothing less than perfectly valid. It is also a very excellent issue to point out for consideration.

I don't feel personally responsible for any foreign country that is
too reliant on tourism - I think this pandemic may be a wake-up call
for the need to diversify and rethink one's economy. I'm not trying to
be harsh, it's a real prerogative not to put most of one's eggs into
one basket - this is not going to be the last pandemic.

That supposes that they have other choices. I am not thinking of Western Europe, I am thinking of places where Tourism has improved many lives in the face of few, if any other options. One would hope the tourism is just a bridge to something better, more diverse, in the future. But you gotta play the cards you got. If you feel for them or not, again is a personal issue and there is no right or wrong position on the issue; nor do I think you are harsh.

And Agnes: Its good to hear that sort of thing. This past year all of my tithing went to COVID related issues in the US. In past years 100% of my tithing went to one particular European country (and it looks like it will again this year). I feel good about both decisions and I never judge anyone who reaches out to help anyone. Everyone should learn the concept of Tzedakah and in particular ponder the meaning behind the eight levels.

(putting my soap box away)